Best Natural Cough Remedies?
Generally speaking, coughing is perfectly normal. A cough can help to keep your throat clear from phlegm and other irritants. However, sustained coughing can also be symptomatic of some conditions.
Irritants are substances in the air that irritate your throat or nasal passages and can cause coughing. A cough is your body’s way of rejecting that irritant. Sometimes the irritant comes in the form of an allergen, such as pollen or pet dander. This causes your body’s immune system to create chemicals called histamines that react to the allergen. If you have a cough that arises immediately in a certain environment or season, you may have an allergy.
Best Natural Cough Remedies
Another cause of a cough is a viral or bacterial infection. These symptoms may be accompanied by:
- nasal congestion
- stomach upset
- runny nose
These symptoms tend to be shorter in duration, lasting only one or two weeks. When you have allergies, they’ll typically persist throughout an allergy season or occur whenever you’re around the substance you’re allergic to.
Sometimes a cough isn’t due to anything related to your lungs. Gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD) can also cause a cough.
When to call your doctor?
Respiratory tract infections involve body aches and fever, whereas allergies do not. Seek emergency medical treatment if your cough is affecting your ability to breathe or if you’re coughing up blood.
See your primary care physician if you experience the following symptoms in addition to your cough:
- fever higher than 101˚F (38˚C)
- malaise, or a general feeling of being unwell
- productive cough that has foul-smelling, thick, green- or yellow-tinted phlegm
You can treat coughs due to colds, allergies, and sinus infections with some over-the-counter medicines. Bacterial infections will require antibiotics. However, for those who prefer to avoid chemicals, we’ve listed a few home remedies that can help.
Honey is a time-honored remedy for a sore throat. According to one study, it can also relieve coughs more effectively than over-the-counter medicines that contain dextromethorphan (DM), a cough suppressant.
You can create your own remedy at home by mixing up to two teaspoons of honey with herbal tea or warm water and lemon. The honey does the soothing, while the lemon juice can help with congestion. You can also simply eat the honey by the spoonful or spread it on bread for a snack.
How to prevent coughing
In addition to learning how to treat a cough, you might want to learn how to prevent it in the first place. To prevent against flu, make sure you get your annual flu shot, usually starting in October. Other steps you can take include:
- Avoid coming in contact with others who are sick. If you know you are sick, avoid going to work or school so you will not infect others.
- Cover your nose and mouth whenever your cough or sneeze.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Frequently clean common areas of your home, work, or school. This is especially true for countertops, toys, or mobile phones.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after coughing, eating, going to the bathroom, or caring for someone who is sick.
With allergies, you can reduce flare-ups by identifying the allergens that affect you and avoiding exposure to them. Common allergens include trees, pollen, dust mites, animal fur, mold, and insects. Allergy shots are helpful as well and can reduce your sensitivity to allergens. Talk to your doctor about what plan is right for you.
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