Home Remedies to Cure a Cough

Many people experience a consistent cough, triggered by seasonal allergies, the common cold, or asthma. This cough almost always appears to be worse at night, when you are lying in your bed, trying to get a good night’s sleep before tackling your responsibilities of the next day. People drink teaspoon after teaspoon of cough medications, and can go through bags of cough drops, with no end to the coughing spells in sight. Finally, a trip to the doctor is in order.

However, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Program, “Consumers and taxpayers could save $5.2 billion annually if half of the unnecessary visits to physicians were avoided by more personal health management including greater use of OTC medicines. (Paul A. London and Associates, June 2011)”.

Home remedies, La Paz, Bolivia

Even over-the-counter medications can be costly, especially when you are purchasing these products over and over, month after month. Nowadays, more and more people are turning to home remedies in an effort to avoid expensive doctor’s visits, and undercut the cost of medications.

There are many home remedies, that are safe and do work to cure a cough, regardless of its cause. Here is a list of the 6 most popular remedies that people recommend.

1.) Lemon Juice and Water Gargle: Lemon juice tops the list of home remedies that can settle a cough. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you choose to drink it straight down, or drop some over honey; the bottom line is that this is one remedy that will work. Lemon juice does wonders for bringing up the phlegm.

Dr. Anthony Yonkers, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology, states that “We’ve found that about 30% or more of the people who have a cough are actually suffering from a form of heartburn. The acid from their stomach will come up into the lower esophagus, causing coughing fits. Lemon juice stimulates the saliva flow. It makes the mouth water and neutralizes the acid.” Many people cannot stand the bitter taste of lemons, so instead they use a mix of 4 ounces of lemon juice, and a ½ cup of warm water as a gargle. When you gargle with this mixture, three to four times a day, you will find that you no longer suffer with those chronic coughing fits.

2.) Peppermint Peppermint oil can be toxic if you intake to much of it, so you really want to be very careful and never take more than six drops. Because of the menthol, it is not recommended that you use this on small children, as it can sometimes make them feel as if they are choking. But peppermint oil is another great product to have on hand for a cough.

If you come across a bottle of peppermint oil in your local drugstore, don’t hesitate to pick it up. When you begin with a coughing spell, simple put a drop of the oil on your finger and touch your finger to your tongue. It will quickly knock out your cough. It can also be a little strong, and if you can’t take the strength of straight peppermint oil, you can heat a cup of water in the microwave and add two to three drops of the oil to the water. All you need to do is simply breath in the vapors from your warmed concoction. If you don’t have peppermint oil handy, a piece of peppermint candy can also work well for a quick fix.

3.) Slippery Elm Unless you are an avid health-food nut, you probably haven’t even heard of this. Slippery elm is sold in teas and lozenges in your local health food stores.

Back in the colonial days of America, slippery elm was a very common remedy that was used to treat sore throats, cough, colds and gastrointestinal ailments. You can mix this with milk or water, and it not only taste great, but it provides an instant relief from your cough.

4.) Onions and Sugar Although this isn’t the best tasting remedy, there are those who swear by it. There are two ways you can prepare this remedy: – Slice up two medium onions into a pan, and sprinkle ½ cup of sugar over it. Set your oven to low heat, and allow the mixture to cook for about thirty minutes. – Chop up onions into a bowl, and sprinkle with your sugar. Cover the bowl and allow your mixture to sit overnight.

No matter which way you prepare it, the end result will be the same. The sugar will absorb much of the liquid from the onions, and create a clear syrup. One tablespoon of this syrup every four or five hours will tame even the toughest cough.

German scientists have actually identified several substances in onions that produce an anti-inflammatory effect dramatic enough to head off an asthma attack. Who would have suspected that onions would ever do more than make you cry?

5.) Whiskey Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to force down a whole shot of whiskey, and suffer through the burning sensation it causes, in order to stop a cough. Just a few drops of whiskey will get the job done, and you can add in honey, lemon, peppermint, or sugar to help with the taste. The odor of the whiskey helps to clear the sinuses and gets any phlegm out.

6.) Honey A teaspoon of honey can be hard to swallow, but many people do it. Honey can help coat a dry, irritated throat, and helps to calm a dry, hacking cough. This remedy is one that most kids don’t seem to mind enduring, since honey is so sweet. This remedy does not seem to work as well on “wet” coughs that bring up phlegm.

Note: If your cough is accompanied by a fever, you may want to schedule a visit with your family doctor. A fever can be a sign of an infection, and infections need to be treated with antibiotics in most cases.