Few things are as inconvenient as a dry cough. This inconvenience can disrupt your life and irritate others in social situations or in groups. However, there are steps you can take to reduce or eliminate coughing from the comfort of your own home. You can try to get rid of the cough on your own, but remember that if it persists for three or more weeks, it's important to see a doctor.
Method 1 of 5: Maintaining Hydration
Step 1. Keep your throat moist
Coughs are often caused by post-nasal discharge, which occurs when nasal secretions pass into the throat. This problem usually happens when you catch a cold or a virus such as the flu. Drinking fluids can dilute the mucus caused by colds.
Step 2. Gargle in lukewarm salted water
This will help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Try gargling before bed and at other times of the day when you feel uncomfortable.
Step 3. Drink lots of warm water
While hot water seems to be the best throat remedy, drinking it warm actually rehydrates tissues more intensely than water at higher temperatures. Hot water can even irritate already inflamed tissue. Drinking warm tea is an excellent way to stay hydrated while warming and soothing your throat.
- Aniseed tea is known to soothe the throat and reduce coughing. Add cinnamon for an enhanced effect.
- Boil ginger with tea leaves. Add some pepper and several basil leaves to relieve congestion. This combination of herbs will anesthetize and soothe the throat, giving the tissue a little rest after excessive coughing.
Step 4. Drink warm milk with honey and cinnamon before bed
The combination of honey and cinnamon is able to fight infections, reduce swelling or offer antioxidant properties to help heal the affected throat.
To prepare cinnamon milk, combine ½ teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar in a container. Then add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and 240ml milk, mixing vigorously. Heat the mixture until bubbles form, but do not boil it. Give it time to cool down and add 1 teaspoon of honey, mixing it until it dissolves, and drinking it still warm
Step 5. Drink pineapple juice
Pineapple juice is five times more effective than cough syrup, as shown in a 2010 study. It soothes the larynx without leaving residues that could increase coughing. Opt for this juice over orange or lemon juice.
Grape juice is also a great option to cure a cough. Mix a teaspoon of honey into a glass of grape juice. Grapes act as an expectorant, an agent capable of promoting the secretion of sputum through the airways, which will eventually eliminate your cough
Step 6. Use oregano to lessen the intensity of your cough
Boil a teaspoon of oregano leaves in a glass of water. After the water boils, strain the oregano and drink the tea.
If you have a tea diffuser, put the oregano in it, removing it more easily
Method 2 of 5: Consuming Calming Foods
Step 1. Soothe throat with honey
The velvety texture of honey will moisten the tonsils, reducing throat irritation (and the urge to cough). Good quality honey can prove as effective as a cough medicine!
Rose petal water is also a great alternative to honey. Rose essence is also capable of dissolving mucus
Step 2. Use essential oils to ease your cough
They are strong and potent oils that can be used in your own home to alleviate many ailments. There are several essential oils that can be helpful in reducing a persistent cough.
- Eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, sage, tea tree, sandalwood, cedar, frankincense and hyssop are the best essential oils to clear congestion.
To help unclog, put 1 or 2 drops of essential oils on your hands, rub them together, place them in front of your nose and take 4 to 6 deep breaths. You can also put 2-4 drops on a cotton ball, seal it in a bag and take it with you
- Tea tree sage, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, lemon, garlic and ginger are the best essential oils to relieve the affected throat.
To use essential oils to relieve your throat, put 1 or 2 drops in half a glass of warm water and gargle for a few minutes, then spit it out. Do not swallow the mixture
Step 3. Prepare a homemade cough syrup
There are many different types of homemade cough syrup that can be much more effective than commercially purchased products.
- Make an herbal cough syrup. Add 60 grams of herbal mixture to 1 liter of water. Herbs such as fennel, licorice, elm bark, cinnamon, ginger and orange peel are excellent choices. Boil the herbs and add a glass of honey to the resulting solution. Mix it until it becomes completely homogeneous.
- Make an onion-based cough syrup. Onions have properties capable of breaking down the mucus that causes coughing. Cut an onion into thin slices and extract its juice. Mix equal parts of onion juice and honey, leaving the solution to stand for 4 to 5 hours. When she settles down, you will have a cough syrup that can be taken twice a day.
- Make an elderberry syrup. Sambucus Herbal Syrup is excellent because it calms the cough without harming the stomach. If you have a sensitive stomach, try this option. Combine 1 liter of elderberry juice with 2 cups of honey and 2 cinnamon sticks in a bowl. Boil the mixture for 10 minutes. This process makes 3 liters of syrup.
If you want to make your own elderberry juice for the syrup, you can boil fresh or dried elderberry berries in 1 liter of water for 45 minutes and strain the mixture, continuing with the recipe above
Step 4. Have a hot chicken broth
The steam from the soup will help open the upper respiratory membranes while the heat soothes your throat. In addition, the soup will prevent you from weakening, as it is rich in protein. After all, what's more calming than a bowl of chicken broth?
Step 5. Suck on a lozenge
Buy tablets containing menthol. It numbs the back of your throat, relieving your cough. Menthol is a component obtained from the peppermint plant and causes an anesthetic sensation that soothes the affected throat. Chewing gums are great options for when you're going out in public, such as to a movie or class, but don't want to bother other people with your cough.
If you don't have any lozenges, put a hard candy in your mouth. The mere act of sucking on a piece of candy or lollipop increases saliva production and consequently relieves dry cough. Chewing gum also serves as a temporary solution. Peppermint candles are great choices as they have an anesthetic property similar to menthol
Method 3 of 5: Using Moisture to Your Favor
Step 1. Use a humidifier
Dry air can cause nasal secretions to dry out, creating discomfort that often leads to coughing - a humidifier can help.
Be careful not to overuse it - if the humidifier is not clean, it can carry mold and mildew back into the air, which will make your cough worse rather than eliminate it
Step 2. Take hot, steamy baths
Close all bathroom windows and turn off the exhaust fan to create a "sauna". The steam softens the secretions in your nose, working against coughs caused by colds, allergies and asthma.
Step 3. Breathe in the boiling water vapor
Boil a pot of water, remove it from the stove and place it on a heat-resistant surface. Then bring your head up to the water and breathe in the steam. You can place a towel over your head to help confine the steam.
Try adding thyme leaves to the water for added relief
Method 4 of 5: Using Medicines
Step 1. Take a decongestant
If runny nose is causing your cough, consider taking a decongestant, which will shrink swollen nasal tissue and reduce mucus production. Decongestants come in the form of nasal sprays, pills and liquids.
- It is best not to use nasal decongestants spray for more than 3 days. Use for 3 days in a row may result in the congestion returning.
- Spray products may also contain oxymetazoline, which is a decongestant but, if used for more than 3 days, is capable of causing damage to the nasal passages.
Step 2. Try taking an antihistamine
Antihistamines limit the release of histamine in the body, which can result in secretions in the nose and throat and cause persistent coughing. Antihistamines are often particularly effective during allergy seasons, or when your cough is the result of a mild allergic reaction to something in your environment, such as a pet's fur or mold.
Step 3. Understand the concept of cough suppressants
These products contain active ingredients such as camphor, dextromethorphan, eucalyptus oil and menthol, which will relieve your cough for a short period of time, but not cure it. If you have trouble sleeping from your cough, or if you are coughing so hard that you experience chest or muscle pain, consider taking a suppressant at night. But remember they are not a cure.
Method 5 of 5: Treating the Underlying Problem
Step 1. See your doctor to diagnose an infection
If you have a bacterial infection, your doctor can help you with a prescription for antibiotics. Viruses don't respond to antibiotics, so if that's the case, they won't help.
Step 2. Search your environment for irritants
If you've recently switched to a new perfume or air freshener, this substance may be causing your sinus irritation, resulting in your cough. Smoke is also a primary cause of coughs.
If the irritant causing the cough is smoke, you can try to treat smoker's cough by quitting smoking
Step 3. Avoid stomach irritation
If you have irritable bowel syndrome or frequent burning, it's important to take steps to minimize its effects. Do not lie down for 3 hours after meals and avoid spicy foods or other irritants.
Step 4. Evaluate your medications
Certain medications, such as ACE inhibitors, can cause a chronic cough. If your medication is causing this adverse effect, discuss different cure options for the problem with your doctor.
Step 5. Avoid dust and other allergens
If you can't remove dust or allergens from your environment with a deep clean or air filters, allergy medications can be used to cure chronic coughing from allergens.
- One way to avoid starting to cough is to practice good hygiene. Washing your hands regularly with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent infections.
- Avoid drinking or eating anything very cold.
- Avoid yelling or talking loudly. It wears out your voice.
- Get enough sleep, especially if your throat has cold symptoms.
- Drink warm tea with honey and lemon.
- If this cough lingers and becomes a concern, seek advice from your doctor.
- If you are pregnant, ask your doctor before considering any home treatments.
- Many of these treatments, particularly those involving boiling water, are unsuitable for children.
- Home remedies may not be suitable for young children. Remember that children under 1 year of age should not eat honey.
- Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms with your throat:
- Chronic and lasting cough.
- Difficult breathing.