With the onset of the flu and allergy season, it is very common for a lot of us to experience coughs. If you do not want to reach out for some over the counter medication immediately, try one of these home remedies to soothe your aching throat.
1. Honey and Ginger
Honey has always been an old and tested ingredient for cough. You can have a spoonful of honey before you go to bed in case you find yourself waking up coughing several times in the night. You could grate some ginger and add its juice to the honey as ginger can also help to reduce cough effectively. If you want to have something warm, make yourself some herbal tea and add some honey and ginger to it. Lemon also makes a great addition to a hot beverage like this.
2. Black pepper
Surprised to see a spice on this list? While pepper is used extensively in the kitchen as a spice, it also makes for a great home remedy for cough. Pepper can act as an expectorant so it will help you get rid of some of that mucous. Add about a teaspoon of freshly ground pepper to boiling water along with some ginger and honey. Make sure you cover it and let it steep for about 10 minutes or so and have it warm.
3. Salt water gargling
Many times, persistent coughing can leave you with a fair amount of discomfort and throat pain. Salt water gargling is an extremely simple home remedy that can ease this discomfort. All you need to do is to add salt to some warm water and stir it in till it is completely dissolved. Gargle a few times with this warm salt water and make sure to repeat it at least a couple of times during the day for greater relief. You can even add a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and pepper powder to the salt water and gargle with this. It will sting a bit but do the trick in clearing up the throat.
Steam is an effective way to loosen phlegm and bring you some comfort. Heat water till it starts boiling in a big pot. Add a few drops of essential oil like eucalyptus to it after taking it off the heat and mix it well so that vapor is released. Cover yourself with a big towel over your head and inhale deeply. Do this for a few minutes about twice or thrice a day. Steam can burn so be careful while doing this. Alternatively, you can fill up the bathroom with steam by leaving the shower on with hot water flowing and keeping the door and windows in the bathroom closed. You can then inhale the steam and stay in the bathroom for a few minutes till the steam clears. This will clear nasal congestion and in the process help you stop your cough.
The leaves of this herb look deceptively small but work big time to alleviate cough symptoms. Crush or bruise the leaves slightly and add to boiling water. Allow it to steep for a few minutes and add some cinnamon, lemon or honey for added flavor to your thyme tea.
6. Chicken soup
A big bowl of hot delicious chicken soup doesn’t only sound appetizing but can be great when you are recovering from a cough. Make sure to include vegetables and onions in your chicken broth. Besides the anti-inflammatory properties of chicken soup, onions are good for reducing cough too. Add some freshly ground pepper as well.
Another ingredient easily available in all homes, garlic has antiviral and antibacterial properties. As with some other ingredients on this list, you can make yourself some garlic tea. Peel a couple of cloves of garlic and crush them slightly. Boil these along with water and once done take your pick from honey, lemon, pepper or even cayenne pepper to add to your garlic tea.
8. Use a humidifier
Often times, coughs are caused by dry air. Using a humidifier especially at night can increase the moisture content in the air and more so in winter when the air is drier. This works very well for children too. Clean the humidifier regularly otherwise it can lead to build of mold or other allergens.
Use some or all of these home remedies for cough and also make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Coughing can make your throat dry and parched leading to more discomfort. Drink warm water throughout the day to help soothe your throat.