I think many of you struggle with cough at this season – I know how disrupting, irritating and painful a cough can be. Especially if it prevents you sleeping at night or if your job involves a lot of speaking and the cough prevents you from doing it. In some cases, to get rid of it, it may be necessary to take some cough suppressing medicines but often, simple substances in your kitchen can help you find an almost instant relief from cough.
Cough is best not neglected because it can cause lifestyle problems, physical damage, it poses health risks, and it infects people around us.
Here are some remedies – you have plenty to choose from!
As soon as you feel soreness in your throat make it a point to gargle with salt dissolved in warm water.
- Drink warm liquids
Drinking warm water is a good way of soothing the inflammation in the throat. A warm soup is also a good solution.
- Sleep with the head elevated
In some persons, a productive cough results when mucus drips from the back of the nose into the throat. This tends to grow worse at night when the body posture is conducive for such dripping. Sleeping with the head at a higher position helps to reduce such.
Heat a glass of plant-based milk, mix in half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and drink warm to find relief from cough. A turmeric gargle also gives good results. To one cup of hot water, add in half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and half a teaspoon table salt. Use this liquid as a throat gargle and you are sure to experience relief from cough.
For a dry cough, turmeric powder mixed with a teaspoon of honey taken three to four times a day is effective. You could also try preparing turmeric tea by adding one tablespoon of turmeric powder into 4 cups of boiling water. Keep for a few minutes, strain and mix in some lemon and honey to the liquid and drink.
Since ages, honey has been known to soothe the irritated throat linings and reduce cough. A dry cough responds to a mixture of honey with juice from grapes. A glass of hot plant-based milk with some honey added just before going to bed is effective at relieving night time cough. Mix in honey and lemon juice to a glass of warm water and drink this three times per day for relief from cough.
If you have a particularly nasty cough, take about 3 tablespoons of flaxseeds in 1 cup of water and boil. When the water starts thickening, strain the liquid and mix in 3 tablespoons each of lemon juice and honey. Swallow about 1 tablespoon of this mixture when you experience a severe coughing fit.
For a dry cough, cut a piece of fresh ginger, sprinkle some salt on it and chew on it for a few minutes. A tea made with ginger is equally good. Chop ginger into fine pieces, add into a vessel containing one cup of water. Keep boiling the liquid till the volume reduces to half the original quantity. Strain the liquid, add one teaspoon of honey and drink when warm to give a soothing effect against cough.
- Thyme tea
Make a thyme tea by steeping two teaspoons of crushed thyme leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain. Adding honey and lemon rounds out the flavour and adds extra soothing power as well.
- Black pepper and honey tea
For a wet cough, try a black pepper and honey remedy that is said to work because the pepper stimulates circulation and mucus flow and the honey is a natural cough reliever. Use one teaspoon of freshly ground pepper and two tablespoon of honey in a mug, and fill with boiling water. Cover and allow steeping for 15 minutes, strain and sipping.
- Suck a lemon
Quarter a fresh lemon, sprinkle it with lots of black pepper and salt, and suck on it for quick relief.
Blend a few teaspoons of finely ground almonds with a cup of orange juice and sipping it for relief.
To make an onion cough syrup: Mix lemon juice, honey, grated onion and boil in a pan over a pot of boiling water. Cover and let simmer for 2 hours. Strain the juice and consume 1 tbsp every alternate hour.
Mix cloves with honey and store in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the cloves in the morning and consume 1 tbsp of the honey. This soothes the throat pain and reduces inflammation.
- Mustard plaster
Mix mustard powder (1 part), flour (2 parts) with water or egg and spread the paste on a dish towel, fold the towel and press it against the skin. This is a natural chest rub that loosens up the chest congestion.
During winter use a humidifier to moisten the air in your room to prevent nocturnal coughing. If you don’t have a humidifier, a warm shower or bath can temporarily help clear the lungs and ease breathing.
- Clean the air
Keep your home free of irritants that can trigger coughing spells, such as tobacco smoke and fumes from fireplaces.
- Carrot juice
Make fresh carrot juice by using at least four carrots, dilute the fresh juice with water. To get fast relief from your cough, drink this carrot juice about four times daily.
Licorice is good for cough as it loosens phlegm and relaxes bronchial spasms. Add licorice tincture (50 drops) to a cup of hot water and sip.
- Essential oil chest rub
Instead of using petrochemical chest rubs; you can rub a mixture of essential oils such as sage oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil and organic olive oil on your chest and neck to clear up nasal and chest congestion.
by Nele Liivlaid (Nutriplanet)
This post is also available in: Estonian