Cough is an important defense mechanism of the body but chronic cough (also known as persistent cough) impacts the quality of life. While a chronic cough is not a disease, it might be the cause of an underlying or a serious health condition, such as a heart problem or a lung disease.
When a cough lasts longer than 8 weeks in adults or 4 weeks in children, it is known as chronic cough. Common causes include asthma, allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or bronchitis (inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs).
Chronic cough may be dry or with mucus. You can use a wide range of natural remedies to try to treat a chronic/persistent cough.
8 Home Remedies to Ease Symptoms of Chronic Cough
1. Honey tea can suppress a chronic cough. Honey acts as a demulcent (an agent that forms a soothing surface over the mucous membrane), which helps in soothing the throat. Also, honey helps in healing your irritated throat due to its antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
Studies claim that honey can treat your cough better than over-the-counter (OTC) medications. To prepare honey tea, mix about 2 teaspoons of honey in herbal tea, with a few drops of lemon juice.
2. Gargle with salt water. Salt water helps in clearing the throat by killing bacteria in the mouth or the throat. Gargling with warm salt water will help ease your discomfort and irritation caused by a dry & persistent cough.
3. Increase your fluid intake. Being hydrated helps in thinning out the mucus, that drips down the back of your throat, and hence, prevents coughing. Hot beverages or fluids help in reducing chronic cough with expectoration (sputum production).
Hot fluids like herbal tea, decaffeinated black tea, and warm water suppress the symptoms immediately and give relief for a longer period of time.
4. Try pineapple juice for a chronic cough. Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that possesses anti inflammatory and mucolytic properties.
Being mucolytic, it helps in thinning out the mucus and clears your throat by removing it. Pineapple also has loads of vitamin C which helps in boosting your immune system.
5. Ginger helps in easing your chronic cough. Ginger tea with honey removes the expectorating cough from the throat and relaxes it.
Ginger has gingerols and shogaols (bioactive compounds) which impart an antiinflammatory effect, relieving sore throat and cough.
6. Probiotics relieve allergic symptoms and can help with a chronic cough. Allergies like hay fever or pollen allergies can cause a chronic dry cough. Probiotics do not relieve the cough directly but balances the gastrointestinal flora and enhances your body’s immunity. Gastrointestinal flora is the bacteria that live in your intestines.
Common sources of probiotics are yoghurt, kimchi (a Korean dish which is a combination of vegetables, garlic, ginger, chilli peppers, salt, and fish sauce), kefir (fermented drink, traditionally made using cow's milk or goat's milk), kombucha (fermented, lightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea drink) and sauerkraut (finely cut raw cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria).
7. Peppermint leaves to instantly cure a chronic cough. The menthol in peppermint leaves acts as a decongestant and has mucolytic properties. As a result, it helps in the breakdown of mucus and clearing of your throat.
You can add about 3 to 4 peppermint leaves to your salads, desserts, smoothies, and water. Peppermint tea or peppermint oil are other easy ways to incorporate this super ingredient into your diet.
8. Marshmallow root is a useful remedy for treating coughs. Marshmallow, a herb that contains mucilage (a thick, gluey substance produced by nearly all plants) helps in coating the throat and soothing it.
Studies claim that any herbal cough syrup containing marshmallow root treats chronic coughs due to respiratory diseases. It can be consumed in different ways such as marshmallow tea or in the form of capsules and syrups.
To summarize, a chronic cough can be managed well with the above-mentioned home remedies. They are known to strengthen the respiratory tract, boost your immune system, and improve the overall quality of life.
Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.