Edited and published by Wellness Monster Louise
Coughing and a sore throat can be very irritating. Here are natural remedies for them.
Honey tea. Honey may help with coughs. A study on cures for children coughing at night looked at dark honey versus the cough medicine dextromethorphan. Scientists said the honey worked best for coughing before the dextromethorphan. Mix two teaspoons of honey with warm water or an herbal tea. Drink this once or twice a day. Children under a year old should not drink this.
There’s also honey and black pepper tea. Pepper increases circulation and mucus flow. Put one teaspoon of pepper and two tablespoons of honey into a cup and fill with boiling water. Steep for fifteen minutes, strain, and drink. Hot milk with honey is also good. Drink it before sleeping.
Ginger. Ginger may help a dry cough because it has anti-inflammatory components. A study indicated that the anti-inflammatory properties in ginger may loosen membranes in the airways which can lessen coughing. Make ginger tea by putting twenty to forty grams of ginger slices into a cup of hot water. Steep a few minutes before drinking. Put in honey or lemon juice to help the taste and further help a cough. Beware, ginger tea may cause stomach upset or heartburn.
Ginger is an expectorant herb. Other herbs like this are elecampane, bee balm, hyssop, osha root, horehound, and usnea.
Herbs can be found in commercial tea blends which are in health food stores.
Spicy foods may get rid of mucus. So add cayenne to food.
Lemon juice can help get rid of phlegm. Steep several lemon slices in boiling water and drink it as a tea. Or suck a lemon slice with salt and pepper on it.
Flaxseeds. Boiling flaxseeds in water makes a thick gel that helps throat and bronchial tract problems. Add honey and lemon as they are antibiotics. Boil two to three tablespoons of flaxseed in a cup of water until the water thickens. Strain, then put in three tablespoons each of honey and lemon juice. Take a tablespoon for coughing.
Fluids. Drinking liquids is important while sick. Drinking liquids at room temperature may help a cough. Warming up a drink may be useful. Good hot liquids are clear broths, herbal teas, warm water, warm fruit juices, and decaffeinated black tea.
Steam. A cough that has mucus or phlegm may be helped with steam. Take a hot shower or bath and let steam fill the bathroom. Take in the steam for several minutes until symptoms get better. Then drink a cup of water to cool off and avoid dehydration. Or prepare a steam bowl by filling a big bowl with hot water. Put in herbs or essential oils like rosemary or eucalyptus which can help decongestion. Put your head over the bowl with a towel over your head. This traps the steam. Take in the vapors for five minutes. Don’t let the steam get too hot on the skin. A cool-mist humidifier or a steam vaporizer may help. For those with asthma, steam may make coughing worse.
Marshmallow root. Marshmallow root is a herb that has been used as a cough cure for a long time. Because the root has mucilage, It can soothe irritation that comes from coughing. Mucilage is thick and coats the throat. A study found that an herbal cough medicine that had marshmallow root as one of the ingredients helped coughs. After almost two weeks of the medicine, ninety percent of patients called its helpfulness good or very good. This can be a dried herb or a bagged tea. Add hot water and consume or let it cool first. More mucilage will be in the beverage if the marshmallow root steeps longer. Avoid stomach upset by consuming more liquids. This can be bought in health stores or online. This is not for children.
Slippery Elm. Native Americans used slippery elm bark for coughing. Like marshmallow root, it has mucilage. For slippery elm tea, add one tablespoon of the herb to hot water. Steep for ten minutes before drinking. Slippery elm can interact with medications. It is in powder and capsule form at health stores and online.
Marshmallow root and slippery elm are demulcents, herbs that increase moisture in soft tissues. Other herbs like this are linden flower, licorice root, and violet.
Licorice. Licorice aids in soothing sore throats and decreasing coughing. Steep one ounce of real candy licorice for twenty-four hours within a quart of boiling water. Drink as needed.
Salt-water gargle. This is one of the best ways to alleviate a wet cough. Salt water lessens phlegm which can decrease coughing.
Stir half a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water until it dissipates. Let it cool a bit before gargling. Allow the mixture to stay at the back of the throat several moments before spitting it out. Gargle with salt water a few times a day until the cough gets better. Don’t give this to small children as they may not be able to gargle correctly, and they shouldn’t swallow salt water.
Bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that is in the cores of pineapples. It has anti-inflammatory and mucolytic components which may dissolve mucus. Eat a slice of pineapple or drink 3.5 ounces of pineapple juice three times daily. Pineapple juice may help, but there may not be enough bromelain in the juice to stop coughing. Bromelain supplements might work but consult a doctor first. A person may be allergic to bromelain, and it may have side effects and interfere with certain drugs such as blood thinners or antibiotics.
Thyme. Thyme helps a cough and a sore throat. According to a study, a cough syrup with thyme and ivy leaves was better for people with bronchitis than a placebo syrup. Antioxidants in thyme is what helps the cough. This lessens inflammation and relaxes the throat muscles. Try to find a cough medicine that has thyme. Or brew thyme tea by adding two tablespoons of dried thyme to hot water. Steep for ten minutes before straining and drinking.
Thyme is an anti-spasmodic herb. Other anti-spasmodic herbs are California poppy, valerian root, mullein, and red clover.
Acid reflux may cause coughing. Food and drinks that may cause acid reflux are alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, citrus foods, fried and fatty foods, garlic and onion, mint, spices and spicy food, and tomatoes and tomato-related food.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC). NAC is a supplement that derives from the amino acid L-cysteine. Taking it daily may decrease a wet cough by lessening mucus in the airways. Studies indicated NAC can help people with severe bronchitis. Scientists recommended six hundred milligrams of NAC daily. Consult a doctor first. NAC can cause swelling, fever, hives, and breathing trouble.
Probiotics. Probiotics are not a cough cure, but they can help boost the immune system which can fight off allergens and infections that cause coughs. A bacteria called Lactobacillus, a kind of probiotic, can be found in supplements at health and drug stores. Foods such as fortified milk, sourdough breads, kimchi, sauerkraut, natural yogurt, and miso soup contain probiotics. Other foods are coconut kefir, apple cider vinegar, and kombucha.
Peppermint. Menthol in peppermint soothes the throat and is a decongestant which breaks up mucus. Drink peppermint tea or breathe in peppermint vapors from a steam bath. Make a steam bath by putting three or four drops of peppermint oil into every one hundred and fifty milliliters of hot water. Put a towel over the head and breathe above the water.
Elderberry syrup helps the immune system.
Whiskey. Most cough syrups have alcohol. Add it to tea.
Essential oils. Essential oils high in ketones and cineol help break up congestion. These include eucalyptus radiata, rosemary, camphor, thuja, and coriander.
Anti-spasmodic essential oils are basil, tarragon, dill, fennel, and anise. Put a couple of drops of essential oils in a personal nasal inhaler, a diffuser, or add a drop to a half ounce of carrier oil and use it as massage oil for the chest and back.
Bone broth. Sipping bone broth can lessen mucus.
Raw garlic. A compound in garlic called allicin can kill the microorganisms that cause respiratory infections that can lead to coughing.
Onion. Cut onions and inhale the vapors. Also, mixing baked onion juice with comfrey tea and honey makes a cough syrup to be taken daily.
Vitamin C helps coughs because it reinforces the immune system and supports white blood cells. Take a thousand milligrams three to four times a day if symptoms appear.
Zinc lozenges. A study said zinc has an antiviral effect and sabotages the process that creates mucus. Zinc lozenges that have thirteen milligrams of elemental zinc can be used every two hours when symptoms start. There are also menthol cough drops.
Massage and percussion. Massage has been proven to help children who cough with asthma. It helps pulmonary activity and opens the airways. Percussion is clapping the chest wall over the area of the lung that needs to expel mucus. Cup the hand so that it curves to the chest wall and clap with a strong, consistent beat. The vibration of the clap loosens the mucus so it can be expelled more easily. When done right, it should make a hollow noise and shouldn’t be painful. Percussion can also be done on the back.
Turmeric. Put a spoonful each of turmeric powder and black pepper in boiling water. Add cinnamon and honey. Drink daily until symptoms disappear. Another way to use turmeric is to put turmeric powder and carom seeds into herbal tea. Add honey and drink two to three times a day. Also, roast turmeric root, grind it into powder, and put it in water with honey. Drink two times a day.
Turmeric in goat’s milk is good. So is the powder in butter or coconut oil.
Carrot juice. Carrot juice can help coughing and sore throats because it has vitamins C and A.
Grapes. Grapes help the lungs because they have expectorant components, clear the lung’s air passages, and expel mucus. Eat grapes or drink grape juice.
Almonds. Almonds have nutrients that help with coughing. Soak almonds in water for ten hours and make a smooth paste. Add butter and eat three times a day.
Aloe vera gel. It helps with coughs due to allergies and decreases pain in the throat. Cut sections of the aloe vera leaf and take out the clear gel. You can just drink that or add water and honey.
Chicken soup. Chicken soup may help upper respiratory tract infections.
Chocolate. An ingredient in chocolate, theobromine, may lessen vagus nerve activity that causes coughing.
Cough syrup with pine may help.
Vapor rub. Vapor rub balms has herbal oils and fragrances that can help congestion. Massage vapor oil on the chest over the upper respiratory area that has mucus. Also, put it on the neck, back, and on the nose. Don’t put in the nostrils or around the eyes. There may be a slight burning sensation, but the vapor rub should help.
Popsicle. Suck on a sugar-free popsicle to relieve a dry cough.
Homemade chest rub. Make a homemade chest rub by taking two level tablespoons of beeswax in a boiler and blend it with a half-cup of olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil. Allow the beeswax to melt and put in four to five drops each of eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and clove or cinnamon oil, and stir. Once the oils and wax are mixed right, take the mix off heat and allow it to cool. Put it in a container and keep in a cool place. Rub this over the throat, chest, and back for relief.
Aniseed. Aniseed helps to get rid of mucus. Put one tablespoon of crushed aniseed in a half-cup of boiling water and allow it to steep for an half-hour. Strain the liquid and simmer it for fifteen minutes or until it goes down to one cup. Put in two cups of honey and let it cool. Put it in a jar and refrigerate it. Drink a half a teaspoon of the mix.
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