10 natural cough remedies | MNN – Mother Nature Network
Mother Nature Network | February, 2018
Coughing happens when viruses, bacteria, dust, pollen or other substances irritate the nerve endings in the airways between the throat and lungs. A cough is the body’s way of trying to clear the passages, and what a valiant effort the body makes in this endeavor. We can cough at speeds up to 60 miles per hour, and the average cough produces enough air to fill a two-liter soda bottle about three-fourths full. The air of a cough sprays out several feet, and is accompanied by some 3,000 tiny droplets of saliva.
While chronic coughs can be a sign of a serious illness, most people consider the common cough to be more of an annoyance than a health issue. Although side effects like chest pain, exhaustion, and incontinence can accompany a cough, the more vexing complaints often have to do with a cough’s ability to interfere with your (and your household’s) sleep and the propensity to be annoying in otherwise quiet places. Coupled with the germ-spreading factor, it certainly seems like treating your cough is the kindest thing to do.
While many people reach for over-the-counter medicines, experts say that many of them are a waste of money. A Harvard University report notes, “According to American College of Chest Physicians guidelines, many of the active ingredients in over-the-counter cough remedies are ineffective.”
So, how to quell that cough without resorting to over-the-counter medicines that are possibly ineffective and may offer a host of their own side effects? With natural remedies, of course. Here are some favorite folk ways to relieve a nagging cough.
Try honey straight or mix it with lemon juice and coconut oil, or even a shot of bourbon. (Photo: Vladimir Kovalchuk/Shutterstock)
There is scientific evidence that honey can be effective in treating coughs and sore throats. You can take it straight, or mix honey with coconut oil and lemon juice for extra benefits. You can also try many a grandmother’s old standby before bedtime: a shot of bourbon mixed with honey.
In Germany, thyme is an officially approved treatment for coughs, upper respiratory infections, bronchitis and whooping cough. The herb’s little leaves pack a potent punch of cough-calming compounds that work to relax tracheal and ileal muscles, and reduce inflammation. You can make a thyme tea by steeping two teaspoons of crushed thyme leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain. Adding honey and lemon rounds out the flavor and adds extra soothing power as well.