Do cough syrups actually heal you? No, if you think so then you are surviving with a myth, cough is a common reflex action that clears the throat of mucus or foreign irritants, this may occur because of excess secretions, allergens, environmental irritants such as dust and smoke.

A millions of people ingest spoonsful of these colorful, sweetened and flavored cold and cough formulations for relief from cough. And I guess it won’t be surprising if I tell you cough syrups are among top five medicines sold in India.

SO WHY AREN’T THESE COUGH SYRUPS GOOD FOR YOU?

  • Most of these cough syrups contain decongestants, expectorants, antihistamines and antitussives, which are cough SUPPRESSANTS.
  • Antitussives like dextromethorphan, suppress coughing by blocking the body’s cough reflex.
  • Cough suppressants can cause sputum retention which is harmful in patients of chronic bronchitis and  bronchiectasis.
  • These cough syrups makes you feel drowsy and helps you sleep but don’t provide you with  a cure.  
  • Most of them contain codeine and US government has banned medicines containing codeine for children .

SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

You can choose home remedies over cough syrups:

  • Steam inhalation helps clear airways and chest of excess mucous.
  • You can add honey 4tsp + 1tsp Nutmeg powder +2tsp Ginger Juice. Consume this lukewarm mixture for relief.

If your cough persists for two weeks or more get yourself diagnosed and treated. Take care of yourself, and be prepared for winters. Stay healthy.