Home Remedies for Cough and Cold
Home remedies for cough and cold have been around for decades, with some old tricks of the book dating back to times where chemicals weren’t a thing and the only way for humans to get over health issues was trying anything Mother Nature had made available to them.
Modern medicine changed the game. From herbs and plants, we moved on to chemicals, and although we have benefitted immensely from this great advance in science, it surely hasn’t come without side effects. There are plenty of health issues we’re still unable to cure, and the common cold virus is one of them. Yet there we were, pumping our bodies with antibiotics that can’t do anything, but make us even weaker.
So, without further ado, here are some home remedies you might find helpful to deal with a cough or cold next time they come around to pay you a visit – knock on wood they don’t!
Cough and Cold – Natural Home Remedies
A few grandmothers around may know this very well: honey is a godsend. If you’re nursing a nasty cold, this sweet delicacy is your best friend, and it’s been even proven by a study that has shown honey to be more effective than over-the-counter medication containing a common cough suppressants. Just get a cup of warm water or herbal tea and mix in two teaspoons of honey and a couple spoons of lemon juice, the former will treat your cough and the latter will help with congestion.
Salt and water gargle
This is another age-old home remedy able to sooth a scratchy throat that keeps you constantly coughing. Just mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of water and gargle. The irritation in your throat should be relieved rather quickly.
No, not the sweet gummy treats you’re thinking of right now, but the flower, called Althaea officinalis. Used for centuries to treat sore throats and coughs, this herb contains mucilage, a substance able to coat your and relief the irritation. Because going out to look for marshmallow flowers in your vicinity isn’t really convenient, you can just get it as tea or in capsule form.
Cough Remedies for Kids
Steam it up
If your little one got a nasty incessant coughing and you want to avoid cough syrups and medication, look no further than your bathroom. Every night before bed and every morning, get in the bathroom, close the door and run a hot shower for 15 minutes. The room will get very steamy and it will allow chest and nasal congestion to loosen up, allowing your child to have an easier time coughing or blowing it out. If he needs a little help, you can drum on his chest or back with the palm of your hand to let the congestion break up a little faster.
Get a humidifier
In order to keep your child’s airways from getting dry and irritate his throat, use a humidifier in the room overnight – he will be able to breathe easily and without any troubles. Just remember to air out the room in the morning as humidity can lead to mold. You can order one like this or like this.
Try a chest rub
Though not recommended for toddlers younger than two years old, this method can be a great source of relief for congested children. Just rub some Vicks VapoRub on their chest before they go to bed and you can rest assured they will be able to enjoy a more peaceful night, with less coughing and less general discomfort.
Some even swear that rubbing it onto the soles of your feet and wearing socks overnight is foolproof method to alleviate your cough in just a few minutes.
Keep them hydrated
This valuable tip isn’t just for children. Either warm or very cold drinks help to thin out the mucus layer on the airways and make it easier to cough it up. Make them drink plenty of liquids, including water, herbal teas with honey or warm juices, avoiding orange juice as its acidity may irritate the throat.
Nighttime Dry Cough Relief
Aside from the trusty honey and humidifier, there are other things you can use at night to deal with a dry cough.
Have some chicken soup
Though sciences hasn’t given us a clear reason for this yet, chicken soup is known for its ability to sooth sore throats and ease a cold. You can either get it from the store or, even better, make it at home.
Get your hands on some peppermint
The menthol in peppermint leaves works as a great decongestant, helping to break down mucus and soothing the throat. You can either suck on some menthol lozenges or drink some peppermint tea.
Wet Cough Remedies
While a dry cough results in an irritated throat due to the lack of mucus, a wet cough will keep your airways full on phlegm and will have you coughing for days. Though most of the mentioned remedies could help, the following are a little more specific to wet cough.
Though adding a pinch of it over you meal may help, it’s best to consume in a larger amount in order to see faster results. Pepper is able to stimulate the flow of the mucus, aiding in clearing the respiratory system of any blockages that could cause further trouble. Make a paste out of 1 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 tablespoon of honey, and then boil it down with some water for about 15 minutes. Once it cools down, drink it throughout the day to keep your airways relieved.
Drink chicken soup
If you’re a fan of meat, then this may me an enjoyable remedy for you. Though science hasn’t provided us with a clear answer as to the reason behind this, chicken has been shown in studies to be able to sooth the throat and alleviate a cough. You can either get it from a store or, even better, make it yourself at home.
Post-Nasal Drip Remedies
Post-nasa drip (PND) is what happens when your nasal mucosa overproduces mucus, causing it to drip from the back of the nose. It’s irritating and can lead to hoarseness, coughing and difficulty swallowing. Though most of the previously mentioned remedies could help, here are some PND specific ones you might find useful.
This can help keep the nasal passages free from excess mucus and any irritants. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of salt in a cup of water, and pour it inside a neti pot. Get over the sink, tilt your head to one side and with the neti pot, squirt some of the liquid in your now upper nostril. Move your head around to help the solution get in your nasal cavities, and then blow your nose to remove the liquid and any excess mucus. Repeat the process on the other side. Do this daily until your mucosa slows down.
Eat some garlic
Armed with powerful antibiotics, garlic can help control the excess production of mucus and prevent infection. Chop 3 garlic cloves and roast them in 1 teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter) for about a minute. Then eat it straight or with some warm milk up to twice a day. Alternatively, if you’re feeling brave, you can chew on a small piece of raw garlic a couple of times per day.
Drink some apple cider vinegar
You’ve probably heard how miraculous apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be. Aside from boosting your immunity, it can also help with PND with thinning the mucus layer and making it easier to expel it. Just mix 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered ACV and 1 tablespoon of raw honey in a cup of warm water, and drink the concoction twice a day. You will start feeling relieved and more energised within a few days.
Published by Carla Cometto on 20 October 2017