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8 Natural Cough Remedies That Are Safe And Effective

Monday, March 8, 2021

 


Stop Coughing! Naturally, Of Course.

Humans have been coughing since the beginning of time. With so many centuries of coughing experience, we’ve had ample time to test out a number of different natural cough remedies. Here are 8 home remedies for a cough that are time-tested.

Why Do We Cough?

Your sinuses and the surface of your throat are protected with thin layers of skin called mucous membranes. These membranes secrete a thick fluid (mucus) that collects and traps dust, dirt, bacteria, and viruses, and then removes these invaders from your body. But when these defenses are breached, and germs pass through to the membranes, then your nose and throat can become inflamed and irritated. Sneezing and coughing are reflex actions to expel these irritants. To make matters worse, when these membranes are infected, normal mucus production is compromised and your body produces either too little (reducing defenses) or too much (causing congestion). To stop the coughing, your body needs to resolve the underlying infection and then get back to healthy mucus production.

Honey – The One-Two Punch

Raw honey is a near perfect cough fighter. First, thick and sticky honey covers the surface of your throat and acts as a substitute mucus. This soothes and calms your raw and irritated throat. Second, raw honey has anti-bacterial properties that target and destroy the infection-causing bacteria. So cough syrup made with raw honey may be the best natural remedy for cough that is available today.

Get Salty

Saltwater gargles are simple, safe and effective. Just remember not to swallow the saltwater! This remedy works through osmosis. When the saltwater surrounds a bacteria cell, it creates an imbalance in salinity. This causes the water inside the bacteria to diffuse outward in order to reach an equilibrium in salt levels. As a result, the bacteria cell is dehydrated, the cell walls collapse, and the bacteria is killed. With the bacteria gone, your sore and irritated throat can now begin to heal.

Try Some Tumeric

Tumeric has been a popular medicinal herb in India for generations. Tumeric with milk is a common treatment for many Indians for coughs and throat infections. Curcumin (an active ingredient in turmeric) helps to reduce throat inflammation and infection.

Breathe in Steamy Relief

Steam inhalation has been around for thousands of years. While steam therapy is unlikely to cure a cough or cold, it will provide relief from several symptoms including headache, congestion, throat irritation and cough. This remedy works by loosening excess mucus in the nose, throat and lungs. This, in turn, provides relief to inflamed and swollen blood vessels in the sinus and throat areas.

Marshmallow (the Herb, Not the Candy)

The marshmallow plant (althaea officianalis) is a perennial herb. The root of this plant has been used for thousands of years to treat respiratory and digestive ailments. When the root is crushed and soaked in cool water, you get mucilage (a thick and viscous substance) that has proven to be an effective cough suppressant in clinical studies.

Ginger Zinger

Ginger root is most often associated with digestive relief. But it has also proven effective as a cough suppressant. A 2015 scientific paper reviewed many of the medicinal properties of ginger root. The authors concluded that eating ginger helped with treating sore throat, laryngitis, congestion and inflammation of mucous membranes.  Ginger can be taken by chewing on small pieces of peeled root, or by infusing thin slices of peeled root in a small jar of honey. Allow the infusion to seep for at least 2 days before using and then consume within 2-3 weeks.

Garlic Power

It may be strong in flavor and odor, but garlic also contains an active compound called “allicin.” Allicin contains sulfur, which gives garlic its powerful taste and smell. But allicin also stimulates the growth of white blood cells, which are a critical part of your immune system. White blood cells attack and destroy foreign materials and infectious agents inside the body. Once your infections are resolved, then the inflammation and coughing will subside. Taking garlic capsules (rather than eating raw garlic) will help moderate the garlic odors.

Time for Thyme

The popular herb thyme contains an active compound named thymol. Thymol is a natural expectorant and is often used in a store-bought cough and cold medicines. When the sinuses and lungs are infected, they can produce too much mucus and this leads to congestion. An expectorant thins and looses the mucus, thus clearing up your airways. The best way to take thyme is to make an infusion. Seep 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme sprigs in a cup of hot water and then strain. Add some honey for flavor and repeat up to 3 times a day until you see improvement in your symptoms.

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