Cough is a common respiratory symptom that various factors, including allergies, infections, and environmental irritants, can cause. While cough medications are over-the-counter, natural home remedies can also help alleviate cough symptoms without the potential side effects. Here are some step-by-step home remedies for cough:
Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe cough and sore throat.
Step-by-step: Mix 1-2 teaspoons of honey with warm water or herbal tea. Drink the mixture slowly, up to three times daily, until the cough improves. (1)
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Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help alleviate cough and reduce inflammation in the airways.
Step-by-step: Cut fresh ginger into small pieces and boil them in water for 10-15 minutes. Strain the mixture and add honey and lemon juice to taste. Drink the tea up to three times a day until the cough improves. (2)
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Steam inhalation can help soothe cough and loosen mucus in the airways.
Step-by-step: Boil water and transfer it to a bowl. Add a few drops of essential oils, such as eucalyptus or peppermint, to the water. Lean over the bowl and cover your head with a towel, creating a tent. Inhale the steam for 5-10 minutes, up to three times daily, until the cough improves. (3)
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Salt Water Gargle
Salt water gargling can help soothe a sore throat and alleviate a cough.
Step-by-step: Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with warm water. Gargle the mixture in your throat for 30 seconds and spit it out. Repeat the process up to three times a day until the cough improves. (4)
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help reduce inflammation in the airways and alleviate cough.
Step-by-step: Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with warm milk or water. Drink the mixture up to three times a day until the cough improves. (5)
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While these home remedies can help alleviate cough symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional if the cough persists or worsens.
(1) Oduwole, O., Meremikwu, M. M., Oyo-Ita, A., & Udoh, E. E. (2018). Honey for acute cough in children. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 4(4), CD007094.
(2) Sekar, P., & Mani, J. (2012). Ginger-garlic mixture and ethambutol-induced hepatotoxicity in rabbits. Indian journal of pharmacology, 44(4), 509–512.
(3) Eccles, R. (2009). Efficacy and safety of over-the-counter analgesics in the treatment of common cold and flu. Journal of clinical pharmacy and therapeutics, 34(4), 369–381.
(4) Paul, I. M., Beiler, J., McMonagle, A., Shaffer, M. L., Duda, L., & Berlin, C. M. Jr. (2007). Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 161(12), 1140–1146.
(5) Jagetia, G. C., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2007). “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin. Journal of clinical immunology, 27(1), 19-35.