Cough is a reflex mechanism to throw out any irritant from the trachea or bronchial tubes (wind pipe). It can occur from simple conditions like cold and flu and more serious conditions like chronic bronchitis, cough variant asthma and whooping cough.
A cough occurs when there is inflammation or irritation in the lungs, throat, larynx, or bronchial tubes.
Symptoms of cough and bronchitis
There are two main types of cough: congested and dry.
A congested cough typically occurs when you have a cold, and is often accompanied by a stuffy nose or sore throat.
A dry cough, on the other hand, will have a raspier feel to it without any phlegm.
Coughs must not be suppressed immediately and should be allowed to run its normal course. In fact the coughing action is good for the lungs in that exact situation. The phlegm should be expelled out. The reason for cough should be dealt with, instead.
Causes of a Cough/Bronchitis
Congested cough often occurs due to a cold, flu, or sinus/bronchial infection and is often called bronchitis. Usually, human immune system fights off the infection in a span of a week. Additionally, most of the home cures listed below can help boost your immune system to shorten the duration of infection or bronchitis. A couple of these home remedies actually do help to thin the mucus so that it is easier to cough up.
A dry cough often occurs due to smoking, asthma, dust, or pollution. Temporary dry cough can result while traveling in polluted areas without sufficient fluid intake. Rapid temperature changes can also lead to a dry cough. In this case, the first and best action to be taken is to moisturize your throat by drinking warm fluids.
Home Remedies for Cough
Implementing some of the below mentioned remedial actions at home can help fast cure of cough.
- Boil 100 gm of ginger powder in 1 liter of sweet wine. Take three table spoons daily for fast and effective relief from cough.
- Take a mixture of 1 tablespoon of honey with few drops of brandy.
- Drinking lots and lots of fluids is the key. Fluids make the mucus easier to cough up. Warm liquids or water at room temperature work best. Cough syrups mainly act as a cough suppressant the similar way.
- Add one to two teaspoons of oregano in water for ten minutes and drink.
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol.
- Taking 5 to 10 drops of certain essential oils e.g. Thyme Essential Oil and Peppermint Oil with hot water effectively helps stimulate your lungs to expel phlegm.
- Boil few garlic cloves in two cups of water. Drink the warm water. This is a proven effective home remedy for curing cough.
- Garlic and Honey can be used together to relieve cough. Take 3 or 4 cloves of garlic chopped into pieces; Add 2 teaspoons of honey and let the mixture sit overnight. Take one teaspoon of this honey and garlic mixture twice daily.
- Mix uncooked egg yolk with a table spoon of sugar; add hot milk and drink.
- Mix half a cup of boiling milk and half a cup of cold baking soda (sodium bi-carbonate). Drink sip by sip. It is a good home remedy for cough. Repeat every alternate day for chronic cough.
- Add to Diet: Pears, fresh and dried apricots, grape fruit juice mixed with a teaspoon of honey. Also take vitamin-A enriched food.
- Mix equivalent quantity of honey and lemon grass juice and drink.
- Smear olive oil on the chest to give soothing effect.
- Drink a lot of herbal tea, preferable with cinnamon for immediate relief.
- Soak almonds in water over night. Grind and eat it with butter. Take 1 to 2 tablespoons several times a day.
- Squeeze holy basil (Indian: Tulsi) leaves add equal amount of honey, stir and drink.
- Honey (already mentioned many times above) has been found to be very beneficial in soothing the lining of your throat, especially in case of dry coughs.
- Grind a big onion; mix with a bottle of honey and keep air-tight. Drink one tablespoon from the juice, twice a day to help the cough.
- Saturate slices of oranges in wine; keep overnight. Cook them soft the next morning and eat several times a day. This helps reduce phlegm.
- A vaporizer or humidifier helps to thin the mucus that leads to coughing. Use a vaporizer at night while you go to sleep.
- Aromatherapy to Treat Bronchitis: Inhaling steam helps moisten your throat and loosen the mucus is to inhale steam. Most effective way to do this is to take a steam-bath, if available.
After following couple of the above remedies at home, if cough persists for more than a week, or if blood happens to appear in cough, you should see your doctor immediately and probably would need further medication.