Try these home remedies for coughing, many of them probably in your kitchen. They are designed to soothe that nagging and persistent cough.
Coughing is good for you. Really! When we cough, we clear foreign particles — like dirt or food — from our lungs and windpipe. When we have a cold, a cough can clear mucus from your lungs. A dry cough happens when our lungs are irritated from too much coughing. A cough becomes a problem when it’s constant, a symptom of possible conditions such as allergies, a viral infection, or a bacterial infection.
To get rid of a cough that isn’t constant, try these home remedies for coughing.
1. Try a spoonful of honey. The World Health Organization recommends a teaspoon of honey a couple of times a day to soothe a cough and sore throat. You can pair it with lemon juice, too. Honey’s antioxidant properties may explain why it helps relieve coughs. The acid in the lemon juice works as an astringent to shrink swollen throat tissue, which can cause a cough.
2. Drink lots of liquids. Plain water, hot tea, and warm vegetable broth flush out the mucus from postnasal drip and keep your membranes moist. These home remedies for coughing will reduce your need to cough.
3. Add black pepper and honey to your tea. If you have a lot of mucus, mix a teaspoon of black pepper with two teaspoons of honey into a cup of hot tea; let it steep for 15 minutes before drinking. It breaks down the mucus.
4. Take a steam shower. Turn on the hot water, close the windows in your bathroom, and let it get steamy. Steam soothes your nasal passages and loosens congestion in your sinuses; it also helps break down phlegm in your throat and lungs.
5. Suck on a menthol cough drop. Menthol opens up nasal passages and soothes your throat so you’ll reduce your cough.
6. Make a pot of ginger tea. Cut up fresh ginger, about 10 to 12 thick slices about the size of a quarter, and boil in three cups of water. Let it steep for 15 to 20 minutes before drinking. You can add honey and lemon juice, if you’d like. Ginger has medicinal properties and can be used as a decongestant.
7. Gargle with salt water. This home remedy for coughing has been around for centuries. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and gargle. The salty water works as a disinfectant, clearing the mucus from your throat. Repeat between three to six times a day.
8. Eat raw garlic. If you can tolerate it, raw garlic works as an antibacterial agent to fight against pathogenic bacteria, or irritants that cause a cough. Be sure to crush the garlic to release allin and allicin, the sulfur compounds found in garlic that supposedly prevent secondary infections that can arise after a common cold.
9. Enjoy licorice or licorice tea. If you buy black licorice candy, make sure licorice is a listed ingredient. You can also buy licorice tea or make a tea from licorice root, found in some health food stores. It’s naturally sweet and soothes sore throats and coughs. It’s a common ingredient in some cough syrups.
10. Eat aloe vera gel. Aloe vera gel can soothe an inflamed throat. The gel has anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent choice as a natural home remedy for coughing. You can find aloe vera leaves in health food stores and in some supermarkets. You split open the leaf and scoop out the gel. It’s clear and has the consistency of honey. If it’s too bitter, add honey.
Try one or all of these home remedies for coughing. If your cough persists, talk to your doctor.
March 20, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN