It is never pleasant to have a dry, hacking cough that is painful and leaves you exhausted and too weak to do any of your daily tasks. When you have an allergy attack, the flu or a cold, there are a few things you can do to treat your cough. You may find many of the things that can bring relief in your pantry, on grocery shelves, or in the health food store. If you use herbs to treat a cough, consult your health practitioner or the herbalist at the store for directions and dosing.
Drink water and hot tea. Both water and warm drinks may help alleviate tickling and throat irritation that causes a dry cough, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC.
Eat a bowl of hot soup to help relieve your cough, says UMMC. Warm soups may help relieve tightness in the chest and congestion, enabling you to cough up mucus that is trapped in the airways.
Sleep with a vaporizer in your bedroom to moisten the air. It may reduce tightness and irritation in the throat that can cause a cough.
Add a humidifier to your furnace to add moisture to the air in the whole house. In dry climates or during winter months, the air can become extremely dry, causing or aggravating a cough.
Use hot steam to moisten mucus membranes in the sinuses and throat and relieve your dry cough, suggests the University of California at Davis Student Health Services. Boil water and place in a bowl on a table or counter. Cover your head with a large towel and lean over the bowl, covering it with the other side of the towel. Be careful not to burn yourself with the steam.
Swallow a spoonful of honey to relieve a dry cough. The
Medical College of Wisconsin writes that honey and other sweet syrups act as cough suppressants by coating the throat and helping prevent irritation and tickling that can aggravate a cough.
Use a hot compress on your chest to soothe and relieve a cough. The moisture and warmth may help break up congestion in your chest, mentions "The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook." Placing a drop or two of eucalyptus oil on the cloth may offer an added boost for clearing the sinuses.
Take cough medicine, says UMMC. Cough suppressants, antihistamines and decongestants may all help different kinds of coughs depending on their cause. Ask your pharmacist to recommend something that might work for your particular condition; however, be aware that many cough medicines can produce serious side effects.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Cough
- UC Davis Student Health Services: Influenza--Seasonal Flu
- Medical College of Wisconsin: 200 Non-Opioid Anti-Tussives
- "The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Everyday Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing"; James Duke; 2002