‘Tis the season for coughing. As the weather turns cooler across most of the U.S. and the holidays approach, people are spending more time together indoors. If you’re unfortunate enough to catch a common cold or another virus from another person, it can come with an irritating cough.
Before you reach for an over-the-counter or prescription cough suppressant, you might want to try one of these cough remedies you can make at home. Many of these home coughing remedies can be made from ingredients you already have available.
Homesteaders who grow their own medicinal herbs and plants may want to research which works best to relieve sore throats and constant coughing. That way, when you need them for home coughing remedies, you can get them from your own storage area instead of making a trip to the local farmers market or grocery store.
In this blog, we’ll discuss:
- Why do we cough?
- How do you get rid of a cough fast?
- How can I stop coughing at night naturally?
- What to drink to stop coughing?
- What are some easy cough remedies to make at home?
Why do we cough?
If you’ve been kept awake three nights in a row by nonstop coughing, you might not care about the science behind why we cough. However, it’s important to understand this important bodily reflex so you know which cough remedies you can make at home to ease your suffering.
Whether you have asthma or a respiratory infection, coughing is your body’s way of keeping your airways clear. You also might start coughing if you’re choking, (which requires a different kind of remedy).
Types of coughs
Medical experts classify coughs in different ways. Some types have names that describe how long they last, while others label how they feel or sound.
Coughs named after how long they last include:
- Acute coughs come on quickly and can last for a few weeks.
- Chronic coughs linger for more than 2 months.
- Subacute coughs can last for several weeks after you’ve had a respiratory infection.
- Refractory coughs are those which have not responded to treatment.
Sometimes coughs are labeled based on how they sound. Common descriptors are barking, wheezing, and whooping. You may have a cough that only plagues you at night. If you develop phlegm in your chest along with a cough, it may be time to consult with your primary care provider.
How do you get rid of a cough fast?
Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes for coughs. If you’ve developed a cough because of a virus or bacterial infection, you must wait for the illness to run its course before the cough subsides.
Besides clearing out your airways, coughing can be your body’s automatic reaction to a dry, sore throat. Drinking more fluids when you’re sick is a good strategy for many reasons. First, it prevents dehydration. When you’re sick, you might run a fever or sweat more. You need to drink more to replace those lost fluids.
Some evidence also suggests that staying hydrated can boost your immune system, which helps you get over your illness – and your cough – more quickly.
At the very least, drinking more fluids makes your dry, irritated throat feel better, which can lessen the number of times you cough.
How can I stop coughing at night naturally?
Coughing at night can be doubly irritating because it affects your overall sleep quality. When you’re sick, you need to get as much rest as possible. That can be difficult if nonstop coughing keeps you awake.
If you’re looking for a home coughing remedies that you can use to soothe your sore throat at night, reach for some honey. (Bonus points if you have local honey grown on your homestead or from a nearby apiary).
Honey is more effective at stopping stubborn nighttime coughing than over-the-counter or prescription cough suppressants.
What to drink to stop coughing?
Hot tea with honey can be an effective – and delicious – way to soothe a sore throat and ease your endless coughing. Peppermint is one of the most effective herbal teas to drink if you want to stop coughing. Add a touch of honey to it and sip it warm to enjoy the full benefits.
In addition to the honey being a home coughing remedy, peppermint is well known for its healing properties.
Drinks to avoid
Grandma may have touted the benefits of a shot of whiskey or a hot toddy but drinking alcohol when you’ve got a sore throat can make your coughing worse, not better.
In addition to nixing the alcohol while you’re coughing, you also should avoid drinks that have:
- Acidic ingredients.
What are some easy cough remedies to make at home?
If you’re like us, you prefer all-natural remedies to artificially-manufactured medicines you buy at the pharmacy. The good news is there are plenty of cough remedies you can make at home. Here are a few of our favorites.
Freshly-squeezed pineapple juice
If your throat is raw from too much coughing, you probably don’t want to try this home coughing remedy. However, if you have mucous congestion in your airways, a little pineapple is just the trick you need to clear it up naturally.
That’s because pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re taking blood thinners or certain antibiotics, you shouldn’t consume anything with bromelain, as it can cause side effects.
Ginger for dry coughs
Allergies and asthma can produce a consistent, dry cough. Some types of viruses also can leave you coughing for weeks after you’ve recovered. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that make it ideal for soothing sore throats and persistent dry coughs.
Homemade ice cream
Ice cream may not be the first thing you think about when you’re coughing, but the coolness of it can feel good on throats irritated from coughing. If you make your homemade ice cream using A2 milk from a Jersey cow, you’ll get added nutrients and vitamins that can strengthen your immune system.
Marshmallow root cough syrup
Marshmallow root has long been known as an herb that can treat coughs and sore throats effectively. It’s one of the most popular home coughing remedies.
Here’s a super easy recipe you can use to make your own marshmallow.
Ingredients you’ll need
- 1 quart filtered water
- ¼ cup grated ginger root
- ¼ cup chamomile flowers
- ¼ cup marshmallow root powder
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon
- 1 cup raw, organic honey
How to make it
Put all ingredients except the lemon juice and honey into a medium-sized sauce pain and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 45 to 60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by almost half the original amount.
Then, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for about 15 minutes. Finally, strain into a glass jar, stirring in the honey and lemon juice.
The recipe makes 25 servings. A serving equals one tablespoon. You can store this mixture in an air-tight container for up to 2 months.
Can Medicinal Herbs from My Garden Help with Cough Remedies?
12 Science-Backed Benefits of Peppermint Tea and Extracts. healthline.com. Accessed October 13, 2022.
Anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidative Effects of Phytohustil® and Root Extract of Althaea officinalis L. on Macrophages in vitro. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed October 13, 2022.
Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed October 13, 2022.
Cough. my.clevelandclinic.org. Accessed October 13, 2022.
Hydration for Immune System. ssihi.uci.edu. Accessed October 13, 2022.
Is it true that honey calms coughs better than cough medicine does? mayoclinic.org. Accessed October 13, 2022.
Role of Bromelain as Herbal Anti-Inflammatory Compound Using In Vitro and In Vivo Model of Colitis. autoimmunediseases.imedpub.com. Accessed October 13, 2022.
What do doctors mean when they say ‘drink plenty of fluids’? washingtonpost.com. Accessed October 13, 2022.
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