Coughing is one of the most common health problems. When cold and flu season hits, it’s nice to have an assortment of home remedies for coughs on hand to sooth sore throats. Moisture content differentiates coughs. Some are dry, accompanied by a ticklish or sore throat. Others are accompanied by a thick phlegm and are called wet coughs. If you have a wet cough, you don’t want to suppress it; that’s because it’s the body’s way of clearing out mucus. If you have a dry cough, the trick is to coat the throat and tame the tickle. Determine what kind of cough you have and search out cures specific to that type.
Home remedies for wet cough
1. For productive coughs, suck on horehound candy, available in drugstores. A bittersweet herb, horehound acts as an expectorant, triggering the coughing reflex and helping bring up phlegm.
2. Blend 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of honey and add a pinch of cayenne pepper. The honey coats your throat, soothing irritated tissues, while the lemon reduces inflammation and delivers a dose of infection-fighting vitamin C. The cayenne boosts circulation in the area, hastening the healing process. Instead of cayenne, add a little freshly-grated onion. Onions contain irritating compounds that trigger the cough reflex and bring up phlegm.
3. Brew black pepper tea for a wet cough. This natural remedy is rooted in two very different traditions: New England folk medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. The rationale behind it is that black pepper stimulates circulation and mucus flow; honey is a natural cough reliever and mild antibiotic. To make the tea, place 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and 2 tablespoons of honey in a cup. Fill with boiling water and let steep, covered, for 15 minutes. Strain and sip as needed.
4. Gargles. As soon as you feel soreness in your throat, make it a point to gargle with salt dissolved in warm water. The salt in the water can help drain excess fluid from inflamed areas in the throat reducing the symptoms, the gargling also removes irritants in the throat and thins the mucus.
Home remedies for dry cough
1. 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.
2. Steam. Few things are more comforting than a warm, steamy shower for loosening congestion and opening air ways. This is likely to provide only temporary relief, but it sure feels good. Keeping a humidifier running to moisten air will also help a dry cough/itchy throat.
3. Onion. One of the simplest home remedies for a cough is to cut onions. Breathing in the strong vapors can help stop coughing. You can also make a cough syrup from baked onion juice, comfrey tea and honey. Drink it daily to get relief from a dry cough. Another option is to combine one-half teaspoon of onion juice with one teaspoon of pure honey. Swallow this solution at least twice a day to alleviate a cough and soothe your throat.
4. Slippery elm lozenges. Made from the bark of the slippery elm tree, these were once medicine-chest staples. Slippery elm is loaded with a gel-like substance that coats the throat and keeps coughing to a minimum. No slippery elm lozenges? For a dry cough, any hard candy will do because it increases saliva and causes you to swallow more, suppressing coughs.
5. Cloves and honey. For a throat-soothing syrup, mix 5 or 6 cloves with 1 cup honey and leave the mixture in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, remove the cloves and take 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon of the honey as needed. Cloves dull the pain of a sore throat, while honey soothes inflamed throat issues.
Using home remedies can help provide relief from cough. However, it is equally important to remember that if you find the cough persisting for an extended period of time, it is best to see a doctor to identify if there is any underlying serious problem that is causing the cough.