Robert Frost says, "Before I built a wall, I'd ask to know what I was walling in or walling out."

Nothing in the human body happens without a purpose so, before I suppress my cough I'd like to know the purpose of this symptom.

As with most symptoms in the human body, a cough as a symptom is protective (from sudden threat) as well as indicative (of an illness in the body.)

A sudden cough is a life-saving act because it forcefully throws out something that is likely to obstruct the respiratory tract - especially a foreign body being inhaled by young children. It is also an indication of inflammation along the respiratory tract - the inflammation builds up mucus which is forcefully removed by the cough response.

So, before we even begin to think of natural ways to get rid of a cough, remember that a cough could be indicative of a serious underlying disease and that must never be ignored.  Proper medical consultation must be sought.

For a simple cough which is largely related to mild environmental allergies or lifestyle related problems, here are the remedies

  1. Avoid going out in very polluted areas like traffic intersections, marketplaces - if in a four wheeler, keep your windows closed.
  2. Do a good steam inhalation/sauna at night - this helps in clearing up all polluted debris from your breathing passage and makes you sleep well at night.
  3. A sip of warm water with honey is a good antidote. Remember not to take too much honey, especially if you are diabetic.
  4. Make sure your last meal of the day is light and not very late. Untreated acidity and reflux are very common causes of an untreated cough.
  5. Avoid very chilly/spicy food as well as ice, aerated waters etc. because they can irritate your throat and cause a cough.

Wish you a safe living.