Having a cough in these pandemic times can be troublesome. What was once a commonly encountered and readily treated symptom is now a potential cause of alarm and anxiety. A cough has several possible causes, such as infection, an allergy, or some form of reflux. To be sure, the best solution would be to consult your doctor. Let’s explore the best home remedies for chronic cough.

 If you experience cough, colds, fever, headache, and other symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, seek medical help immediately and get tested. Upon consultation with a doctor and confirmation that your cough is a mild case that you can handle yourself (maybe including assistance by a loved one) at home, there are several remedies you can apply to alleviate this troublesome symptom.

Chronic cough is annoying and incapacitating
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Disclaimer: Do not take the following recommendations as medical advice. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, please seek medical help immediately.

Cough Remedies at Home

Here are some of the best home remedies for chronic cough:

1. Fluids

Stay hydrated when experiencing a cough or a cold. As a universal solvent, water effectively loosens and dissolves secretions, so they are easier to expel. Drinking lots of water will also help replenish the body’s fluid stores, which can quickly deplete when you are sick. 

2. Honey

Honey has been used as a home remedy against cough for millenia.
Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

Honey has antibacterial properties that can help to fight off infections. It also provides significant relief from coughing. Mix two teaspoons of honey with warm water for this remedy water and drink this once to twice a day. Honey should not be given to children less than a year old, as their bodies have not yet developed to process this substance. 

3. Steam

Steam is also another potential means to loosen secretions that will both make it easier to expel and make it easier to breathe. Stay in a steaming shower or hot bath for several minutes until your symptoms improve. You may also lean over a bowl of warm water while covering your head with a towel to trap the steam and inhaling the vapors for about 5 minutes. 

4. Salt-water gargle

This simple remedy involves mixing ¼ to ½ tsp of salt with 8 ounces of warm water, then gargling the mixture, holding it at the back of the throat for several seconds at a time. Gargling can help soothe a scratchy throat by reducing the buildup of phlegm and mucus. 

5. Dietary changes due to reflux

Acid reflux can occur when the stomach lining suffers irritation, causing food to be refluxed upwards resulting in cough. If that is the case, it is fundamental to avoid food that commonly causes reflux, such as the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine 
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus food
  • Fried and fatty food
  • Garlic and onions
  • Spices and spicy food
  • Tomato-based products

6. Hot tea

Home remedies may include hot tea.
Photo by TeaCora Rooibos on Unsplash

Hot tea is beneficial in relieving congestion by soothing the lining of your throat and nose. A simple tea bag steeped in hot water for 2-3 minutes usually does the trick, though you may opt for the following tea recipes:

  • Ginger tea – add powdered ginger to boiling water and allow to steep before drinking
  • Garlic tea – mix garlic or onions with lemon tea
  • Golden milk – add a teaspoon of turmeric to a simmering cup of milk and mix

7. Hot soups

Soups provide the same soothing relief as hot tea while also nourishing the body with nutrients that can help combat infection. Chicken noodle soup may be a classic dish worldwide, but here are some delicious recipes that can also relieve your cough:

  • Congee – mix stock of your choice with rice and vegetables
  • Lugaw – a popular dish native to the Philippines, this is a rice porridge infused with ginger and chicken
  • Canja – a traditional Portuguese dish typically made for those who are ill; it mixes chicken breast with long grain rice

A cough can be an annoying and disruptive physical symptom, one that can significantly impact our day and even affect our sleep. However, with these home remedies, hopefully, you can reduce the impact of cough and return to a better state of wellness swiftly. 

How can I avoid getting sick?

As the pandemic takes its toll on different parts of the world, the World Health Organization continues to emphasize the importance of the following preventive measures that can protect you, your families, and our communities from getting infected:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based rub thoroughly and regularly. 
  • Observe physical distancing of at least one meter apart.
  • Avoid crowded places.
  • Observe cough etiquette by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze or do so into your elbow. 
  • Maintain a well-ventilated space by keeping windows open and allowing air to circulate.

Taking Care at Home

Everyone can do their part in ending this pandemic by observing simple safety and sanitation protocols and taking care of their own health and their family members and community. Even the best home remedies for chronic cough might not replace conventional medicine, but they can be a helpful adjunct in dealing with illness.

Click on these links to learn more about home remedies and COVID-19.

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