Are you suffering from coughing? Whether it’s a dry, wet, croup, or whopping cough, it can certainly make your life miserable. It might seem logical to run out to your local drugstore and buy a bottle of cough syrup instead of using home remedies for cough. Fun Fact: in 2018 the global market for over the counter (OTC) drugs was worth over $303 billion. That includes lots of cough and cold medicines.
Is there a better way? In fact, you can pick from several home remedies for cough that are holistic and don’t include any synthetic ingredients. These aren’t just wonky ideas. In fact, scientists keep discovering that many old-school homeopathic remedies are backed up by solid science. We’ll be reviewing some of the best home-based remedies for getting rid of a non-stop cough.
1. Honey Tea
You know tea and honey are healthy, but what in the world is honey tea? This home remedy includes an herbal tea, warm water, and 2 teaspoons of honey (preferably raw). Take this blend 2x daily. Make sure to avoid giving the home remedy to kids under 1-year-old.
Which Herbal Tea?
It really depends on factors like the type of cough you have. Here are some popular options:
- Turmeric-Ginger: If you have a dry cough then a good option is turmeric ginger tea. Ginger has been used for eons as a home remedy for treating coughs.
- Sage: Here’s another good option for treating coughs. It not only helps with coughs but also effective for getting rid of sore throats and fevers. Besides that, sage is antibacterial so it can help to battle the root cause of your coughs.
- Horehound (Mint): One of the best mints for treating coughs is “horehound.” It’s ironically not sweet but can work as a natural cough suppressant and also deal with other cold-related symptoms like pain and upset stomach. When making horehound tea you can add some honey and lemon.
Honey Is probably best known as a sugar substitute. How can it help with your coughs? A 2007 study on various treatments for nighttime coughing in kids compared dark honey with a cough-suppressing medicine.
What were the results? Honey performed slightly better than commercial medicine. However, many parents would prefer to give their kids remedies with natural ingredients instead of something called “dextromethorphan.”
2. Bromelain (Pineapple)
If you haven’t heard of bromelain that’s ok. It’s just an enzyme that originates from pineapples. The highest amount of the enzyme is found in the fruit’s core.
What’s the big deal about bromelain? It’s high in anti-inflammatory properties, which can definitely help if you’re suffering from coughing. This is most obvious when you cough and experience your throat feeling raw.
Another benefit of bromelain is it has “mucolytic properties.” Translation: it breaks down mucus then gets it out of your body.
Bromelain Boost: So how can you get more bromelain in your diet? One option is to eat fresh pineapple or drink pineapple juice to reduce mucus buildup in your throat and reduce coughing. There’s a caveat: the juice might not have enough bromelain.
Here’s Plan B: take bromelain supplements. You can take bromelain supplements to help relieve your cough. As always make sure to consult your doctor before taking a new dietary supplement.
Finally, take note that bromelain itself can cause some new problems when trying to get rid of a cough. You shouldn’t take it if you’re also taking certain antibiotics or blood thinners. The enzyme can also cause some minor side-effects that can seem major when you’re already dealing with a cough.
3. Home Remedies for Cough: Salt-Water Gargle
This is an oldie-but-goodie remedy that’s often used to treat a sore throat. You can also use the salt/water mixture to ditch a wet cough. That’s because the saltwater reduces the amount of mucus and phlegm located at the back of your throat. That reduces the natural reaction of coughing to get rid of the nasty stuff.
Here’s how to make the mixture:
- Step 1: Add ½ teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water
- Step 2: Keep stirring until the salt dissolves
- Step 3: Let the collusion cool a little before you gargle
- Step 4: Allow the mixture to stay at the back of the throat for a couple of minutes
- Step 5: Repeat these steps several times daily until your cough gets better
Note: Avoid giving saltwater to young children. If they’re unable to gargle correctly they could get sick by drinking the saltwater.
Why It Works
What’s the science behind saltwater? This remedy has even made the Mayo Clinic’s “Book of Home Remedies.”
This remedy provides two helpful results. It loosens up thick mucus, which in turn removes things like fungi and bacteria from the throat. The saline solution also removes extra fluid from the throat’s inflamed tissues. Various studies have proven these effects of saltwater solutions.
If you’re looking for an excuse to eat more yogurt then a home remedy for coughs is it! It’s important the note the probiotics don’t relieve coughs directly. They instead can balance bacteria inside the gut, which in turn boosts the immune system.
The “good” bacteria can help in different ways. A stronger immune system can help battle a cold/flu or allergies that are causing the cough. Studies show that some bacteria like Lactobacillus can even help to prevent the common cold!
It’s also worth noting that many causes of persistent coughs are linked to microorganisms. One example is a respiratory tract infection like bronchitis. A short-term cause is an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). This is often better known as cold or flu. Other causes of coughing can be as basic as dust or smoke.
Sources of Probiotics
You can get probiotics through various kinds of food. They include yogurt (natural), sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso soup. Remember that the types/number of probiotics in different foods can vary.
Another option is dietary supplements that include various probiotics. You can find them at your local drug store or health store. In order to get the best results, you should consider a combination of probiotic supplements and foods. This will produce some of the best results among home remedies for cough.