What is Cough?
Cough is quite a common ailment whereby the body tries to protect the airways in the throat and chest from irritants, excess mucus, foreign particles etc. Therefore, it is an important reflex action though, accompanied by a somewhat irritating noise. They could be dry or productive. Productive Cough is referred to a Cough accompanied by mucus or phlegm. Coughs and Colds often come in package.
Frequent coughing often indicates the presence of an underlying disease. Coughing can be classified as acute, sub acute, or chronic depending on its frequency and duration. Usually, coughing continued up to a period of three weeks or less is considered acute. If the Coughing persists till three to eight weeks, it is considered sub acute and if it continues for more than eight weeks then it is considered chronic.
Chronic Cough is a serious condition caused by Bronchial Asthma, Chronic bronchitis, Post nasal drip and other such ailments. More often than not, acute Coughs are caused by respiratory tract infections. Generally, Cough suppressants are used to get rid of this troublesome ailment.
But, more and more people are now turning to the natural home remedies for Cough as these home medicines are much safer than the conventional over the counter medicines. Best results can be achieved when the treatment is directed towards the elimination of the actual underlying condition causing Cough.
Causes and Symptoms of Cough
The most common causes of Coughing are pneumonia, post nasal drip, allergy, asthma, sinusitis, throat disorders (like Croup), Gastro Esophageal Reflex Disease (GERD) or exposure to air pollutants. Interstitial lung disease (ILD), Sarcoidosis, Cystic fibrosis, Bronchiectasis or other lung related conditions may also lead to this problem.
Improper digestion of food may lead to the formation of a mucus toxin which causes Cough and Cold upon reaching the respiratory system. Medicines used for high blood pressure, glaucoma or migraine may also cause Coughing. Besides, cigarette smoking generally results in the chronic condition of this disease. Pertussis or Whooping Cough is caused by a viral infection of the airways
Coughs are usually accompanied by symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, loss of appetite, loss of energy and so on. At times, the condition tends to worsen during the night. Pertussis is characterized by back to back Coughs without breathing in between. At the end, the person tends to take a deep breath to make up for the loss of breath during coughing. This deep breathing is often accompanied by a ‘whooping’ sound. This is a common complaint in children but could be present in adults too. Pertussis is a contagious disease.
Natural Home Remedies for Cough
Honey is an important ingredient in most of the natural home remedies for Cough and Cold. Some such remedies with honey are:
• Take one cup boiled water and add a pinch of clove, a pinch of cinnamon powder, some honey and about half a teaspoon of ginger powder in it. Drinking this highly therapeutic herbal tea is one of the most popular natural home remedies for Cough and Cold. Black pepper can also be used.
• Simply taking half or one teaspoon of honey is also a tried and tested natural remedy to get rid of this problem. Alternatively, squeezing a bit of lemon in some honey is yet another tried and tested home remedy used in the treatment of Cough.
• Drinking a mixture of lemon juice, sugar, honey and garlic pieces added in boiling water acts as an effective Cough cure.
• Taking a mixture of honey and ginger juice is regarded as one of the simplest home remedies for Cough. A cup of orange juice can also be taken with two tablespoons of honey to cure Cough. Similarly, drinking one cup of grape juice mixed with one teaspoon of honey is also effective in curing Cough.
• Another simple home remdy with honey is to prepare a cough syrup by adding equal amounts of onion juice and honey and keeping it for 4-5 hours. Taking this homemade cough syrup two times a day helps to reduce Coughing. Baked onion juice and comfrey tea can also be used with honey to make a natural cough syrup.
• Mix one cup honey, one-fourth cup of warm water and three tablespoons of lemon juice. Take one teaspoon of this mixture at regular intervals to heal this disease as naturally as possible.
• Consuming a mixture of honey (10 ml) and juice extracted from basil leaves (5 ml) helps to alleviate Cough.
• Drinking a cup of milk mixed with honey is an effective home remedy for Cough treatment, especially dry cough. It might worsen productive Cough as milk can thicken mucus in some cases.
• Taking honey mixed with a pinch of powdered black pepper is useful in reducing Coughing by loosening mucus. White pepper can also be taken with honey in the same way. Following this natural remdy two or three times a day for about a week can give encouraging results.
Other home remedies:
• Gargling with a solution of lukewarm water mixed with a pinch of salt and two pinches of turmeric powder can be a source of immense relief from Cough.
• Chewing a clove with a piece of rock candy is one of the easiest natural home remedies for Cough.
• Chewing a piece of peeled ginger with some salt sprinkled on it is useful in getting rid of Cough, especially dry cough.
• Taking three grams of roasted and powdered root of turmeric two times per day on a regular basis helps in reducing Cough slowly and steadily.
• Garlic, lobelia, licorice and comfrey are efficient home remedies for Cough. Garlic oil, eucalyptus oil or lobelia extract can also be rubbed on the throat to prevent excessive Coughing. Alternatively, boil some water with garlic in it and strain the mixture and drink this mixture.
• Soak seven almonds in water over night and grind them into a paste after removing their skin. Add about 20 g of butter and the same amount of sugar to this paste and mix well. Consume this paste to cure dry cough.
• Add some lemon juice and a cup of boiling water to a crushed medium sized onion and consume this mixture to ease Coughing to a great extent. Honey can also be added in this mixture to improve its taste.
• Taking a mixture of dry ginger, black pepper and sugar in some butter or clarified butter is regarded as one of the oldest natural home remedies for Cough treatment.
• Make a paste of betel leaves in water and apply this paste on the chest to avoid further Coughing.
• Grind about 100 grams of raisins in some water and add approximately 100 grams of sugar in it. Then, heat the mixture till it becomes sauce-like in consistency. Taking about 20 grams of this mixture before going to bed serves as a valuable natural remedy to eliminate Cough.
• Aniseed can be added in tea to relieve dry Cough with difficult expectoration.
• Boil some eucalyptus and mint leaves in water. Inhaling the vapors of this boiling mixture serves as a good Cough remedy.
Diet for Cough
Fruits like apples, oranges, pears, peaches, grapes, grape-fruit, pineapples and melons are highly beneficial when dealing with cough. In fact, it would be advisable to follow an all fruit diet for about five days or a week. Though, cooling fruits like cucumber, watermelon and papaya would not be helpful in this regard. Herbal teas and vegetable soups are also beneficial in the treatment of Cough. Interestingly, eating dark chocolate is found to be beneficial in dealing with Cough. It has been observed that holding some water in the mouth helps to prevent Coughing as long as the water is in the mouth.
Restrict the consumption of refined and processed foods as they tend to aggravate Coughs. Plus, stay away from sugars in the form of sweets, pastries, soft drinks etc. Resist the temptation of having ice creams too. Similarly, avoid nuts like nuts such as almonds, ground nuts, pistachios, cashew nuts and walnuts and as they are high in oil content.
Also, exclude meat and meat products from the diet to control Cough. Abstain from the consumption of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages from the diet until the disease is cured completely. In order to maintain good health, try to quit smoking.