Contrary to popular belief, having a cough is a good thing. It is your body’s phenomenon of cleaning the airway in response to irritants.
However, it can keep you agitated and awake all night, making your life miserable. Apart from the irritating symptoms, it takes forever to go away.
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By now, we are all aware of the symptoms of #COVID19, which includes cough – specifically a dry cough. But since many factors can contribute to a cough, what exactly is a 'dry cough'? In general, a dry cough means you're coughing, but nothing is coming up (ie, phlegm or mucus). The dry cough patients with coronavirus often experience is a deep, low cough from the bottom of the lungs. (Source: @prevention)
Nevertheless, if you are struggling with a cough, you must know that most of it go out on its own without treatment, although several home remedies can help ease the symptoms.
What is a dry cough?
Is dry cough dangerous? Cough is a means of clearing away irritants from your airway. The airway nerves become stimulated due to medical conditions, allergens, and medications, which can result in forceful expulsions of the lungs.
A dry cough is also known as an unproductive cough, in contrast to wet cough, dry coughs cannot remove the mucus and irritants from the nasal passage and lungs. It can linger for weeks after you have suffered from flu or cold.
It can be tremendously uncomfortable and can happen in both children and adults. Although there are various clinical treatments, home remedies are just as beneficial.
Dry cough home remedy
How do I get rid of dry coughing? Some natural remedies can heal dry cough; however, be sure that these products can cause allergic reactions in a few people. Hence, be aware of what you can and cannot take, according to your body’s response to certain home remedies.
In addition to that, if the cough persists, seek medical advice.
Water is the best antitussive available, so it is necessary to stay hydrated when you are suffering from a cough. Drinking a sufficient amount of room temperature liquids can relieve cough. Although, people who have additional flu symptoms would benefit more from warm beverages. It alleviates more symptoms, like chills and fatigue as well.
The relief is mostly immediate and stayed throughout the time we sip the beverage on. Comforting hot beverages include black coffee, herbal tea, soup, and broth.
Humanity uses honey to ease the symptoms of a sore throat for centuries. According to some studies, they say that honey is more effective than any other over-the-counter medicines that contain dextromethorphan, a suppressant of cough.
We can easily use this remedy at home by mixing two teaspoons of honey with your favorite herbal tea, warm water, and a few drops of lemon juice—honey aids in soothing the throat, while the lemon helps with the congestion.
However, if you are not a fan of the drink, you can simply eat a spoon of honey or spread it on your toast for breakfast.
Probiotics are healthy micro-organisms, which can provide tremendous health benefits. Although they don’t relieve cough, they help in the maintenance of the gastrointestinal flora. Gastrointestinal flora is the bacteria in the intestine of every human body, which balances and supports the immune system’s function.
Research-based evidence suggests that Lactobacilli, bacteria found in dairy, reduces the sensitivity against certain allergens like pollen.
A great source of Lactobacillus is fortified milk. However, since dairy products can make the phlegm thicker and many are lactose intolerant, you can also buy supplements containing probiotics. They are easily available in most food and drug stores. Every supplement manufacturer has a different daily intake recommendation. Moreover, yogurt, sourdough bread, and miso soup also consist of probiotics.
- Ginger heals dry and asthmatic cough.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties.
- It may also relieve pain and nausea.
Studies suggest that ginger consists of anti-inflammatory components, which relax the airway membranes, eventually reducing coughing. However, the scientists researched the effects of ginger on human cells and animals; hence more research is needed.
Add twenty to forty grams of ginger to hot water and steep it for a few minutes. Further, add honey and lemon juice to improve the taste and for a soothing effect.
Although you have to be careful with this remedy, ginger tea can cause heartburn and an upset stomach in some people.
Have you ever heard of pineapple being used to treat a cough? If you haven’t, you probably don’t know what bromelain is. Evidence suggests that bromelain, an enzyme found in the stem and fruit of pineapple, can loosen the mucus and suppress the cough. When you’re suffering from cough, eat a slice of pineapple or drink two to three glasses of freshly blended pineapple juice for most benefits.
Claims also prove that it relieves the symptoms of sinusitis, cough, and mucus accumulating allergic problems. There isn’t much evidence on this, though, so do not rely on it entirely. Moreover, it may treat swelling and inflammation, as well.
We must keep Bromelain supplements should out of the reach of children and adults who are on blood thinners. Those who are taking antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, should also avoid it because it can increase antibiotic absorption. Hence, consult your doctor before taking any such supplements.
Peppermint leaves are known for their healing properties. Its main ingredient is menthol, which heals the sore throat. It breaks down the mucus and acts as a decongestant. You can either drink peppermint tea or inhale peppermint vapors through a steam bath. It is effortless to make the steam bath. Just add three to four drops of peppermint oil for every 150ml of hot water. Wrap a towel around your head and take deep breaths straight above the water.
Marshmallow comes from a perennial, Althaea officinalis, which blooms during the summers. The roots and leaves of this herb have been used as medicaments to treat sore throats and cough for several years. There are several studies available that support this claim.
Mucilage, a component of the marshmallow herb, covers the throat and soothes irritation. Moreover, marshmallow roots are easily available in the form of capsules and tea, which can be very soothing. However, be aware that this particular remedy is not good for children.
Salt Water Gargle
This remedy is simple, but one of the most effective for treating sore throat. Saltwater decreases the production of mucus and phlegm behind the throat, which reduces the need to cough.
Take one cup of warm water and add half a teaspoon of salt while stirring until it completely dissolves. Gargle with the mixture and let it sit in your throat for a few seconds before spitting it out. Do this several times in a day till you see improvement. Furthermore, avoid giving this to kids because they may swallow the water, and too much salt can injure their health.
Thyme has many uses, both culinary and medicinal. People commonly use it to treat cough, sore throat, bronchitis- inflammation of the bronchus, and digestive ailments. A study proved that cough syrups, which comprised of thyme and ivy leaves, eased cough symptoms more rapidly and effectively. Scientists did this experiment in comparison with placebo syrups in people who had acute bronchitis. The antioxidants present in the plant may be responsible for it.
To treat cough using thyme, search for cough syrups that have this ingredient. Other than that, you can make a thyme tea by using dry thyme in hot water. Boil the thyme leaves in water for ten minutes, then strain and drink.
It is a tradition among the native Americans to use slippery elm bark to cure cough and issues with the digestive tract. It is similar to marshmallow roots because it contains high levels of mucilage that help in soothing cough and sore throat.
You can make a slipper elm tree by adding a spoon of it to hot water. Steep it in hot water or boil with the water for ten minutes before drinking. Nonetheless, it is necessary to be aware that slippery elm can hinder the absorption of medications. Furthermore, it is easily available in the form of powder at health stores and online.
Capsaicin is found in chili peppers and has been a trusted source in treating chronic cough. While we can take it in the form of a capsule, you can also use it to make tea from cayenne pepper hot sauce and warm water.
Add a few drops of the hot sauce to water, depending on your threshold and how much you can handle it.
In addition to that, you can also purchase the chili peppers and steep them in the water though this treatment is not good for children.
Where can we purchase these products?
Most of these home remedies involve using products that already exist in your kitchen. Nevertheless, we can purchase the rest of them can from your nearby grocery and health stores. You can also order them online.
Dietary changes for acid reflux
Acid reflux is a widespread reason for the cough. Hence, if someone is suffering from GERD, they should avoid eating foods that can cause acidity.
We can easily manage the condition by taking precautions. Each person may have different triggers, which should avoid.
However, those who are unaware of what is the cause of acid reflux can start with avoiding common triggering foods.
The common foods and beverages include alcohol, carbonated drinks, spicy food, chocolates, fried foods, tomatoes, and fried food.
How to prevent a cold?
Before learning how to treat cough, you should know how to prevent yourself from getting sick, because precaution is better. It isn’t always avoidable to get a cough, but if you abide by the following tips, you can. One of which is to get the annual flu shot every year, before winters begin, around October.
Stay away from those who are sick.
Maintain a safe distance from people who have the flu or cold, to avoid catching the virus from them. Moreover, to prevent others from getting sick, take a day off, and avoid going to work.
Wash your hands
Use a disinfecting soap and warm water to get rid of the viruses and bacteria that may be on your skin. Teach kids how they should wash their hands properly. In addition to that, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you are out of the house.
When everybody in the family is sick, clean the bathroom and the kitchen using a disinfectant. Wash the towels, bedsheets, and soft toys with hot water.
Keep yourself hydrated
Avoid dehydration by drinking enough fluids.
Stress drastically affects the immune system and increases the risk of getting ill. To reduce stress, exercise regularly, do breathing exercises, meditate, and try muscle relaxation techniques that are progressive.
A sufficient eight hours of sleep every night is necessary to stay healthy.
Immune Boosting Supplements
Consider taking vitamin C, zinc, and probiotics during the flu season to keep illness aside.
The symptoms of allergy can be similar to that of cold sometimes. Avoid being in contact with allergy flaring agents to reduce the flare-ups. The common allergens include trees, pollen, animal fur, dust mites, ad insects. Allergy shots can help prevent and reduce the sensitivity to allergens. Consult your doctor to find out more.
When should you call your doctor?
Is dry cough dangerous? If you feel that your cough is affecting your ability to breathe or see blood in your cough, seek medical help immediately. Infections of the respiratory tract involve body aches, fever, and allergies.
Visit your primary healthcare physician if the following symptoms occur:
- Rigors and chills
- Weakness and Malaise
- Cough with green, or yellow phlegm
- Fever higher than 101 F
Dry cough can last for a few months in various cases. However, numerous home remedies can be highly effective and can help in alleviating the symptoms.
Although, visit your doctor as soon as possible if your cough gets worse and does not go away within seven days.
If you want more information about how to be healthy, visit our health section.