Although a cough is generally beneficial, as it rids the body of unwanted infections and irritants, it is not always fun. This is especially true when it is persistent, or it keeps you up at night. Fortunately, there are ways to calm a cough without using over the counter medication that contains unwanted ingredients and has side effects. There are various common methods used to naturally clear up a cough.
Before deciding which method to use, it helps to understand what different types of coughs mean. Common types include wet and dry coughs. A wet cough produces mucus, while a dry cough does not. Both can be present in conjunction with a wide variety of illnesses, although a dry cough is also present around smoke or other irritants.
1. Warm Liquids & Tea
One great cough control method is to drink lots of fluids, especially warm ones. Not only do liquids keep you hydrated, which is essential, but warm ones help alleviate other symptoms such as runny nose, chills, and fatigue. Drink clear liquids such as regular water, broth, or tea.
Tea is a good way to also deliver other helpful ingredients to the body. For example, you can add honey to tea to help calm nighttime coughs. Ginger tea helps with asthmatic and dry coughs, and it also helps ease nausea. Other things you can add to tea to naturally calm a cough include thyme, marshmallow root, and slippery elm.
Steam helps relieve both dry and wet coughs. For a dry cough, this moisture helps coat the back of the throat to ease the tickle that often accompanies the cough. For a wet cough, steam helps to loosen thick mucus, which helps expel it from the body. This can help ease the cough quicker.
You can take a hot bath or shower and let the steam accumulate in the bathroom. Hang out for as long as you can, but for at least five minutes or until symptoms start to dissipate. You can also fill a bowl with steaming hot water, add decongestant essential oils like rosemary or eucalyptus, and place a towel over your head while you lean over the water.
Having a vaporizer or humidifier in the house is also beneficial, especially in dry climates.
3. Homeopathic remedies
Although natural remedies such as liquids and steam help calm a cough, you may want to try medication if the cough continues. Instead of going to the pharmacy, consider a wet cough homeopathic remedy, which also works for dry coughs.
Homeopathic remedies contain natural ingredients that work with your body to increase its immune efficiency and rid the body of the infection quicker. They do this while also alleviating symptoms such as cough, congestion, and sore throat. There are also no harmful side effects like there are with other meds. There are numerous homeopathic options that contain a wide variety of ingredients to help out with specific needs such as a nighttime cough, a cough in children, an emphysema cough, and spasmodic cough.