Coughing is the body’s way of trying to clear the airway of any irritants. The entire respiratory tract (breathing tract) of a human body has nerve endings. Whenever any irritant enters the tract, the nerve endings get activated and send a signal to the brain. The brain signals the chest wall and abdomen to cough, which forcefully throws out the irritant.
Coughing can also occur due to pollution, a viral infection or inflammation. If your cough persists for more than two weeks or refuses to get any better, consult a doctor. Mild to moderate coughs can be managed at home with the help of some easy home remedies:
Turmeric is a herb which has been used in the Vedic culture for thousands of years. Curcumin, the key ingredient in turmeric, helps in fighting respiratory conditions like sore throat, sneezing, stuffy nose, cough and even asthma and bronchitis. Curcumin also has anti-inflammatory properties which help in relieving cough. You can add a teaspoon of turmeric in your regular tea or a glass of milk.
Ginger is known to have antiviral properties which are beneficial against respiratory viruses that cause infections. A study, conducted to find out the effects of various herbs like ginger, ginseng, mulberry and others for the treatment of chronic cough, showed that ginger can suppress the symptoms of cough. You can add two teaspoons of grated ginger in four cups of water, boil and then strain the water. Drink it throughout the day. You could also add half a teaspoon of ginger to your regular cup of tea.
Garlic is a potent agent against cough and cold. Garlic has antiviral and antibacterial properties which help fight the bacteria and viruses that cause respiratory infections. You can add 2-5 cloves of garlic and half a teaspoon of carom seeds in four cups of water and boil it for a few minutes. Consume this water throughout the day.
4. Lemon and honey
Lemon contains vitamin C which improves your immunity so that it can fight the infection-causing microorganisms better. Lemon also cuts down the congestion by removing phlegm from the back of the throat. Honey, on the other hand, is known to suppress cough and other upper respiratory tract infections. Some studies have even also shown that honey is more effective in treating cough than antibiotics. You can add a few drops of lemon and one teaspoon of honey in your black tea or a glass of warm water.
5. Saline gargles
Gargles with warm salted water is probably the easiest way of dealing with a cough. It does not directly treat the cough but it helps in soothing the inflammation and the itch in the throat and reducing the phlegm and mucus present at the back of the throat. Heat three glasses of water in a pan, add two tablespoons of salt in it and gargle with it at least twice daily.
Dry air can irritate your throat and can make it difficult for the mucus to come out especially at night, thus stimulating cough. A humidifier helps in converting water into moisture which slowly fills the room and brings the humidity levels higher. All you need to do is turn on the humidifier in your bedroom before going to sleep.
For more information, read our article on Cough.
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