A cough can be an involuntary or voluntary act to clear the throat. In most cases, a person suffering from a cough can recover without medical attention. On the other hand, a cough can be one of the most prominent symptoms of serious illnesses caused due to allergies, viral infections, and bacteria.
While you can treat a cough with over-the-counter (OTC) medications or antibiotics (for bacterial infections), you can consider a few home remedies as well. However, the home remedies for cough can vary depending on its type. In this section, we have discussed some of the best home remedies for each type.
Before we get to the natural remedies to cure wet cough at home, let us understand what causes it. The causes of wet cough are as follows:
Wet cough is caused due to viral infections. Nonetheless, you can treat it at home with a few well-known home remedies for wet cough. These include:
Since a wet cough causes the throat to naturally dry out, it can lead to irritation and inflammation. Having a humidifier helps avoid breathing dry air, allowing you to breathe better at night when suffering from a wet cough.
A hot shower helps moisten the upper airways, further breaking the mucus formed in your chest due to a wet cough. Stay in the shower or a steamy bathroom for at least five minutes every day. You can repeat this exercise as needed to cure wet cough at home.
Honey is a natural antibacterial that is one of the best home remedies for wet cough. Eating 1.5 teaspoons of honey before bed can help reduce the cough and allow you to sleep better. It works well for children as well as adults.
A dose of Vitamin C helps boost immunity, which further allows your body to fight against any viral infection (in this case, wet cough). You can get plenty of Vitamin C from citric fruits or by following a Vitamin C-rich diet.
It is extremely essential to stay hydrated when fighting any kind of infection. A wet cough can cause a sore throat, making you uncomfortable and irritated throughout the day. Hence, try to drink at least 8-10 tall glasses of water per day when suffering from a wet cough.
Dry cough is quite common and usually lingers for a few weeks after you recover from a cold or flu. However, a few other causes of dry cough are as follows:
Unlike wet cough, a dry cough does not involve mucus production. However, you might feel a constant tickle in the back of your throat that triggers coughing reflexes. You can treat it at home with a few well-known home remedies for dry cough. These include:
Curcumin is an antiviral and anti-inflammatory compound found in turmeric. It is best absorbed when it is taken with black pepper. Adding a teaspoon of turmeric to 1/8th of a teaspoon of black pepper into a beverage like tea or juice is one of the best home remedies for dry cough at night.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is mixed in tea or home-cooked Indian meals as a flavouring ingredient. Adding ginger to your tea with a teaspoon of honey will alleviate dry cough symptoms almost instantly.
Peppermint contains menthol, which helps to numb the nerve endings in the throat that usually become irritated due to constant coughing. This can provide relief from the urge to cough. Additionally, peppermint is also a known decongestant with antibacterial properties.
Gargling with salt water is one of the widely practised home remedies for cough and sore throat treatment. This dry cough remedy works by killing the bacteria in your mouth and throat. Dissolve a teaspoon of table salt in a glass of warm water and gargle several times a day. Avoid swallowing the salt water.
If the air inside your home is swarming with toxins, investing in an air purifier to alleviate a stubborn dry cough is worth every rupee. Air purifiers clear out the pollutants or larger air particles floating in the air to release toxin-free air that is easy on the lungs.
Along with understanding ways to treat cough, it is imperative to prevent the infection in the first place. A few tips to do so are as follows:
Maintain a safe distance if someone around you is sick or suffering from a cough
Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
Follow good personal hygiene
Wash your hands frequently, especially after coughing
A cough is usually the result of an irritated throat or a symptom of viral or bacterial infections. If the cough stays persistent after treating it at home, get in touch with your doctor immediately.
Coughing can be a symptom of many severe illnesses. Please avoid taking any chances on your health and get yourself checked as soon as possible. The consultation charges for the same are mostly covered under daycare expenses in your health insurance plan. If you have any doubts about it, get in touch with your insurance provider and get it resolved as soon as possible.