Does this scenario sound familiar? You are getting over a cold or flu and beginning to feel somewhat human again and night time begins to fall and that old annoying tickle in the throat begins to rear it’s ugly head. As you are laying your head down to sleep you are into a full blown all out hacking session that everyone in the house can hear and possibly even the next door neighbor! Your chest muscles hurt from coughing so much and your spouse is tempted to smother you out with the nearest pillow….Sometimes that cough can hang on for weeks or months following a respiratory infection. Here are some steps you can take that might help!
Check with the doc…
It’s always best to check and make sure you don’t have anything serious going on when you have a long lasting cough. If the cough develops after a cold and your other symptoms aren’t worsening or accompanied by fever it’s more then likely not serious but it’s always best to check it out first if the cough has lasted longer then ten days!
First off eliminating those things that can aggravate a cough can be very beneficial. Of course, staying away from any tobacco products or airborne toxins is a necessity. If you are subject to outdoor pollen avoid it the best you can until the cough is under control. Even consider wearing a dust mask when outside during high pollen days. Eating the best that you can during this time will help the body heal quicker as well as eliminating dairy products that can create more mucus in the respiratory tract. Lots of leafy greens, foods high in Vitamin C and low in sugar are ideal.
Don’t forget the water….
Drinking lots of liquids especially water will help to thin the secretions that can cause the coughing. Hot liquids are even better to open the airways. Try adding a Tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 2 tsps. of Manuka honey to 8 ounces of hot water and sip before bed. The honey coats the throat and the lemon helps to thin secretions and has Vitamin C for additional immune system support. Note: Be sure to only give honey to children over the age of 2 years old.
Herbs that might help….
Wild Cherry is a very powerful herb as far as irritating coughs are concerned. It acts as an antitussive, expectorate and antispasmodic. Wild Cherry is the inner bark of the deciduous tree that can grow up to 20 meters high. Prunus Serotina originates in North America but is also cultivated in Europe. Its a great companion herb to add to the Elderberry Syrup recipe since many colds are accompanied by a cough. Wild cherry is also great for bronchitis and coughs that can come with allergies in the springtime.
Marshmallow or Althaea Officianalis is a plant the was originally indigenous to Asia and then spread westward to southeast Europe and eastward to China. It is well established as a garden plant. Marshmallow root is a mucilaginous herb which means it coats the membranes of the respiratory and digestive tracts and can alleviate local irritation and act as an anti-inflammatory agent. Efficacy has been demonstrated when used as a gargle for inflammation of the membranes in the throat and mouth. It’s been approved by Commission E for coughs and bronchitis. It works very well as a tea or a syrup. To make the tea use 1 to 2 grams in 150 ml of hot water and let it steep for 10 minutes. Sip on the tea throughout the day for dry cough.
Thyme is an aromatic garden herb in the mint family. It grows up to fifteen inches tall and has small leaves with pink flowers on woody stems. The leaf is the part of the plant used for herbal medicine. The volatile oil located in the leaves is excellent for soothing coughs, sore throats and laryngitis. To make an infusion pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tsps. of dried herb and infuse in a covered container for 10 minutes. This can be drunk up to three times a day for coughs.
Aromatherapy for coughs
Aromatherapy is becoming more popular as a very powerful remedy for what ails us today. Some of these oils listed below are great for combating infection, reducing fever, easing cough and expelling mucus. When bronchitis first starts many times the cough is dry and hacking and can be painful. Essential oils can be very good to offer relief at this time. White Pine, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Bergamot, Peppermint and thyme are some of the beneficial oils for coughs. If you don’t have a diffuser add 3 to 5 drops to a bowl with boiling water. Make a tent over your head and close your eyes to avoid irritation and breath deeply for 5 to 10 minutes.
There are many alternative steps you can take to naturally combat a nagging cough. If you tend to always have a long lasting cough every time you catch a cold taking steps in between illnesses might be a good idea to strengthen the lungs overall. Using good nutrition, avoidance of offending airborne toxins and using supportive herbs would be a great place to start!
Not intended to be medical advice. See full disclaimer .