hot tea

Any way you hack it, coughing is no fun. But the conventional cough medicines sold over the counter can be intensely loopy, causing you to feel like a drunk and drowsy zombie. However, you can conquer a cough without resorting to bright purple syrups with dissociative hallucinogens like dextromethorphan in their lists of active ingredients. Just consider that Vicks VapoRub has recently been linked to pediatric respiratory problems, and switching to natural cough cures will bring peace of mind along with relief.

Humans cough because our bodies are trying to expel an irritant of some sort from the lungs. Coughs can be either productive (of mucus) or unproductive (dry and grating). There are many different types of coughs, from hacks caused by acute allergic reactions to scratchy hay fever coughs to chronic bronchitis. There are also as many cough remedies as there are coughs, so the important thing is to find the solution that works for you. If you have a persistent cough that never really goes away, you should consult a health care provider as coughs can quickly turn into something more devious such as pneumonia. Coughing up blood? Get to your doctor immediately.

A cough is a signal that there is an imbalance in your body, and it should not simply be suppressed or allowed to linger on and on. Coughs must be treated. Here are some natural considerations on how to cure a cough:

  • DIET

Eat a diet rich in whole foods, with plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid mucus-producing foods, such as sugar, salty foods, dairy and starches. Eight ounces of warm pineapple juice and two teaspoons of honey can make an effective and natural cough syrup. Another popular remedy is to sprinkle half a lemon with pepper and suck it! Check out 7 Foods for Flu Prevention too.

  • NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

Zinc lozenges can soothe a cough, but be careful not to buy commercial cough drops that contain sugar – which actually irritate a cough. Vitamin A, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E and folic acid are all useful nutrients to combat a cough – make sure that your daily multivitamin includes them. Eat immune system-boosting foods such as garlic, oregano, green tea, ginger and red bell peppers to keep your body strong.

  • HERBS

Coltsfoot, horehound, marshmallow and mullein are all herbs that can soothe a cough when taken as a tea. Coltsfoot tea in particular can help quiet a scratchy cough that just won’t quit.

  • ENVIRONMENT

Don’t smoke and don’t allow others to smoke around you. If you commute by bike or foot in a highly polluted area, you may want to consider wearing a filtered mask. Having a wheeze attack every time you clean your bathroom? Switch to all natural cleaners.

image: boo_licious