When it comes to treating this common and irritating symptom, home remedies for cough should be always the first choice of treatment. Coughing is not an actual health condition, but merely a symptom of an underlying health problem, which can be linked to viral illnesses, hay fever, broncho-spasm, asthma, a chronic lung disease or perhaps tobacco smoking. Coughing is the body’s attempt to clear the airway passages of external irritants, built up mucus or it can be a reaction to an irritated airway, such as in the case of asthma. Coughing is in fact the body’s way of protecting the respiratory system from potential infection.
In the case of a productive cough, where due to an underlying health problem mucus has come up from the lungs or phlegm has drained down into the airway from the sinuses or the nose, coughing should never be repressed. However, when coughing is non-productive, because it is dry as it has developed either because of allergies, asthma or broncho-spasms due to a viral infection, home remedies for cough should be used as a first line of treatment.
General Home Remedies for Cough, Suitable for Everyone Over the Age of 6 Years
The younger the sufferer is, the more limitations he has with regards to both medical treatment or natural remedies for cough. However, there are several effective natural ingredients, which can be used for adults or children over the age of 6, including ginger, honey or lemon. When these home remedies for cough are prepared and administered the right way, they can achieve dramatic results.
Ginger root extract is often the active ingredient in herbal lozenges and infusions since this amazing plant has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory attributes.
Chamomile tea or infusion can be an excellent addition to your home remedies for cough due to its anti-spasmodic, relaxing, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, thus it can minimize the intensity and frequency of your cough. Chamomile tea can be drunk and its steam can be inhaled for maximum benefit.
Honey, which is safe for everyone over the age of 1 year has the ability to neutralize bacteria in the throat. It is a natural, topical antibiotic, which can be consumed either in its natural form or in combination with other home remedies for cough.
Since lemon contains high levels of vitamin C, it is an excellent remedy that will repress and eliminate cough by moisturizing the throat, reducing congestion and boosting the immune system.
Garlic is one of the most versatile herbs, which is great for the treatment of a wide variety of medical conditions, ranging from acute viral and bacterial infections to chronic conditions, such as hypertension.
Home Remedies for Cough Due to an Allergy
If you suffer from a persistent allergic cough, before you visit your physician, try to treat your condition with home remedies for cough. If you are allergic to animal dander, certain foods, mold or pollen, try to prevent your exposure to these allergens, which is not always easy. There are 2 well known home remedies for cough in the case of allergies: marshmallow and peppermint leaves. While eating marshmallow leaves can coat your throat, thus repressing your cough, peppermint leaves can break up mucus. Therefore if you are prone to an allergic cough, try to include these herbs in their fresh form every day in your diet.
Using an air humidifier in your home, especially in your bedroom at night is one of the best home remedies for cough, as it will restore moisture to the air, making it easier for you to breathe. However, if you ever cough up green phlegm or blood, this should warrant a visit to the doctor.
Home Remedies for Cough Suitable for Babies and Children
Home Remedies for Cough in Babies Under 9 Months
Apart from encouraging infants to drink a little room temperature water every time they cough in order to thin out the phlegm or mucus on their throat and keeping an air humidifier in their bedroom, there are 2 natural home remedies for cough which are safe to use for infants under the age of 9 months. The juice of Holy Basil leaves are safe to use over the age of 3 months for babies suffering from dry cough. Crush the leaves of the plant, extract the juice and using a pipette, you can give your baby 2 to 3 drops of this juice every 6 hours.
If you are using an air humidifier, adding a few drops of eucalyptus, thyme or sage essential oils to the water would be also a good idea. Alternatively you can use an essential oil burner.
Congestion in the lungs can be easily broken up by exposing the baby to warm steam. Running a hot shower, which creates warm steam and sitting inside the bathroom with your baby for 15 to 20 minutes can ease your baby’s congestion and cough.
Home Remedies for Cough Suitable for Toddlers
When it comes to home remedies for cough, babies and toddlers have certain limitations. When the child is suffering from a cold or flu, coughing should be encouraged and the child should be reassured, since it is a natural reflex of the body, trying to eliminate foreign materials from the airway passages. Giving a couple of spoonfuls of warmed fruit juice can reduce the severity of the cough and apart from the above mentioned remedies, over the age of 1 year you can also offer a teaspoon of honey to your toddler up to 6 times a day.
Encourage your toddler to blow his nose to prevent mucus draining down the back of his throat. However, if your toddler is not able to blow his nose by himself, try to clear his nasal passages by using a nasal aspirator.
Home Remedies for Cough Suitable for Children
From the age of 3 if your child suffers from a bad cough you can offer him herbal lozenges that contain only natural ingredients, which will ease the intensity of the cough by moisturizing the throat.
Bromelain, otherwise also referred to as Ananase is another home remedy suitable for the treatment of cough in children over the age of 3. Bromelain is a combination of natural enzymes extracted from pineapples, excellent for the treatment of productive or non productive cough as well as it is also used for the treatment of various other health conditions, such as pulmonary edema, hay fever or colonic inflammation. This supplement is available in most good health food stores.