A nagging cough can be treated with natural cough remedies or over-the counter medications, or a combination of natural and commercial remedies. For instance, soothing honey and lemon added to a cup of hot tea is one of the most popular and well-known options to quiet a cough and relieve a sore throat, but there are also a few lesser-known cough remedies available.
Natural Cough Remedies
There are many natural cough remedies available, and many use ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
Pineapple juice, for instance, is considered more effective than cough syrup, and has an added vitamin C boost that can help your body naturally fight illness and disease. Honey mixed with a little lemon juice and coconut oil may not sound appetizing, but the mixture can stop your cough while providing a nutrient boost when you may not feel like eating.
If you prefer savory flavors, steep thyme leaves in hot water for a few minutes, and drink the tea. Thyme is a proven cough suppressant, and the tea can be combined with a dime-sized slice of ginger and honey to improve the flavor and increase its medicinal benefits.
Taking a hot shower, or turning the hot water on, closing the door, and sitting in your bathroom can quiet some types of coughs.
Medicated Cough Remedies
Over-the-counter cough suppressants are also an option. If you want to use a commercial medicine to treat your cough, begin by using cough drops that contain menthol. Menthol helps open the airways, releasing the mucus that causes the cough, and can also soothe a sore throat. When using cough syrup, it is important to understand the ingredients before choosing a brand or type of cough syrup.
Guaifenesin is used to thin mucus, allowing you to expel it more easily, while dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant that helps quiet the cough. Guaifenesin doesn’t quiet a cough, but it may help to rid yourself of the cough. Combination cough syrups often contain both ingredients, plus added ingredients to help control other symptoms. Avoid taking more than one cough syrup, and avoid pain medications if they are included in the cough syrup unless the combination is recommended by your doctor.
When treating a cough, you should also drink plenty of fluids, which helps thin mucus, and seek the assistance of a medical professional if the cough is painful, accompanied by a fever, or lasts more than seven days.