Have you had a cough that just won’t stop?
If so, you’re not alone.
In fact, it may be the top reason people go to the doctor. Coughing accounts for around 30 million doctor visits each year. (1)
Coughing is a natural bodily function designed to clear the lungs, trachea, and throat of obstruction and possible pathogens. This includes mucus, dust, dirt, and food.
Common causes of coughing include infections, allergies, post-nasal drip, acid reflux, and inflammation.
Most people with a persistent cough will turn to cough syrup for relief. But it turns out that most of the research on the active ingredients in most cough syrup formulas shows little to no benefit.
Despite the fact that cough medicine constitutes a billion dollar industry, most of the products don’t work much better than a placebo.
Most of the benefit people feel from cough syrup comes not from the active ingredients but instead from the soothing effect of the thick sugary liquid that coats the throat and calms irritation.
Instead of wasting your money on cough syrup, here are 7 all-natural cough remedies:
Honey is one of the most widely recognized natural cough remedies. And it’s reputation is well deserved. A study from 2007 (4) honey to be more effective than a common over-the-counter cough suppressant called dextromethorphan.
Raw honey has the most medicinal and immune enhancing properties.
Honey can be taken by the spoon full or mixed with your favorite herbal tea, such as thyme.
Thyme is a common herb that many people grow at home. It is used frequently in Italian style dishes.
In addition to it’s culinary prowess, thyme has also proven in at east one study (5) to suppress coughing and relieve bronchitis symptoms.
One way to use thyme is to simply add either the fresh or dried herb to your food. Another option is to chop about two teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves and steep in hot water for about ten minutes to make a tasty thyme tea. You can even add lemon juice for an extra immune boost.
One old folk remedy for a cough is sucking on a lemon dashed with salt and pepper. While there may not be any direct scientific evidence to support this practice, there are some likely reasons why it may help.
First if all, lemon is loaded with vitamin C which can help bolster the immune system to help fight off infections that may be causing your cough.
Second, lemon is also a powerful anti-bacterial which can help eliminate various pathogens in the throat and beyond.
Lastly, lemon can help soothe the throat and open up passage ways by alleviating inflammation.
Ginger root has long been known for its medicinal properties. It has noted antihistamine and decongestant properties. Ginger is also a well know anti-inflammatory.
Ginger can be consumed in both dried and fresh forms. Dried ginger is often used as a spice in eastern cuisine.
To use ginger as a cough remedy, it is best to make ginger tea.
Ginger tea is made by boiling about 10 pieces of sliced fresh ginger root on a low simmer for about 20 minutes. For an extra kick add fresh thyme to the simmering ginger root. The finished tea can be sweetened with honey and enhanced with a squeeze of lemon juice for the ultimate cough suppressing tonic.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that have been shown to have many health benefits from improving digestion to regulating mood.
One of the primary health benefits of probiotics is bolstering the function of the immune system. Probiotic bacteria can help fight off the infectious pathogens that may be responsible for your cough.
Probiotics naturally occur in fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha, among others. You can also take probiotic capsules to boost your levels.
Hopefully, if you eat a healthy diet of fresh whole foods then you won’t have to get a cough in the first place. But if you do, now you know how to naturally alleviate your symptoms and boost your body’s ability to fight off the cause of the cough.
With so many easy and effective natural cough remedies there is no reason to waste your money on chemical cough syrup.