To take away the sting of a cough, and to keep from coughing in the first place, you should try some of these easy home remedies. The good news is, a little goes a long way.
From the Home Remedies Cupboard
Garlic. Eating garlic won't have you winning any kissing contests, but who wants to kiss you when you sound like a seal? Since kissing isn't on your agenda, you can indulge in one of nature's best cures for coughs: garlic. It's full of antibiotic and antiviral properties; plus, garlic is also an expectorant, so it helps you cough up stubborn bacteria and/or mucus that are languishing in your lungs.
Some experts advise that to reap garlic's full cold- and flu-fighting benefits, you have to eat it raw. Yet swallowing 4 to 8 raw garlic cloves a day (the recommended amount) is hard for most people to stomach. Cheat a little by mixing the cloves into plain yogurt and putting a dollop on your soup. If you make a pasta sauce, put the garlic in at the last moment (because heat can spoil raw garlic's effectiveness), or toss garlic slices into your salad.
A cup of garlic broth may do the trick for your cough, too, and it is easy to prepare. Smash 1 to 3 cloves garlic (depending on how strong you like your garlic), add 2 quarts water, and boil on low heat for one hour. Strain and sip slowly. You can also chop up some garlic cloves and toss them into that pot of chicken soup (again, at the last moment so the garlic remains essentially raw).
Honey. Honey has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for coughs because it's a natural expectorant, promoting the flow of mucus. This is the simple recipe: Mix 1 tablespoon honey into 1 cup hot water and enjoy. Now how sweet is that? Squeeze some lemon juice in if you want a little tartness. Before bedtime, adults may add 1 tablespoon brandy or whiskey to aid in sleep.
From the Home Remedies Refrigerator
Ginger. Ginger, which has antiviral properties, shares the limelight with licorice and anise in this cough remedy. To make ginger-licorice-anise tea, combine 2 teaspoons freshly chopped ginger root, 2 teaspoons aniseed, and if available, 1 teaspoon dried licorice root in 2 cups boiling water. Cover and steep for ten minutes. Strain and sweeten with 1 or 2 teaspoons honey. Drink 1/2 cup, every one to two hours, but no more than 3 whole cups a day.
We've got a few home remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms of a cough on the next page.
For more information about coughs and how to treat them, try the following links:
- To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
- A more serious cough usually accompanies bronchitis. Read about this illness in Home Remedies For Bronchitis.
- Starve a Cold/Feed a Fever? Learn the best approach in Home Remedies For Colds.
- Don't get knocked out by the flu this year. Keep from getting sick in the first place, and get better if you do, by following these Home Remedies For The Flu.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.