Natural Treatment of Cough
Cough is not a disease in itself. It is a symptom of an underlying condition; the most common symptom of a respiratory disorder. Vigorous cough may cause pain in ribs and chest, sleeplessness, headache, vomiting, or incontinence. One may consult a physician if cough is severe or lasts more than 3 weeks, or if there is blood in sputum, shortness of breath, consistent chest pain or tightness in chest, or breathing difficulty.
Some home remedies:
Steam inhalation for wet cough, salt water gargle to soothe the throat, and adequate hydration to clear the toxins.
Natural cough syrup can be made by mixing honey in warm ginger extract.
Herbal cough syrup made from thyme and ivy leaves has been found to give quick relief, more rapidly than a placebo syrup for acute bronchitis. Thyme is an officially approved cough treatment and remedy in Germany. Adding marshmallow root to the syrup would effectively relieve coughs according to a study, though there could be mild stomach upsets due to the root. It could be offset by drinking more fluids.
Black pepper (½ teaspoon) with ghee (clarified butter) on full stomach, at least 2-3 times a day, to clear chest congestion.
Herbal tea made from tulsi (basil) leaves and ginger, mixed with honey. One may simply chew tulsi leaves throughout the day for faster recovery.
Warm tea made from ¼ teaspoon each of mulethi (liquorice), cinnamon, and clove powder and honey twice a day would work wonders.
Flax seeds tea with honey and lemon juice. Honey is more effective than over-the-counter medicines, according to a 2007 study conducted at Penn State College of Medicine.
Raw honey is considered as one of the best remedies for cough. Care should be taken that honey is used only with lukewarm fluids and not in hot water or hot milk.
Special care for little children:
Cough is the most common paediatric problem. This needs to be addressed carefully. Studies have not supported use of medications for symptomatic cough relief in children, at least till the age of 6. Antibiotics will have no effect on viral infections; they might cause side effects that could be more distressing than cough itself. Accurate diagnosis is more important.
Some specific home care for children include:
Steam therapy is the best option followed by rest.
Half a cup of Pomegranate juice mixed with pippali (long pepper), and ginger or pepper powder is known to be a wonder remedy for kids.
Apple cider vinegar mixed with crushed ginger can cure a cough. Sucking a lemon slice will also give relief.
A child’s head may be slightly elevated when sleeping by raising one end of the mattress. However, babies under one and a half years should not sleep with any pillows.
Honey can be recommended as a single dose of 2.5 ml before bed-time for cough in children over age one.
No honey to be given for a child less than one year old, as it is known to cause bacterial infection called botulism in infants.
Prevention and Precautions
A person with a tendency to catch cold and cough may regularly take a suitable home remedy to prevent the onset or its intensity.
Natural antibiotic of warm milk/water with turmeric and honey before bed-time.
One may consume one teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with honey three times a day.
Heart-leaved moonseed (giloi) juice every morning, 2 tablespoons with water, to build immunity and to balance the 3 doshas (fundamental bodily bio-elements or humours) known as vata, pitta, and kapha in ayurveda.
One may also refer to home remedies for fast relief from common cold and cough given above.