Cold and flu season is upon us.
And no matter how hard we try to boost our immune system – sometimes a bug can sneak it’s way into our system.
A main symptom of catching a cold or flu virus – is a nasty cough.
Coughing can take a lot out of us. It hurts our throat, our chest and even our ribs and backs if we strain too much. Of course there are plenty of OTC meds and lozenges you can take – but there are also some more natural approaches as well.
Here are 7 ways to help soothe that nasty cough!
A study conducted suggests that some anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger can relax membranes in the airways, which could help to reduce coughing.
Brew up a soothing ginger tea by adding 20 – 40 grams of fresh ginger slices to a cup of hot water. Allow to steep for a few minutes before drinking. Add honey or lemon juice to improve the taste and further soothe a cough.
Honey is thought to be helpful in relieving cough because of its various antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been suggested that due to its viscous nature it coats the throat causing a soothing effect.
To use honey to treat a cough, mix 2 teaspoons (tsp) with warm water or an herbal tea. Drink this mixture once or twice a day.
3. Salt Water – Gargle
This simple remedy is one of the most effective for treating a sore throat and wet cough. Salt water reduces phlegm and mucus in the back of the throat which can lessen the need to cough.
Stir half a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water until it dissolves. Allow the solution to cool slightly before using it to gargle. Let the mixture sit at the back of the throat for a few moments before spitting it out. Gargle with salt water several times each day until the cough improves.
CAUTION: Avoid giving salt water to younger children as they may not be able to gargle properly, and swallowing salt water can be dangerous.
Thyme is one of the most revered natural remedies for a cough and has been for centuries. Going all the way back to the Black Plague, thyme has been consistently used for many medical purposes.
Thyme is popular due to its antibacterial properties, which kill off invading bacteria and viruses. Thyme also acts in other ways: it helps muscles relax, opening up the airways of the throat and making it easier to breathe.
To use thyme, try making a natural tea.
5. Cayenne Pepper
This heat-infused remedy is sure to help ease your cough – but be cautious if you are not a spice fan. Cayenne pepper is a popular remedy for a cough because of its stimulating effects. It soothes the muscles of the throat and reduces pain. The warming effect is also regarded positively because it can reduce inflammation and discomfort.
To use cayenne pepper for the treatment of a cough, it is recommended to make cough syrup by mixing a one-fourth teaspoon cayenne pepper with a tablespoon of honey and a sufficient amount of water to form a loose mixture. Drink the mixture up to three times per day.
6. Carrot Juice
Carrot juice is popularly known as a potent natural remedy for a cough. Tasty and packed with vitamins and minerals, carrots are a great alternative to over-the-counter medication. They are versatile and easy to incorporate into your diet, making them a convenient treatment. The best way to use carrots for a cough is by drinking fresh carrot juice.
To use carrot juice to treat a cough, juice three large carrots and add some water to dilute the juice. A few drops of honey may be added. Drink three glasses of the juice per day or until symptoms improve.
It’s no surprise that lemons are often regarded as one of the most potent natural remedies for a cough. After all, lemons are rich in vitamins, including the disease-fighting and immune-boosting vitamin C. Besides their antibacterial properties, lemons can reduce inflammation and discomfort.
Lemons can be used in multiple ways, but creating a lemon syrup or tea is the best treatment for a cough. To make lemon cough syrup, mix the juice of half a lemon with one to two tablespoons of honey, and add a few drops of water to dilute the mixture. Consume the syrup whenever symptoms are present
Next time a nasty cough sneaks up on you, try a glass of anything listed above and soothe it naturally.