A cough may not be a serious health scare, but it can be quite debilitating all the same. Constant coughing can result in chest pain. While some coughs may be a sign of an underlying problem, most coughs are a result of common cold and flu. They can be easily taken care of on your own without having to see a doctor and they will go in a week or two.
Here are the most effective ways to cure a cough.
- Drink lots of water and hot drinks
A cough is often caused by a postnasal drip, where extra secretions make their way down your throat. This is common for flu and cold. This drip irritates your throat, resulting in the need to cough. Drinking lots of water and hot drinks like tea can help to dilute the mucus dripping down your throat, easing congestion as a result. It will also moisten your mucous membranes.
- Honey soothes your throat
Numerous studies have found that honey can be more effective in curing coughs than over-the-counter medicines. It is extremely soothing and has high viscosity, which is helpful in treating irritated throats. Plus, an enzyme from bees gives honey antibacterial properties too. For best results, take a spoonful of honey 1-3 times daily until your cough is gone. But make sure never to give this treatment to children below 2 years of age, as they have a risk of developing botulism.
- Gargle warm, salt water
A common remedy for sore throats, gargling warm, salt water does wonders for coughs too. As the salt concentration is higher outside the cells of the mucous membranes, the water from the cells flows out through osmosis and balances out everything. The water would leave the cells, resulting in a decrease in the swelling. When your cough results in inflammation, this remedy can especially be very effective.
- Inhale steam or have hot showers
Whenever you have a cold, congestion or a cough, inhaling steam can loosen phlegm and mucus you may have. You can even add essential oils like eucalyptus and tea tree oil into the water for extra healing benefits. Have hot, steaming water in a bowl, mix it with the oils and lean over it. Cover your head with a towel to trap the steam and inhale deeply. Do this for about 5 to 10 minutes every day twice or thrice until your cough is completely gone. Having hot, steamy showers is also effective as it can help to loosen secretions from the nose.