With changes in temperature and humidity our defenses can suffer ups and downs. We are more susceptible to attack by microorganisms and viruses and we can catch a cold.
Along with these processes, coughing also begins, which is a way for our bodies to try to expel substances that are in the respiratory tract.
In addition to the drugs recommended by medical specialists,
Do you know more home remedies for cough?
In this article we want to review foods and natural principles that you can take to improve cough relief.
Origin of the different types of cough that we can suffer
Before seeing the possible home remedies for cough, it is necessary to know the different types of cough that we can suffer. Not all are related to influenza processes but can have other sources, such as inflammation processes, presence of dust (or mites) or being an active smoker for years.
Coughing is a reflection of our body. The intention is to remove any substance (liquid, solid or gas) that may be in the airways and may be a problem for the defense of the system.
The glottis they play a fundamental role in this process, which can contract or open to close the way to the lungs.
With the contraction of the diaphragm, the opening of the glottis and the cough to expel the air it is possible to eliminate any substance a priori harmful to the human being.
Some causes that cause the symptoms of cough:
Cough from inflammation: due to inflammation of the airways, which hinders the entry of air into the lungs, the reflex act of coughing occurs. This occurs in everyday situations such as asthma, the flu or the common cold.
Presence of dust or mites: Many types of allergies are caused by the presence in the environment of suspended dust, which leads to numerous mites that produce a negative reaction in the body. Often all these processes are linked to intense coughing.
Climatic alterations: sudden changes in temperatures or ambient humidity can lead to an acute, often involuntary cough.
Active smokers: both the active smoker and increasingly the passive, tobacco and all substances inhaled together can cause a chronic cough.
Home remedies for cough and practical tips
These are some home remedies for cough that we can take as long as we suffer an acute situation of cough due to inflammation, climatic alterations, dust and environmental allergy or common cold, among others.
1. Water as the main home remedy for cough
You do not have to go far looking for home remedies for cough, since we can find them in any type of liquids.
The goal of the body is to remove any obstacles in the airways. For this, water can achieve the same effect being totally harmless and even beneficial for its hydration capacity.
Staying hydrated is beneficial for people suffering from acute cough or common cold, as they solubilize mucous secretions that can cause lung infection.
Scientific studies have found an improved response to these symptoms with warm or hot water, versus cold water. In general, not only water but any type of liquid.
This may be linked to the fact that a hot liquid has more capacity to solubilize a mucous secretion than another at a lower temperature.
Hot drinks that we can take looking for home remedies for cough.
2. Ginger infusion
Ginger is a root full of medicinal properties. It has anti-inflammatory effects and reduces the feeling of nausea and vomiting, among others. [See study]
As for coughing, ginger acts as a home remedy to curb it, as it increases the expectorant capacity and improves the volume of air intake into the airways.
Through its tannins and polyphenols, it is able to clear the sensation of nasal obstruction. It is often combined with other foods with enhancing properties, such as lemon or honey.
Read more: medicinal properties of ginger and lemon infusion.
To prepare the ginger infusion, it is enough to use 20 to 30 grams of sliced ginger root and strain it in a cup of hot water. To improve the taste you can add a little sugar, honey or lemon.
This, in turn, will also allow to improve digestion, reduce acidity or stomach upset.
3. Marshmallow root
Marshmallow root contains plant phytocompounds that allow to relieve the symptoms of cough and irritation of catarrhal processes.
Among them, in the root we find compounds such as coumarin, kaempferol, phenolic acids, quercetin and tannins, which help reduce the symptoms of pain and swelling in the nasal passages. [See Study]
We can see in specialized stores how there are different herbal extracts where marshmallow is included looking for relief against cough, flu or common cold.
4. Honey or honey tea
Honey has always been associated with catarrhal processes that lead to obstruction of the airways and, therefore, included within the home remedies against cough.
Honey on an infusion of warm water, for the feeling of warmth, is very effective in situations of dry cough due to allergic states.
In scientific trials, the effects of honey have been compared with antitussive products, obtaining a very good response in patients (children in this case) who used honey. [See Study]
Therefore, honey falls within the resources and home remedies for cough that can work.
The researchers reported that honey provided the most significant cough relief, followed by dextromethorphan.
However, as you already know, it is not advisable under any circumstances to give honey to children under 1 year of age (because of the bacteria). Clostridium botulinum).
With adding 2 tablespoons of pure honey (not derivatives) in hot water or some tea prepared from herbal extracts.
Mixing with ginger will enhance its cough-soothing effects.
Among the recommendations and home remedies for cough are those mentioned by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), where it recommends the use of steam humidifiers or vaporizers to reduce the symptoms of mucus or wet cough.
A steam container with hot water, to which we can add different types of medicinal herbs (eucalyptus, rosemary, thyme, mint, etc.) will serve to relieve the airways and to decongest us.
To do this, with the help of a towel, we will inhale the steam for 5 minutes until we notice improvement.
The use of steam combined with infusions, liquids or other tricks mentioned constitute good remedies for acute cough.
6. Saltwater gargles
If the source of the wet cough is from a cold, flu, or any respiratory tract infection where a lot of mucus occurs, gargling with salt water is a good source of relief.
Salt water solubilizes mucous secretions and reduces inflammation, in turn decreasing the need for coughing (as long as it is linked to the presence of mucus).
To prepare this home remedy for cough, it will be enough to dissolve half a tablespoon of salt in a baso of water (warm, if possible). We will gargle for a few minutes and spit out the water when we are done.
This process can be done several times a day since it is totally harmless to the body and has many advantages.
This remedy for coughing in young children is not recommended if they do not know how to gargle and are in danger of being able to swallow the saline solution.
7. Pineapple consumption
In fruits of the family of Bromilaceae, represented mainly by pineapple, we find an enzyme known as bromelain.
The bromelain is an enzyme present in pineapple whose action allows to break proteins and improve the assimilation of free amino acids.
Specifically, bromelain has been studied to study its potential in various ailments, finding a good response to sinusitis, pulmonary mucus and respiratory tract. In fact, it has been approved by the German commission as an effective supplement for sinusitis-related problems.
The acidity of pineapple also has benefits to solubilize the mucus generated in cold, flu or other ailments.s of a similar nature.
8. Thyme infusion
Thyme has always been associated as an aromatic and medicinal plant for the relief of the respiratory tract, bronchitis treatments, digestive problems and bactericidal action.
This accumulation of properties can serve as a home remedy against coughing, through the infusion of thyme.
Thyme has been studied in several scientific trials to reduce the harmful effects of bronchitis. Both its decongestant action due to the presence of polyphenols and the effect of its antioxidants, the results achieved have been very satisfactory. [See Study]
9. N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
Within the food supplements, increasingly fashionable, we find those that contain a good source of the amino acid L-cysteine.
Maintaining correct levels of this amino acid and the recommended daily dose prevents the origin of wet cough and the presence of mucus or excessive nasal secretions.
The effect of N-acetylcysteine for relieving the symptoms of chronic bronchitis has been studied at length. This reduced inflammation and an improvement in the airways due to less mucus and cough. [See Study]
The recommended daily dose of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is 600 mg for relief in mild situations and up to 1,200 mg with large amounts of mucus and severe bronchitis.
10. Use of probiotics
Although probiotics are under continuous review and many of them questioned, there are some of them that are demonstrating efficacy in various problems and mild diseases.
The use of probiotics does not have a direct effect on cough relief, but it does encourage the stimulation of the immune system and, with it, the future prevention of this type of ailments. [See Study]
It is the same case of vitamin C, where its consumption when we have colds does not reduce the symptoms, but favors prevention (before suffering the problem).
Some examples of foods considered as probiotics are the following:
- All kinds of yogurts of natural origin
- Miso soup
Do you know more home remedies for cough that we have not mentioned?