Just think you’re in an important meeting and you come across a sudden attack of a cough that doesn’t seem to end up. Similarly, if you encounter such attack in between a good sleep, things can be really irritating. In most of the cases, cough is somewhat closely related to a problem in the throat. Some people face a cough very often while others get it in a particular season due to infection. Generally, cough tends to get over on its own but there are likely the chances that it may stay for extended periods of time.
Though a cough is not fatal, it can lead to various other issues to humans such as lightheadedness, vomiting and consequent nausea. Many times, cough can be infuriating causing major disruption in one’s sleeping pattern.
Reasons of cough
According to medical experts, it is quite difficult to highlight one particular reason behind the onset of a cough. Bodily issues such as conditions (Eg. Asthma, allergies) and other reasons such as tobacco usage, acid reflux and postnatal dripping (a condition where the sinuses produce extra mucus which drips down from the back of the throat) may promote such a condition. In other situations, it may present as a symptom of more grave diseases like upper respiratory infection, bronchitis or sarcoidosis (accumulation of inflammatory cells in various parts of the body).
Smoking is one of the foremost reasons behind a chronic cough. One can understand its intensity as doctors have named it as a separate condition called smoker’s cough. It has been discovered that secondhand smoke or passive smoking also results in a cough in addition to more destructive damages to the bronchial passage (the region comprising the lungs). Between the sexes, statistics revealed that women are generally more prone to developing a cough as compared to men. A relatively more sensitive cough reflex in women has been accredited as the cause.
Let’s look at natural ways to seek relief from a nagging cough.
Gargles: If you feel discomfort around your throat, take a glass of warm water and add a pinch of salt in it and gargle. The salt would help to flush the excess fluids from the swollen areas, thus, sinking the symptoms. It also helps in eliminating the mucus and thinning of the mucus. Gargling with salt should be averted by patients who suffer from hypertension. Such people can just use warm water without adding salt.
Turmeric remedies: An age-old Indian remedy to lessen soreness of the throat area is to drink hot milk mixed with honey. You may even go for turmeric gargles after mixing a half teaspoon of turmeric along with the same quantity of table salt in a glassful of lukewarm water and gargle with it. To seek relief from a dry cough, alternately, you can mix some turmeric powder in a spoonful of honey and take it thrice in a day.
Honey: If you’re in a situation where gargling is not possible, you can take a spoonful of honey as it is meant to soothe the irritation in the throat region. If you have a specific propensity to cough during the night time, then a glassful of warm milk with some honey can reduce the problem. However, diabetic patients should avoid taking honey.
Ginger and Mint: Ginger is known to have antibacterial properties and can be a wonderful solution to a nagging cough. To use, take a cup of warm water, mix honey, few slices of ginger, and some dried peppermint. This actually acts as an expectorant and mitigates irritation in the throat, which results in a cough.
Steam: It is quite clear that a cough is the outcome of irritated and inflamed throat mucosa. To relieve its symptoms, it is advised to inhale steam as it tends to soothe the mucosa. Tt lessens mucosal inflammation and eliminates phlegm. Adding a few drops of essential oils such as eucalyptus or tea tree oil further enhances the potency. It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties and provides great relief. Take boiled water in a vessel, bend over it and cover your head to ensure the steam is inhaled. Be careful about hot steam and it can burn. Repeat this activity 4 to 5 times daily until you get enough relief.