Coughing is a normal and healthy reflex. It helps your body clear your airways of mucus, smoke, and other irritants. But constant coughing can take a toll. It may interrupt your sleep, work, and activities, hurt your chest, and tire you out.
It’s best to stop a cough by treating the underlying cause, whether it’s a cold, allergies, acid reflux, or blood pressure drugs or other medications. But you also can try some home remedies to quiet your cough.
Drink lots of fluids. When you’re sick, mucus can trickle down the back of your nose. Staying hydrated thins the drip so it’s less likely to irritate your throat and trigger a cough. This also makes it easier for your lungs to clear out the discharge.
Swallow some honey. It soothes the scratchiness in the back of your throat. One study found that honey works just as well as over-the-counter drugs for calming nighttime coughs. Take a tablespoon as needed, or stir it into a warm drink. Don’t give honey to babies under age 1.
Sip a hot drink. Research shows that it can ease cold symptoms, including a cough. The liquids are hydrating, and the heat helps to lower congestion. Brew some calming chamomile tea. Ginger tea is another good choice. The spicy root may help relax the smooth muscles in your airways. Steep chopped ginger in boiling water for 5-10 minutes and discard before sipping.
Clear irritants from your home. Some people are sensitive to perfumes and fragrances in laundry detergents and air fresheners. That may irritate the sinuses and up mucus production, which sets the stage for hacking.
If you have allergies, cleaning away mold, dust, and pollen may help. These allergens may cause a reaction, including a cough. You may need to wash your sheets in hot water, clean your floors with a HEPA-filter vacuum, and scrub windows with a bleach solution.
Photo source: healio.com
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