Generally, a cough is a reflex action that clears your airway of irritants and mucus. The cough can either be Productive (produces phlegm or mucus) or unproductive, also known as dry cough.
A dry cough, when exhibited, produces no mucus and is usually the result of upper respiratory infections, like flu and cold. A dry cough is, sometimes tough to manage, and may linger for weeks, even after its cause has passed.
A dry cough is usually associated with different forms of diseases; like Asthma, viral infection, Heart Failure, thereby determining the symptoms of the cough.
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SYMPTOMS OF DRY COUGH
In the context of a dry cough, common symptoms include chest pain, heartburn, no sputum, and, wheezing sounds. Other symptoms include but not limited to fever, chest tightness, throat pain, difficulty in swallowing, malaise, associated catarrh, difficulty in breathing and so on.
There are several home remedies or what can also be called natural or traditional remedies for dry cough. Some of them are renowned, while others are not. The following are some home remedies for dry cough
- Honey Tea: Honey, by nature, alleviates cough, cold and sore throat symptoms. To use honey tea as a home remedy for dry cough, use two teaspoons, with a mixture of warm water or herbal tea, at least once a day. It is plausible for all age categories except children below 13 months, to avoid infant botulism.
- Ginger: Ginger contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory elements which make it is an effective home remedy for dry cough. To use ginger, one must add fresh slices of ginger into a cup of hot water. Leave the ginger for a few minutes to soak in hot water before drinking. You can also add lemon juice to improve the taste.
- Turmeric; Turmeric contains Curcumin, a compound which has mild anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. It’s renowned for its effectiveness in the treatment of respiratory diseases and arthritis. To use this, add a teaspoon of turmeric, 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper into warm water, or beverage of any kind, including an orange juice.
- Peppermint: Menthol is a very vital ingredient in peppermints that helps to numb nerve endings in the throat that are irritated by coughing, thereby, resulting in pain relief and a reduction in the urge to cough. There are several ways to take peppermint. These include drinking peppermint tea or sucking on peppermint lozenges (or sweets, as the case may be). Taking peppermint tea right before going to bed helps reduces or eradicates nighttime dry coughs.
- Masala Chai Tea: Masala chai tea contains several antioxidants including cloves (also useful as an expectorant) and cardamom. Cinnamon is another constituent of Masala chai tea, and it has anti-inflammatory properties. To make a Masala Chai tea, you need 8-15 cardamom seeds, ¼ piece of fresh ginger root, 5 Cloves, 2 Star Anise, 1 Cinnamon Stick, 1 Black Tea Bag (cut the string to remove) or use fresh loose black tea and Milk (if you like).
- Marshmallow Root: This is a renowned herb that has a long history of use as a panacea for coughs and sore throats. Marshmallow root is available either as a dried herb or a bagged tea. To use, add hot water to either and then drink. The longer the marshmallow root soaks in water, the more mucilage will be in the drink. It is advisable to take extra fluid when you encounter the side effects of using this remedy.
- Slippery Elm Bark: This a cough remedy that is synonymous to the Native Americans for treating cough, and digestive issues. It contains a high level of mucilage, similar to marshmallow root. To make a slippery elm (bark) tea, add one teaspoon of the dried herb to a cup of hot water. Allow it to saturate for about 10 minutes before drinking.
- Thyme: Thyme is renowned for its culinary use, but its use is not limited to that, as it can also be medicinal for cough, sore throat, bronchitis, and digestive issues. It has existed in its medicinal capacity since the European Black Plague.
It contains thymol, an antispasmodic compound, that relaxes throat muscles. To make a thyme tea, add 2-4 teaspoons of dried thyme to a cup of boiling water. Allow it to saturate for 10 minutes before straining and drinking.
- Palm Oil and sugar: This is a renowned home remedy for dry cough that has thrived among generations in Nigeria and Africa at large. You can administer it to babies (not less than a year) and adult. However, some parents may decide to use the top or transparent part of the oil. Give one or two teaspoons to children, but adults may take more. Combination of both acts as an expectorant, with palm oil having vitamin C and A, that helps repair the damaged lining of the airway.
Also, lime is useful as an additive to the palm oil and sugar mixture. In this context, get five to seven balls of lime, wash and cut the lime, then squeeze into a clean container with a lid.
Add one to two cooking spoon of palm oil and 2-3 cubes of sugar to your taste. Then leave for about an hour, this mixture will thicken, and you can afterwards administer this home remedy for use, thrice a day until the dry cough symptoms disappear. It is considered virile.
- Bitter Kola and Honey: Bitter kola, also known as Garcinia kola is renowned for its powerful antibacterial, antidote and detoxifying properties. It is useful in the treatment of various ailments and infections like cough, dysentery, bronchial infections and as an antidote for poisoning. To use this for dry cough, blend 8-10 bitter kola nuts and scoop the paste in a clean lidded container.
Get a bottle of quality honey and add a considerable amount to the paste about ratio 5:1 and stir afterwards for homogeneity.
Allow it to stay and ferment for at least one hour. It is then ready for use and can be taken either by children or adult, three times a day.
Other remedies include;
- Steam bath with peppermint oil.
- Chew raw expectorant herbs.
- Gargle throat with warm water and salt.
- Take food rich in probiotics.