If you’re looking for ways to alleviate your cough, there are several steps you can take to help it go away. First and foremost, it’s important to identify the underlying cause of your cough. If it’s a result of a common cold or respiratory infection, getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated can support your body’s natural healing process. Over-the-counter cough medicines may provide temporary relief, but it’s essential to read and follow the instructions carefully. Utilizing a humidifier or taking a hot shower can help soothe your throat and loosen mucus. Additionally, you can try gargling with warm saltwater or using throat lozenges to ease discomfort. Avoiding irritants such as smoke, dust, and strong odors is also crucial. If your cough persists for more than a couple of weeks or is accompanied by severe symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation. They can diagnose the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment, if necessary. Remember, taking care of your overall health, maintaining good hygiene practices, and being mindful of respiratory irritants can go a long way in helping your cough subside.
To make your cough go away, there are several measures you can take. First, identify the cause of your cough, such as a cold or respiratory infection. Resting and staying hydrated will aid your body’s healing process. Over-the-counter cough medicines can provide temporary relief, but follow the instructions carefully. Moistening the air with a humidifier or taking a hot shower can soothe your throat and loosen mucus. Gargling warm saltwater or using throat lozenges can also help. Avoid irritants like smoke, dust, and strong odors. If your cough persists or worsens, consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment. Overall, maintaining good hygiene, caring for your health, and being mindful of respiratory irritants will assist in alleviating your cough.
12 natural cough remedies
People use a range of natural remedies to try to treat a persistent cough.
While they may help some people, it is important to note that some of the following remedies have limited evidence to support their use.
This means a person may or may not find that the remedies work for them.
Yes, honey is often used as a natural remedy to help soothe a cough and relieve throat irritation. Here’s how you can use honey for cough relief:
Take a spoonful of honey: Consuming a spoonful of honey on its own can help coat your throat and reduce coughing. You can repeat this as needed throughout the day.
Mix honey with warm water or herbal tea: Add a tablespoon of honey to a cup of warm water or herbal tea. Sip on this mixture to help soothe your throat and suppress coughing. Lemon juice can also be added for additional benefits.
Honey and ginger: Another option is to mix honey with freshly grated ginger. Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can help alleviate home remedies for cough symptoms. Add a tablespoon of grated ginger to a tablespoon of honey, mix well, and consume the mixture.
It’s important to note that honey should not be given to children under the age of one year due to the risk of botulism. Additionally, while honey can provide temporary relief for cough symptoms, it may not address the underlying cause of the cough. If your cough persists or worsens, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and appropriate treatment.
Ginger is a natural ingredient known for its medicinal properties, including its ability to help alleviate cough symptoms. Here’s how you can use ginger for cough relief:
Ginger tea: Prepare ginger tea by slicing a small piece of fresh ginger root and steeping it in hot water for about 10 minutes. You can add honey or lemon juice for added benefits and flavor. Drink this soothing ginger tea to help reduce coughing and soothe your throat.
Ginger and honey mixture: Mix equal parts of freshly grated ginger and honey. Take about one teaspoon of the mixture as needed to help relieve cough symptoms. You can consume it directly or mix it with warm water.
Ginger inhalation: Boil a few slices of ginger in water, then remove from heat and lean over the pot. Cover your head with a towel to create a tent-like effect and inhale the steam for a few minutes. This can help alleviate congestion and ease coughing.
Ginger lozenges or candies: Look for ginger-based lozenges or candies at your local pharmacy or health store. These can provide temporary relief for throat irritation and coughing.
Remember that ginger is generally considered safe, but it may interact with certain medications or cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some individuals. If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before using ginger as a remedy.
3. Hot fluids
Hot fluids can be soothing for a cough and help relieve congestion. Here are a few options you can try:
Hot water: Sipping on hot water can help soothe your throat and relieve coughing. You can also add a squeeze of lemon or a teaspoon of honey for additional benefits.
Herbal teas: Herbal teas, such as chamomile, peppermint, or thyme tea, can be comforting and help alleviate cough symptoms. These teas may have soothing properties and can provide relief for a sore throat and cough.
Warm broths or soups: Consuming warm broths or soups can help moisturize your throat, reduce coughing, and provide nourishment. Chicken soup, in particular, is often recommended for its potential benefits in relieving cold and flu symptoms.
Warm milk with honey: Heat a cup of milk and add a teaspoon of honey. Milk can have a soothing effect on the throat, while honey can help relieve cough symptoms. This mixture may promote relaxation and comfort.
When consuming hot fluids, make sure they are at a temperature that is comfortable for you. Be cautious to avoid burning yourself. Additionally, if you have any dietary restrictions or specific health concerns, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new remedies.
Steam can help alleviate cough symptoms by moisturizing the airways, reducing irritation, and loosening mucus. Here are a few ways to use steam for cough relief:
Steam inhalation: Boil water in a pot, then remove from heat and lean over the pot. Cover your head with a towel to create a tent-like effect and inhale the steam for a few minutes. This can help alleviate congestion, soothe your throat, and ease coughing.
Hot shower or bath: Taking a hot shower or bath can help you breathe in moist air, which can relieve cough symptoms. You can also add a few drops of essential oils, such as eucalyptus or peppermint, to the bathwater to enhance the soothing effect.
Humidifier: Using a humidifier in your bedroom can help moisten the air and relieve coughing, especially if it’s caused by dryness or irritation. You can add essential oils to the humidifier for added benefits.
Facial steam: You can create a facial steam by filling a bowl with hot water, leaning over the bowl, and covering your head with a towel. Breathe in the steam for a few minutes, which can help relieve sinus congestion and soothe coughing.
Remember that steam can be hot and potentially dangerous, so use caution and ensure that it’s not too hot for you. Additionally, if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before trying any new remedies.
5. Marshmallow root
Marshmallow root is an herb that has been used for centuries to soothe coughs and sore throats. It contains mucilage, a substance that forms a protective layer in the throat and can help alleviate irritation. Here’s how you can use marshmallow root for cough relief:
Marshmallow root tea: Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried marshmallow root to a cup of hot water. Let it steep for about 10 minutes, then strain the liquid. You can drink this tea two to three times a day to help soothe your cough and throat.
Marshmallow root lozenges: Look for marshmallow root lozenges or candies at health food stores or online. These can provide temporary relief for throat irritation and coughing.
Marshmallow root syrup: You can make a homemade marshmallow root syrup by simmering 1 tablespoon of dried marshmallow root in 1 cup of water for about 30 minutes. Strain the liquid and mix it with honey or another sweetener of your choice. Take 1 to 2 teaspoons of the syrup as needed to relieve cough symptoms.
It’s important to note that marshmallow root may have a mild laxative effect, so be mindful of your dosage. Additionally, if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before using marshmallow root or any other herbal remedies.
6. Saltwater gargle
A saltwater gargle can help soothe a sore throat and provide temporary relief for coughing. The saltwater solution works by reducing inflammation and loosening mucus. Here’s how you can do a saltwater gargle:
Mix the solution: Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Ensure that the water is warm but not too hot to avoid burning your throat.
Gargle: Take a sip of the saltwater solution and tilt your head back slightly. Gargle the solution in your throat for about 30 seconds, making sure to swish it around your mouth and throat. Avoid swallowing the mixture.
Spit it out: After gargling, spit the solution into the sink. Rinse your mouth with plain water to remove any residual salt taste.
Repeat as needed: You can repeat the saltwater gargle several times a day, especially when you experience throat irritation or coughing.
Saltwater gargles are generally safe for most people, but be cautious if you have high blood pressure or other health conditions that require sodium restriction. If your symptoms worsen or persist, it’s advisable to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple that has anti-inflammatory properties. While it is primarily known for its digestive benefits, some people also use bromelain as a natural remedy for respiratory conditions, including coughs. Here’s some information about bromelain and its potential use for cough relief:
Bromelain supplements: Bromelain is available in supplement form. Follow the recommended dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer or consult a healthcare professional for guidance. It’s important to note that individual responses to supplements may vary, and it’s always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement.
Natural sources: While bromelain supplements are the most concentrated form, you can also consume fresh pineapple or drink pineapple juice, as they naturally contain bromelain. However, the bromelain content in pineapple is generally lower than that in supplement form, so the therapeutic effect may be less pronounced.
It’s important to remember that bromelain may not specifically target coughs, and the evidence for its effectiveness in treating respiratory conditions is limited. If your cough persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific condition and medical history.
Thyme is an herb with medicinal properties that has been traditionally used to treat respiratory conditions, including coughs. It contains compounds such as thymol and carvacrol, which have antimicrobial and expectorant properties. Here are a few ways you can use thyme for cough relief:
Thyme tea: Steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried thyme leaves in a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes. Strain the tea and drink it two to three times a day. Thyme tea can help soothe your throat, reduce coughing, and promote mucus clearance.
Thyme steam inhalation: Boil a handful of fresh thyme leaves or a few drops of thyme essential oil in a pot of water. Remove from heat and lean over the pot, covering your head with a towel. Inhale the steam for several minutes. The steam can help alleviate congestion and soothe cough symptoms.
Thyme-infused honey: Mix fresh thyme leaves or dried thyme with honey and let it sit for a few days to infuse. Take a teaspoon of the infused honey as needed for cough relief. The combination of thyme and honey can help soothe the throat and reduce coughing.
It’s worth noting that while thyme has been used as a natural remedy, scientific evidence for its effectiveness in treating coughs is limited. If your cough persists or worsens, it’s advisable to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.
9. Dietary changes for acid reflux
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, and coughing. Making dietary changes can help manage acid reflux symptoms. Here are some tips:
Avoid trigger foods: Certain foods can trigger or worsen acid reflux symptoms. Common triggers include fatty and fried foods, spicy foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, garlic, chocolate, mint, caffeine, and carbonated beverages. Identify your personal trigger foods and limit or avoid them.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals: Consuming smaller meals throughout the day can help reduce the pressure on the stomach and decrease the likelihood of acid reflux. Overeating can contribute to acid reflux symptoms, so try to eat slowly and in moderation.
Choose lean proteins: Opt for lean proteins like skinless poultry, fish, and beans instead of fatty meats. High-fat meats can aggravate acid reflux.
Include whole grains and fiber: Whole grains, such as oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat bread, can be part of a healthy, reflux-friendly diet. Fiber-rich foods can help regulate digestion and prevent constipation, which can contribute to acid reflux.
Eat more fruits and vegetables: Most fruits and vegetables are generally well-tolerated by individuals with acid reflux. However, some acidic fruits like citrus may trigger symptoms in some people. It’s best to observe how your body responds and make adjustments accordingly.
Avoid late-night eating: Eating close to bedtime can increase the likelihood of acid reflux. Try to finish your last meal or snack at least two to three hours before lying down.
Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain adequate hydration. However, avoid drinking large amounts of fluids during meals as it can contribute to acid reflux. Instead, sip water between meals.
Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight can put pressure on the abdomen and worsen acid reflux symptoms. If you’re overweight, losing weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help alleviate symptoms.
It’s important to note that these dietary changes may vary for each individual, and it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice tailored to your specific needs and medical history.
10. Slippery elm
Slippery elm is an herb that has been used for centuries to soothe various ailments, including coughs and gastrointestinal issues. It contains a substance called mucilage, which forms a gel-like consistency when mixed with water and can help coat and soothe the throat. Slippery elm may provide relief for cough symptoms and throat irritation. Here’s how you can use slippery elm:
Slippery elm lozenges: Look for slippery elm lozenges or throat drops at health food stores or online. These can be dissolved slowly in the mouth to help soothe the throat and reduce coughing.
Slippery elm tea: You can make slippery elm tea by adding a teaspoon of powdered slippery elm bark to a cup of hot water. Let it steep for a few minutes, then strain and drink. The tea may help coat the throat and provide relief for cough symptoms.
Slippery elm throat coat: Mix slippery elm powder with warm water to create a thick paste. Take a small amount of the paste and swallow it, allowing it to coat your throat. This can provide a soothing effect and help alleviate coughing.
It’s important to note that while slippery elm has been used traditionally for its potential benefits, scientific evidence supporting its efficacy in treating coughs is limited. If your cough persists or worsens, it’s advisable to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific condition and medical history.
11. N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a supplement that contains a form of the amino acid cysteine. It has antioxidant properties and can help thin mucus, making it easier to cough up. While NAC is commonly used for respiratory conditions, it is important to note that the evidence for its effectiveness in treating coughs is limited, and its use should be discussed with a healthcare professional. Here is some information on NAC:
Dosage: NAC is available in different forms, including tablets, capsules, and effervescent powders. The recommended dosage can vary depending on the condition and the formulation of the supplement. It’s best to follow the instructions on the product label or consult a healthcare professional for appropriate dosage guidance.
Mucus-thinning effect: NAC is believed to help break down and thin mucus in the respiratory tract, which can be beneficial for conditions characterized by excessive mucus production, such as chronic bronchitis. Thinning mucus can help reduce coughing and improve airway clearance.
Antioxidant properties: NAC is an antioxidant, meaning it helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This property may have additional benefits in reducing inflammation and supporting respiratory health.
Potential side effects: NAC is generally considered safe when taken in appropriate dosages. However, it may cause mild gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea in some individuals. Rarely, it may cause allergic reactions. If you experience any adverse effects, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.
It’s important to note that NAC supplementation should be discussed with a healthcare professional, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications, as it may interact with certain drugs. They can provide guidance on whether NAC is appropriate for your specific situation and recommend the most suitable dosage.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for our digestive system and overall health. While they are primarily known for their positive effects on gut health, they may also have some potential benefits for respiratory health and cough symptoms. Here’s some information on probiotics and their potential use:
Gut-lung connection: There is a growing body of research suggesting a connection between the gut and respiratory health. The balance of bacteria in the gut may influence immune function and inflammation, which can impact respiratory conditions, including coughs. Probiotics help promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which may have indirect benefits for respiratory health.
Immune modulation: Probiotics can support a healthy immune system. They may help modulate the immune response, potentially reducing the risk of respiratory infections and alleviating symptoms like coughing. This immune-modulating effect may be particularly beneficial for coughs caused by viral infections.
Potential strains: Some specific strains of probiotics have been studied for their potential respiratory benefits. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Lactobacillus casei are among the strains that have shown promise in improving respiratory symptoms and reducing the frequency of respiratory infections.
Food sources and supplements: Probiotics are naturally found in certain fermented foods, including yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and tempeh. Consuming these foods regularly can help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Probiotic supplements are also available, offering specific strains and higher concentrations of beneficial bacteria.
It’s important to note that while probiotics show promise for respiratory health, the evidence is still emerging, and more research is needed to determine their specific benefits for cough relief. If you’re considering probiotic supplementation, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can guide you on appropriate strains, dosages, and duration of use based on your individual needs and health status.
Tips to help prevent a cold
Preventing a cold involves taking proactive measures to reduce your exposure to cold viruses and strengthen your immune system. While it’s not possible to completely eliminate the risk of catching a cold, following these tips can help reduce your chances:
Practice good hand hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in public places, using the restroom, or touching surfaces that may be contaminated. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid close contact with sick individuals: Try to minimize close contact with people who have a cold, as the virus is commonly spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. If possible, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from individuals who are visibly ill.
Avoid touching your face: Cold viruses can enter your body through your eyes, nose, or mouth. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands to reduce the risk of transferring viruses from surfaces to your respiratory system.
Cover your mouth and nose: When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue or your elbow to cover your mouth and nose. This helps prevent the spread of droplets containing viruses. Dispose of used tissues immediately and wash your hands afterward.
How to prevent coughing
Preventing coughing entirely may not be possible, as coughing is a natural reflex that helps clear the airways. However, you can take steps to minimize the occurrence of coughing and reduce its severity. Here are some tips:
Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands regularly to reduce the risk of respiratory infections that can cause coughing. Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth and nose, to prevent the spread of germs.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Follow a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and manage stress. A strong immune system can help prevent respiratory infections that often lead to coughing.
Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to keep your throat moist and prevent irritation that can trigger coughing. Avoid excessively dry environments and consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
Avoid irritants: Minimize exposure to smoke, allergens, pollutants, and other irritants that can trigger coughing. If you have known allergies or sensitivities, take steps to avoid or reduce your exposure to the specific triggers.
Practice proper cough etiquette: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of droplets. Dispose of used tissues properly and wash your hands afterward.
Treat underlying conditions: If you have a chronic cough related to an underlying condition such as asthma, allergies, or acid reflux, work with your healthcare professional to manage and treat the condition effectively. Treating the underlying cause can help reduce coughing episodes.
Avoid overexertion: Overexertion, particularly during physical activity, can sometimes trigger coughing. If you experience exercise-induced coughing or coughing triggered by strenuous activities, consider adjusting the intensity or duration of your workouts and listen to your body’s signals.
If you experience persistent or severe coughing, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance. They can help identify the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment options.
When to see a doctor
While many coughs are mild and resolve on their own, there are certain circumstances where it is advisable to see a doctor for further evaluation and guidance. Here are some signs and situations that warrant a visit to a healthcare professional:
Persistent cough: If your cough lasts for more than two to three weeks or is not improving despite home remedies and over-the-counter treatments, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor. A persistent cough could be a sign of an underlying condition that requires medical attention.
Severe or worsening symptoms: If your cough is accompanied by severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, high fever, or coughing up blood, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention. These can be signs of a more serious respiratory condition that requires urgent evaluation and treatment.
Chronic or recurrent cough: If you have a cough that keeps coming back or if you experience frequent episodes of coughing, it’s advisable to see a doctor for a thorough evaluation. Chronic coughs can be caused by various factors, including asthma, allergies, acid reflux, or lung conditions, and they may require specific management.
Underlying health conditions: If you have pre-existing health conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, or immune system disorders, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider about any new or persistent cough symptoms. These conditions can increase the risk of complications and may require specialized care.
Cough in children: If your child has a persistent or severe cough, it’s recommended to consult a pediatrician. Children may be more vulnerable to respiratory infections and may require specific treatment approaches.
Concern for contagiousness: If you suspect that your cough may be due to a contagious condition, such as influenza or pertussis (whooping cough), it’s important to see a doctor for diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and guidance on preventing the spread of the infection to others.
Ultimately, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek medical advice if you are uncertain or concerned about your cough. A healthcare professional can provide an accurate diagnosis, rule out any serious underlying causes, and recommend the most appropriate treatment options based on your specific situation.
Coughs can be bothersome and disruptive, but there are various steps you can take to help alleviate them. Some natural remedies for cough relief include:
Honey: Consuming honey, either directly or mixed with warm water or herbal tea, can help soothe the throat and reduce coughing.
Ginger: Drinking ginger tea or consuming ginger-infused products can have anti-inflammatory and soothing effects on the throat.
Hot fluids: Staying hydrated by drinking warm fluids like water, herbal tea, or clear broths can help soothe the throat and thin mucus.
Steam: Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water or taking a hot shower can provide temporary relief from coughing by moisturizing and soothing the airways.
Marshmallow root: Marshmallow root, typically consumed as an herbal tea or in supplement form, has demulcent properties that can coat and soothe the throat, reducing coughing.
Saltwater gargle: Gargling with warm saltwater can help alleviate throat irritation and reduce coughing.
Bromelain: Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, may have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce coughing.
Thyme: Thyme, when consumed as a tea or inhaled through steam, may help alleviate cough symptoms and promote mucus clearance.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC): NAC, available as a supplement, can help thin mucus and may be beneficial for respiratory conditions associated with coughing.
Probiotics: Probiotic supplements or foods containing live beneficial bacteria can support immune health and potentially reduce the risk of respiratory infections that cause coughing.
Preventing coughs and minimizing their occurrence can be achieved by practicing good hand hygiene, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, staying hydrated, and avoiding irritants. Additionally, seeking medical attention is advisable if the cough persists for more than a few weeks, is severe or worsening, is chronic or recurrent, is accompanied by severe symptoms, or if there are concerns about underlying health conditions. A healthcare professional can provide a proper evaluation and recommend appropriate treatment options based on the individual’s specific situation.