Flu-like symptoms, a sore throat and a pesky cough, can be truly exasperating. Nobody likes a cough, and everyone dreads to be the person coughing loudly in a quiet room or a public place! A relentless bout of coughing can leave you breathless, which is absolutely exhausting and debilitating. However, there are effective ways to manage symptoms of dry cough and curtail the duration of the episode with some natural home remedies for dry cough at night.
Why do we cough?
A cough is triggered by nasal drainage at the back of the nose and throat. This nasal drainage results in an irritation, and as a reflex, you cough to try to clear it.
A cough can normally take about a week to abate. Nonetheless living with a cough can be really awful, it ruins your sleep, gives you a sore throat, messes with your appetite and makes you feel completely wretched.
It is important to remember that a dry cough can be a symptom of an underlying ailment. A cough is a presenting feature for a host of ailments – it is indicative of the common cold, flu, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, acid reflux, stress, and dehydration among various others. While it is very critical that you should have an unrelenting cough checked and assessed by your physician, we’ve rounded up potent natural home remedies which will most certainly help you soothe the symptom.
How to treat a dry cough at home?
When your cough is mild and uncomplicated, i.e. there aren’t any other manifesting features such as – wheezing, breathlessness, fever, chest pain, etc. you may try some home remedies for dry cough at night, instead of running to the drug store to get over-the-counter cough syrups. These natural remedies have been passed down from generation to generation, have ample scientific substantiation.
6 home remedies for dry cough
1. Tea tree: The tea tree essential oil is a known remedy which claims to provide instant relief from dry cough. It is a powerful anti-microbial and anti-septic. Its medicinal properties have scientific backing, which is why it's a very useful essential oil to have in your home, more so, if you're susceptible to frequent colds and coughs. In fact, it’s a good dry cough treatment at home, and quickly manages a sore throat and a chronic cough. Tea tree can proffer anti-inflammatory, cough-suppressing and pain-killing properties — you tend to look for all of those qualities in an over-the-counter drug, so why not do it the natural way? Add 10 drops of tea tree to a bowl of hot water and inhale the vapors for rapid relief; you may also add a couple of drops of the oil to your tissue or napkin and sniff frequently to avail of the medicinal advantages. Tea tree can pacify a wretched cough and it feels like you’ve been enveloped in a warm hug!
2. Ginger: Gingerols in ginger treat the common cold, get rid of a dry cough, put an end to that irritating tickle you experience in the throat and warm the lungs. Gingerols are an outstanding anti-inflammatory agent, have potent anti-septic properties, and can fortify your immune mechanism. An impressive array of benefits! Indeed, the ginger is your best friend when you have a dry cough! When you choose how you'll get in a hearty dose of the spice, it is important to know that the powdered form – ‘soonth’ is far more concentrated than the fresh herb. Have a pinch of soonth with honey 5 times daily or have a hot tea made from fresh grated ginger couple of times during the day and you’ll see startling benefits! You could also add ginger to fresh juices, or make a ginger and honey syrup which is ever-so popular to soothe an aggravating cough and combat a nasty cold. Also, add a generous dose of the spice to your curries and gravies.
3. Limes: An out and out health-booster, this fruit is packed with the super powerful vitamin C! Limes are strongly anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, and help lessen the symptoms of cold. Along with vitamin C, the fruit also provides a burst of beta-carotene, flavonoids, and limonoids. The citric acid helps break up mucus and treats the cough quickly; while the vitamin C and antioxidants support your immune system significantly.
4. Pepper: Pepper boasts of amazing healing properties. The pungent spice is hot on the tongue and warms the body. It offers great anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic properties, and has a good dose of vitamin C as well. Mix powdered pepper with a liberal quantity of honey and fashion your very own cough syrup; its efficacy has been proven time and again. You could also add a bighearted amount of black pepper powder to a big bowl of hot water and breathe in the vapours – the results are instantaneous. Another effective way is mixing in 1 teaspoon of powdered pepper with 1 tablespoon of ghee – this has been employed as a perfect remedy for a dry, hacking cough. However, do keep in mind that you shouldn’t consume pepper more than 3 times a day; it does tend to generate a lot of heat.
5. Honey: Dubbed as the ‘food of god’, this liquid gold is unbelievable when it comes to managing respiratory illnesses. It is a natural cough suppressant; it allays sore throats, and boosts the immune system as well. Honey coats the throat, lubricates it, reduces itching and irritation and has an anti-inflammatory property which puts an end to your cough instantly. Its potent anti-microbial effect can deal with minor bacterial and viral infections too. Consuming an herbal tea or lime juice with a dollop of honey in it is a time-honoured way to soothe a scratchy throat and treat a cough. The warmth of the honey soothes the throat irritation, reduces the intensity and duration of your cough; and the sweetness makes it taste enjoyable! Honey is especially efficacious when you’re grappling with a cough that comes on at bedtime. Honey reduces night-time coughing and helps you sleep better. Incidentally, it is one of the best home remedies for dry cough in kids; give the child a glass of warm milk to which a spoonful of honey has been added and it’ll manage the cough as well as ensure that the child sleeps well.
6. Salt and Water Gargle : This timeless method has a gained popularity and is well-know because it works! It has been passed on from generation to generation as a quick, home remedy to soothe a sore throat. It requires just two ingredients, warm water and salt, which are easily available in each home. Gargling with salt and water can help ease the symptoms and temporarily give you some instant relief from dry cough. Make sure you do not swallow the salt and water mixture.
Onion – the lesser known star!
Although using onions as medicine sounds like folk medicine, it is exceedingly popular as a quick-fix for a cough. Onions are simply fantastic to help beat a persistent cough! They are packed with organic sulphur compounds that are responsible for all the wonderful health benefits. The strong vapour than emanates when an onion is cut can help stop cough. In fact, onions have been used traditionally to tackle cough and breathlessness that’s associated with asthma. It’s beneficial in the management of asthma symptoms because of its potent ability to thwart the manufacture of those compounds that trigger a broncho-spasm which causes coughing and wheezing. Grate about half an onion, mix it with a spoon of honey and consume once daily; the enzyme alliinase present in the onions proffers excellent benefits. You could also cut an onion into half and leave it on a plate by your bed; it will ensure that your cough won’t come on at night.
When a cough just won’t go away
When you’ve tried all the remedies that you have in your arsenal; and it’s been 3 days and your cough refuses to lessen, let alone go away, it’s time to bring out the big guns! Apple cider vinegar is a strong weapon in your flu-battling kit! Now, while it can be really off-putting to use ACV as medicine, ACV can be very effective to find some instant relief from dry cough. Take 3 spoons of ACV and dilute with a little bit of water and swallow. It’s a quick approach, but it will unquestionably do the trick! Another way of having it is to add 3 spoons of apple cider vinegar along with 3 spoons of honey to an herbal tea.
What to eat when you have a wicked cough?
You may not be hungry, but your body needs food to work optimally, and to ensure that the immune system is bolstered. Conversely, when under the weather, avoid spicy and greasy foods; opt for foods which are hydrating and packed with immune-boosting elements. Here are the most ideal foods to eat when you have the flu, even if your appetite is non-existent!
- Soups: Soups are an excellent meal when you're ill and not at all hungry. Your body will benefit from the vital vitamins and minerals, and potent antioxidants, all of which can be found in a bowl of steaming soup. Select between tomato, pea, onion and chicken soup – they are easy to digest and nourish you with the choicest nutrients. Moong paani too can be your rescuer, and quickly gets you out of the doldrums! Moong paani or green gram soup is warming and satisfying. It is light and wholesome, and lends a cheering flavour! An added bonus is – it’ll help bring your appetite back! Have 3 to 5 bowls of soup every day. Tata Sampann Moong is scientifically manufactured and packaged and does not undergo excessive polishing, thus retaining the fundamental nature of the legume.
- Papaya: Called the ‘fruit of the angels’, the papaya is nutrient-dense and very easy to digest. The fruit is chockfull of vitamin C, vitamin A, flavonoids and carotenes. The ‘papain’ in papaya makes digestion easy, whilst the vitamin C reinforces your immune system function and helps it work optimally.
- Green tea: Green tea has immense medicinal properties; it is loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants. They shore up the immune mechanism, bolster your natural defenses and speed up recovery.
Don’ts when you’re dealing with a cough
- Steer clear of foods that are high in histamine – pickles, cheese, chocolate, shellfish, smoked meat, and alcohol.
- If you are prone to tummy upsets and are dealing with acid reflux, stay away from fatty, greasy spicy and acidic foods – particularly crisps, wafers, tomatoes, caffeine, and chili.
- Stop smoking. Smoking increases throat irritation and brings on a bout of coughing. Vaping and smoking marijuana also trigger throat irritation.
When should you see a doctor for a dry cough?
A chronic, unremitting cough can be worrisome. It could be a preliminary sign of a potentially serious illness - gastro-esophageal reflux disease or sleep apnea, or even lung cancer. Never ever ignore a dry cough which is continual, and which comes on periodically. Always get it assessed and evaluated. You ought to visit your health care provider if:
- the cough persists for more than 7 days
- the cough turns productive with a lot of mucus, and the mucus is green-yellow
- you cough up blood
- you’re coughing all night
- there’s chest pain Wheezing
- Hoarseness with altered voice timbre.
Given that a wide multitude of conditions can cause a cough, including serious ones such as - cancer and heart failure, do not neglect a chronic cough and do not leave it untreated. Also, babies and children need to be monitored since it could possibly develop into serious conditions as well. Getting your cough evaluated by your health care provider and carrying out certain tests and investigations is always prudent.
So, the next time you're feeling under the weather and are trying to battle a horrible cold, employ these natural and effective remedies to expedite the process of healing. Also, remember that rest is very essential to recuperate quickly from any illness, so close your eyes and unwind. Give your body and mind that much-needed love and indulge in some self-care, rest, relax and restore.
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