Best Home Remedies to Deal with Chronic Cough
Cold and cough are not very serious health conditions but may be an indication of other illnesses. A person may experience a cough may be due to chest congestion or throat infection or allergies or tuberculosis, or even gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). An acute cough develops suddenly and lasts for short durations, while a chronic cough lasts for more than 3 to 8 weeks. A chronic cough that does not have any obvious cause and lasts for several weeks is a cause of concern.
A chronic cough can cause a considerable amount of discomfort and be a hindrance to your work and home routine. A chronic cough can strain the muscles of your chest and leave your throat feeling raw and painful. There are chronic cough remedies which aim at eliminating the cause of cough. Cough due to cold can be cured through simple home remedies, while serious infections of the throat or lungs may require antibiotic medication. Mild throat infections may be treated by gargling with warm salt water.
Causes of a chronic cough
Cough occurs when dust, virus, bacteria, food particles or pollen irritate the nerve endings present in the airways between throat and lungs. The body tries to clear the blockage by coughing. Before moving on to chronic cough remedies, it pays to take a look at the various causes of a chronic cough. Common causes of a chronic cough are as follows:
- Postnasal drip
- Asthma, cough-variant asthma with a cough as the main symptom
- Chronic bronchitis
- Any type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Viral or bacterial infections of the throat or lungs
- Medications for treating other illnesses like high blood pressure
- Chewing tobacco
- Acid reflux.
Other causes of a chronic cough that are less common include the following:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Lung cancer
- Heart failure
- A whooping cough
Top 10 home remedies for a chronic cough
Identifying the cause of a chronic cough is primary to decide on chronic cough remedies. A mild bout of a cough may settle with simple home remedies. Natural remedies for a chronic cough are free of side effects and sometimes more effective than over-the-counter medication. Natural remedies for chronic cough help soothe the throat and relax the chest muscles. When a chronic cough is caused due to bacterial or viral infections, antibiotic or antibacterial treatment may be required.
Here is a look at some of the home remedies for a chronic cough:
Honey is known for the soothing effect on the throat. It is the most effective remedy for a sore throat. 2-3 teaspoons of honey mixed with warm water or tea soothe the throat and helps get rid of a cough.
A chronic cough caused by acid reflux or GERD can be treated through probiotics. Acid reflux or GERD occurs when there is a problem with the digestive tract. Probiotics help cure digestive disorders. So, indirectly probiotics help reduce a chronic cough due to digestive disorders.
- Increase fluid intake
Postnasal drip is caused by cold or flu. Due to this drip, mucus flows down the back of the throat causing irritation. Increasing the intake of fluids dilutes the mucus, which in turn reduces the irritation.
Bromelain is an enzyme that is found in the stem and fruit of pineapples. This enzyme is known to suppress a chronic cough and loosen the mucus in the throat.
Peppermint leaves are capable of curing sore throat and chest congestion. The extract from these leaves can be added to tea or 2-3 drops of peppermint oil can be added to the steam bath.
Certain upper respiratory illnesses can be treated with thyme. Thyme can be added to tea for relief from a cough.
- Warm salt water
Mild throat infections can be treated by gargling with warm salt water 3 to 4 times a day.
- Drinking warm liquids
Avoiding cold drinks and drinking only warm liquids helps in soothing the throat. Warm liquids help maintain the mucous membranes in a moist state.
- Black pepper and honey
Black pepper crushed into a powder and mixed with honey helps in relieving cough caused by cold. Freshly ground pepper works best.
- Throat lozenges
Menthol cough drops are effective in chronic cough relief. Lozenges have a numbing effect on the back of the throat, which in turn helps in decreasing the cough reflex.
If a cough is caused due to dust or pollen or other airborne allergens, avoiding going to place which will expose yourself to them. This will help prevent a chronic cough.
Chronic cough remedies depend on the root cause of a cough. Some causes can be addressed through simple home remedies, while others may require intensive medical treatment. In some cases, chronic cough may be an indication of other serious illnesses like lung cancer, tuberculosis or throat cancer. In such cases, chronic cough remedies are aimed at eliminating the cancerous growth or chest infection, which reduces the intensity of coughing.