Chronic Cough Treatment for Children - Mindy Ross, MD | UCLAMDCHAT Webinars
How to Get Rid of Dry Cough Home Remedy
Coughing is a way for your body to expel phlegm or mucus, but a dry cough is one that does not produce any phlegm or mucus. This kind of cough can be frustrating, but there are several natural remedies that may help get rid of a dry cough. You can make your own honey-lemon cough syrup, try a natural home remedy, or just practice good self-care to get rid of your dry cough. Make sure that you talk to your doctor if your cough does not improve within two weeks, if it is severe, or is accompanied by other symptoms like fever, fatigue, weight loss, or blood. If accompanied by the latter symptoms, it is best to seek swift medical advice.
Making a Natural Honey-Lemon Cough Syrup
Gather your materials.Honey has been shown to be more effective than cough medicines for some people, so making your own honey cough suppressant may help relieve your dry cough.Making a honey-lemon cough suppressant is easy and you may already have everything that you need in your kitchen. To make a honey-lemon cough syrup, you will need:
- 1 cup of honey
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- Two to three cloves of garlic (optional)
- One 1½ inch piece of ginger (optional)
- 1/4 cup of water
- Small sauce pan
- Wooden spoon
- Mason jar with a lid
Mix honey and lemon.Warm up one cup of honey. Then, add three to four tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the warm honey. If you only have bottled lemon juice, use four to five tablespoons.
- If you only want honey and lemon in your natural cough syrup, then you may add ¼ cup of water to the honey-lemon mixture and stir while heating the mixture over a low flame for about 10 minutes.
- If you want to increase the medicinal properties of your honey-lemon cough syrup, then hold off on adding the water and heating the mixture. There are some other ingredients that you can add, such as garlic and ginger.
Add garlic.Garlic has antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antifungal properties, so it may help to fight off whatever is causing your dry cough.Peel two to three cloves of garlic and chop them as finely as possible. Add the garlic to the honey and lemon mixture.
Include some ginger.Ginger is often used to improve digestion and to treat nausea and vomiting, but it can also thin out mucus and reduce your cough reflex.
- Cut and peel about 1½ inches of fresh ginger root. Grate the ginger and add it to the honey-lemon mixture.
Pour in ¼ cup of water and heat the mixture.Measure out ¼ cup of water and add it to the honey-lemon mixture. Then, heat the mixture on low for about 10 minutes. Stir the mixture as it heats to ensure that the ingredients are well-combined and heated all the way through.
Transfer the mixture to a mason jar.After you have finished heating the mixture, you will need to transfer it to a mason jar. Pour it in slowly and scrape the pan with your spoon to ensure that all of the ingredients go into the jar. Place a lid on the jar.
Refrigerate the honey-lemon syrup.You will need to keep this mixture in the refrigerator to keep it from spoiling. Discard any remaining syrup after one month.Take one to two tablespoons of the honey-lemon cough suppressant as needed.
- Never give honey to a child younger than one year old.
Using Natural Home Remedies
Sip a cup of peppermint tea.Peppermint tea can soothe a dry cough and it can also help to clear nasal passages and thin out mucus.Try drinking a few cups throughout the day to soothe a dry cough. You can find peppermint tea in grocery stores.
- To make a cup of peppermint tea, place one teabag in a mug and pour eight ounces of boiling water over it. Then, let the tea steep for about five minutes. Wait for it to cool down to a comfortable drinking temperature before you drink the tea.
Take marshmallow root.Marshmallow is also known asAlthaea officinalisand it is a traditional cough suppressant. It produces a film that coats the throat and this seems to help suppress a dry cough.You can find marshmallow root tea, drops, and capsules in health food stores.
- You can drink several cups of marshmallow root tea each day, take 30 to 40 drops of marshmallow root tincture in a glass of water daily, or take up to six grams of marshmallow root powder capsules per day.
- For any product that you use, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
- Make sure that you check with your doctor first, especially if you are taking any medications.
Try slippery elm.Slippery elm helps to soothe a dry cough by increasing mucus production and coating your throat.You can take slippery elm in a few different forms, but make sure that you check with your doctor first and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
- You can drink a few cups of slippery elm tea each day, take 5 mL of slippery elm tincture three times daily, take a 400 to 500 mg capsule of slippery elm three times daily for up to eight weeks, or suck on slippery elm lozenges throughout the day.
- If you are pregnant or taking any medications, ask your doctor before using slippery elm.
Brew some thyme tea.Thyme is another traditional medicine for dry cough. You can brew a thyme tea to use it as a cough suppressant. To make a cup of thyme tea, place 1 teaspoon of dried thyme into a mug and pour boiling water over the herbs. Then, let the herbs steep for about five minutes, strain the herbs from the water, and drink after the tea cools down a bit.
- Thyme oil is toxic when ingested. Do not take thyme oil by mouth.
- Thyme may interact with some medications including blood thinners and hormone medications. Talk to your doctor before using thyme if you are taking any medications or if you are pregnant.
Chew on a piece of ginger root.Ginger helps asthma sufferers because it has bronchodilation effects (it opens the airways).Since ginger helps to relax the muscles and open air passages, it may also be helpful for a dry cough. Try chewing on a 1-inch piece of peeled ginger to see if it helps with your cough.
- You can also make a ginger root tea. To make ginger tea, place a teaspoon of minced ginger into a mug and pour 8 ounces (236.6 mL) of boiling water over the ginger. Then, steep the ginger for about five to ten minutes. Drink the tea after it cools down a bit.
Mix turmeric and milk.Turmeric milk is a traditional treatment for cough and studies have shown that consuming turmeric can help to relieve a cough.Try adding some turmeric to cup of warm milk to help soothe a dry cough.
- Stir ½ teaspoon of turmeric into one glass of warm cow’s milk. If you don’t like cow’s milk, try soy milk, coconut milk, or almond milk.
Gargle with warm salt water.Warm salt water can be helpful if you have a sore throat or if your dry cough is causing your throat to feel swollen or irritated. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to about 8 ounces (236.6 mL) of water. Stir the mixture to dissolve the salt and then gargle the solution.
- Repeat this once every couple of hours throughout the day.
Use steam to soothe your cough.Keeping the air humid in your environment may also help to soothe your cough. Try using a vaporizer or taking hot, steamy showers to help moisten your throat and soothe a dry cough.
- If you have a vaporizer, then you may also want to add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to provide some additional relief for your dry cough. These scents can help to open up your airways and may soothe a dry cough as well.
Taking Care of Yourself
Drink plenty of water.Staying hydrated is essential to good health and may be even more important when you are sick. Drinking water may also help to soothe your dry cough by moistening your throat. Aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses (about 2 liters) of water per day to stay hydrated.
- Warm fluids can also help you stay hydrated. Drink teas, broths, and clear soups to soothe your cough and keep you hydrated.
Get plenty of rest.Getting plenty of rest will also support your body as it heals.Make sure that you are getting at least eight hours of sleep every night. If you have a cold or other contagious illness, then you may want to take a day off from work to rest and recover.
Eat nutritious foods.Adequate nutrition is also essential to recover from an illness, so make sure that you are eating healthy foods. Steer clear of junk foods. Instead, choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein for nourishment.
- Try eating chicken noodle soup for one of your daily meals. This traditional home remedy has even been shown to reduce inflammation and thin mucus.
Quit smoking.Sometimes a dry cough may be due to smoking or made worse by smoking. If you smoke, do what you can to quit. Talk to your doctor about medications and smoking cessations programs that may make it easier for you to quit smoking.
- After you quit smoking, you may also get a dry cough. This indicates that your body is trying to heal itself and it should improve with time.
Suck on cough drops or hard candies.Sucking on a throat lozenge or even a hard candy may help to soothe your dry cough. The lozenge or hard candy increases saliva production and helps to moisten a dry throat. Other ingredients in medicated cough drops may also help to suppress a cough.
See a doctor for a persistent or severe cough.In many situations, a dry cough will go away within a week or two. If your cough does not improve or if it gets worse, call your physician. Call your doctor right away if you notice:
- A thick and/or a greenish-yellow phlegm
- A whistling sound at the beginning or end of your breath
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- A fever of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius)
- Blood in any phlegm or mucus that you cough up
- Abdominal swelling
- Sudden onset of a violent cough
Sources and Citations
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