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Cold and Flu Center

How to Get Rid of a Dry Cough Naturally

by
author image Cheryl Grace Myers
Cheryl Myers has has a master's degree from Saint Leo University and currently writes for several publications including Fit Pregnancy, Guideposts and Parent's Magazine.
How to Get Rid of a Dry Cough Naturally
Instead of cough syrup, try honey and lemon to ease your dry cough. Photo Credit pouring cough syrup image by Larry Allen from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

You can get rid of a dry cough naturally, particularly when a dry throat stems from a common cold or allergies. A dry cough may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, so it may return until treated for the medical condition. Women who are pregnant or nursing may benefit from the home treatments, which facilitate body's own healing mechanisms, to naturally ease the dry cough.

Step 1

Drink more water. A dry cough indicates a dry throat. The MayoClinic.com recommends drinking eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day for optimum health. When you have a dry cough, your body requires more water, and drinking the water lubricates and soothes the throat. Drink about two glasses more than your usual daily water intake until symptoms subside, and sip water throughout the day for instant relief. Adjust your water intake as needed.

Step 2

Rub eucalyptus oil on the throat and chest area. Eucalyptus oil opens mucous membranes, allowing the passage or deliverance of mucous, water and other fluids for lubrication.



Although alternative medicine practitioners recommend using eucalyptus oil for treating upper respiratory symptoms, the remedy may cause unintended side effects in some people. According to Aetna inteliHealth, a Harvard Medical School publication, eucalyptus oil may cause a change in voice or hoarseness and cause vocal cord dysfunction in rare cases. Always talk to your doctor before using eucalyptus oil if you are pregnant or nursing.

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Step 3

Use a humidifier in the home or office to add moisture in the air you breathe. The dry, indoor heat during the winter months can cause a dry cough or make a dry cough worse. Add a vapor remedy to the humidifier to increase the action of the steam.

Step 4

Lubricate the throat by eating candy or using cough drops. Candy, cough drops, lounges, and even chewing gum, help relieve a dry cough. Eating foods increases saliva production, but production decreases after swallowing food. When chewing on or sucking on foods that remain in the mouth, such as when sucking on a cough drop, saliva production remains constant. The sustained release of saliva lubricates the oral cavity and throat naturally. The Centers for Disease control recommends using cough drops to relieve a dry cough for persons over 4 years of age.

Step 5

Apply a warm compress on the neck and upper chest. Sometimes a dry cough causes a scratchy feeling in the throat and upper chest. Muscles in the throat and chest tighten and restrict when a constant dry cough persists. A warm, moist heat relaxes sore muscles and opens mucous membranes. A warm compress is a natural alternative for women who are pregnant or nursing and cannot use eucalyptus oil.

Step 6

Add foods and drinks to your diet that relieve dry cough symptoms, such as hot soups and tea. The steam from the soup and tea help open the upper respiratory membranes, so the throat can get enough mucous needed for optimal lubrication. Eat soup as a meal, snack or an appetizer, and drink warm tea throughout the day. An age-old remedy for a dry cough, also recommended in "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies," uses honey for coating and protecting the throat. Add 1 to 2 tbsp. of honey into a cup of hot tea to maximize the benefits of hot tea.

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