July 24, 2024
Discover natural remedies, over-the-counter medications, breathing exercises, menthol rubs, healthy foods, and yoga poses that can help soothe and alleviate coughing. Explore various methods and try different remedies to find what works best for your unique cough.

Introduction

A cough can be an irritating and sometimes painful symptom of many illnesses, including colds, allergies, and the flu. Thankfully, there are many remedies available to help soothe and alleviate coughs. In this article, we’ll explore natural remedies, over-the-counter medications, breathing exercises, menthol rubs, healthy foods, and yoga poses that can help reduce coughing. By trying different remedies, you’ll be able to find the one that works best for you and your unique cough.

Natural remedies to soothe a cough

Drinking warm liquids

Drinking warm liquids can help alleviate coughing by loosening mucus and soothing the throat. Examples of warm liquids to try include:

  • Hot water with lemon and honey
  • Herbal tea
  • Bone broth
  • Hot chocolate

Make sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can dehydrate you and make your cough worse.

Using a humidifier

A humidifier can help moisten the airways, making it easier to breathe and reducing coughing. Consider using a cool-mist humidifier, especially if you have children or pets, as warm-mist humidifiers can be a burn risk. Some tips for using a humidifier safely include:

  • Keep the humidifier clean to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold
  • Use distilled or demineralized water to avoid mineral buildup
  • Avoid over-humidifying, as this can lead to excessive moisture in the air

Consuming honey

Honey has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe a cough. You can try adding honey to warm water or tea, or even taking a spoonful by itself. Just be sure not to give honey to children under one year of age, as it can sometimes contain harmful bacteria.

Over-the-counter medications to alleviate cough

Cough suppressants

Cough suppressants work by reducing the body’s urge to cough. Examples of effective cough suppressants include:

  • Dextromethorphan (DM)
  • Benzonatate
  • Codeine (available by prescription only)

Make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging carefully and speak with your doctor before taking any medication.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines can help reduce coughing in certain situations, such as when caused by allergies or post-nasal drip. Some precautions to be aware of when taking antihistamines include:

  • They can cause drowsiness, so avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how they affect you
  • They can interact with other medications, so speak with your doctor before taking them
  • They can cause dry mouth and throat, so make sure to drink plenty of water

Pain relievers

Pain relievers can help alleviate cough-related pain. Examples of safe pain relievers to use include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Aspirin (children under 18 should not take aspirin due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome)

Make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging carefully and speak with your doctor before taking any medication.

Breathing exercises for cough relief

Deep belly breathing

Deep belly breathing involves breathing deeply and fully from your diaphragm, rather than shallowly from your chest. To practice deep belly breathing:

  1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position
  2. Place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest
  3. Inhale deeply through your nose, feeling your belly expand under your hand
  4. Exhale slowly through your mouth, feeling your belly fall back down

Deep belly breathing can help improve lung function, reduce stress, and ease coughing.

Pursed-lips breathing

Pursed-lips breathing involves exhaling slowly through pursed lips, as if you were blowing out a candle. To practice pursed-lips breathing:

  1. Breathe in deeply through your nose
  2. Purse your lips as if you were going to whistle
  3. Exhale slowly through your pursed lips

Pursed-lips breathing can help improve lung function, reduce shortness of breath, and ease coughing.

Menthol rubs to help reduce coughing

Overview of menthol and eucalyptus rubs

Menthol and eucalyptus rubs can help reduce coughing by creating a cooling sensation on the skin and in the nasal passages. Examples of rubs to try include:

  • Vicks VapoRub
  • Rubbing alcohol and menthol oil mixture

How to use them for cough relief

Apply a small amount of the rub to your chest, throat, or temples and massage gently. Be sure to wash your hands after use and avoid getting the rub in your eyes.

Precautions to consider when using these types of rubs

Menthol and eucalyptus rubs are generally safe for most people, but they can cause skin irritation in some individuals. Test the rub on a small area of skin before using it on larger areas of your body.

Healthy and natural foods that can help soothe a cough

Ginger

Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and irritation in the throat. Suggestions for incorporating ginger into your diet include:

  • Add fresh ginger to tea or hot water
  • Grate fresh ginger into stir-fries or soups
  • Eat crystallized ginger as a snack

Garlic

Garlic has natural antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help fight off infections. Creative ways to include garlic in your meals include:

  • Mince fresh garlic and add it to salad dressings
  • Sauté minced garlic and add it to pasta dishes
  • Roast whole garlic cloves and spread them on bread or crackers

Turmeric

Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe a cough. Ideas for consuming turmeric include:

  • Add turmeric powder to scrambled eggs or tofu
  • Sprinkle turmeric powder on roasted vegetables
  • Brew turmeric tea by boiling fresh turmeric root in water

Yoga for relief from cough

Overview of how yoga can help

Yoga can help reduce coughing by improving lung function, reducing stress, and increasing circulation. Some specific poses to try for cough relief include:

Specific poses to try for cough relief

  • Downward Dog
  • Bow Pose
  • Cobra Pose
  • Bridge Pose

Safety tips for practicing yoga when experiencing a cough

Make sure to listen to your body and rest when needed. Avoid practicing yoga in smoky or polluted environments, as this can worsen coughing symptoms. Speak with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

Conclusion

There are many remedies available to help soothe and alleviate a cough, from natural remedies like drinking warm liquids and consuming honey to breathing exercises, over-the-counter medications, menthol rubs, healthy foods, and yoga poses. By trying different remedies, you’ll be able to find the one that works best for you and your unique cough. However, it’s important to remember that if you have a persistent or severe cough, you should seek medical attention.

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