Depending on what is causing it, cough naturally occurs to clear the lungs and the windpipe. However, in persistent infections and flu, there is inflammation of the cells of the upper airways that causes chronic cough. Along with the treatment regimen prescribed by a specialist like Best Pulmonologist in Lahore, there are some natural remedies that help to calm chronic cough. Read on to know more about these:
1. Use Honey
Honey is a natural antibiotic that kills the germs associated with mucus production and flu. It also loosens the mucus in the throat and decreases productive cough. A tablespoon or two of honey, taken with water is ideal to get rid of chronic cough. This mixture of honey and water should be taken twice a day for relief.
Studies show that in comparison to cough suppressant dextromethorphan, honey worked better in children, particularly for nighttime cough.
Honey has no side-effects and is suitable for all age groups. However, it should be given cautiously to children younger than one year of age as there is risk of botulism.
2. Try a Humidifier
Cough is triggered by dry, warm air, particularly in the winters due to indoor heating. Heaters also cause release of built-up pollutants that can irritate the airways and trigger allergies.
In such cases, a humidifier can help. A humidifier produces cool mist to keep the air moist and prevent drying of the airways. You will notice that your throat feels better after using a humidifier.
3. Treat the Gerd
Nighttime cough is common due to acid reflux, secondary to GERD. This backflow of acid irritates the esophagus and the airways, thereby triggering cough. Some lifestyle changes to manage GERD-induced coughing include: raising the head end of the bed six to eight inches or using more pillows, avoiding lying flat for at least three hours after eating, and avoiding foods that you know will initiate your acid reflux.
4. Take a Decongestant
It is common to have cough secondary to common cold, and this worsens at night due to postnasal drip. This cough can be dealt with by taking decongestants and treating the cold. Decongestant sprays help to battle postnasal drip and the allergy inducing elements in the body that trigger cough.
5. Have a Hot Drink
Fluids, particularly hot ones, soothe the throat and ease the coughing. They are particularly helpful for those with flu or cold and alleviate sore throat, fatigue and chills. Examples of beneficial drinks include: teas, warm water, soups and clear broths.
6. Use Ginger
Ginger eases asthma-induced cough as it has anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds relax the airways and soothe the throat. It is a good idea to have ginger tea, with fresh ginger slices in hot water to calm cough. Adding honey provides even more benefit.
7. Take Probiotics
Probiotics don’t work directly, but improve the immunity by balancing the good bacteria in the body. Research shows that lactobacillus is the most beneficial for relieving cough. Probiotic rich foods include: kimchi, yogurt and sauerkraut.
Steam works to alleviate productive cough. The congestion and cough due to inflamed airways are relieved with steam, even if taken for five minutes. Herbs and essential oils can also be added to the steam bowl.
9. Salt Water Gargle
The simple remedy of salt water gargle soothes sore throat and combat both dry and wet cough. The salt reduces mucus and phlegm in the airways, and improve cough. A half=teaspoon of salt in warm water is enough to gargle with.
10. N-acetylcysteine Supplements
This supplement mitigates the severity of productive cough as it is a mucolytic. It can be prescribed by Best Pulmonologist in Karachi in addition to other cough suppressants.