It’s never a fun situation when you have a persistent cough. You surely do not want to be that person in a quiet room during a lecture that can’t stop breaking the silence with your inevitable coughing, or that person at the restaurant that makes people fling themselves over their plates to protect their food while you cough away. Coughs are just terribly uncomfortable all around, both physically and otherwise.
Instead of turning to chemical solutions such as cough syrup for every minor ailment, try some home remedies instead. They are not only better for you, but they taste a whole lot better than most medicines do. Compiled from Reader’s digest, here is a list of six natural remedies to try out before a dry cough attacks you with the changing weather. These safety measures will definitely help you to ease into the upcoming winter season.
1. A spoonful of honey
Studies, such as one conducted at Penn State College of Medicine, have found that honey can work more efficiently to calm a dry cough than over-the-counter drugs. It is a rich demulcent, with a high viscosity and stickiness that does an incredible job of coating and soothing those irritated mucous membranes. It also has antibacterial properties as well, which may help shorten how long you have the cough if it is due to bacterial illness.
2. Salt water
Also a popular remedy for sore throats, salt water can ease the discomfort caused by a dry cough the same way it helps a sore throat-through osmosis. When the concentration of salt is higher outside of the cells in your mucous membranes, water flows out of the cells to balance everything out. When water leaves the cells, swelling goes down, and discomfort is decreased. If you have a cough that happens to come along with inflamed tissue, this is a good route to take. It can also help dislodge any phlegm that’s hanging out and allow you to expel it easily.
3. Blended almonds
Researchers believe almonds help relieve bronchial problems, including coughs. They recommend blending a few teaspoons of finely ground almonds with a cup of orange juice and sipping as a natural remedy.
4. Licorice root tea
Licorice root is both an expectorant and demulcent, simultaneously soothing your airways while loosening and thinning mucous and easing congestion. It can also ease any inflammation that may be irritating your throat. Its main constituent, glycyrrhizin, is responsible for most of its effects. Thirty to 50 times sweeter than sucrose, it inhibits an enzyme that regulates access of glucocorticoid (a steroid hormone) to steroid receptors, ultimately slowing the conversion of cortisol to cortisone. This increases the effect of cortisol and reduces inflammation.
5. Ginger peppermint syrup
Spicy ginger works as an expectorant, helping loosen and expel mucous from the lungs. It can also stop the painful tickle at the back of throat that can trigger a cough if the first place, if you are experiencing a dry cough. The peppermint will also help relieve the irritating tickle of a cough.
6. Tea Thyme
Thyme contains anti-microbial properties that can reduce your cough. It relaxes the muscles of the trachea and bronchi, and also opens up airways. The result is less coughing, and increased comfort.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2016.
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