A cough is the body’s reflex to an irritant in the lungs. Short term coughing can be a response to many different causes. Asthma, infections, smoke, allergens, and numerous other irritants can cause reactions. Long term chronic coughing can be driven by immune system compromise, infections, tissue damage, or other organ problems.
Traditional approaches include cough suppressants via syrups, cough drops, and rubs. Many cases are treated with antibiotics, antihistamines, and in some occasions more potent medications like steroids.
The growing concern with traditional approaches are the side effects the toxins create. According to drugs.com cough syrups and lozenges can cause:
– Blurred vision
– Difficulty in urination
– Drowsiness or dizziness
– Nausea or vomiting (severe)
– Shakiness and unsteady walk
– Slowed breathing
– Unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability (severe)
Of course, be smart, and consult a physician if the problem persists or worsens. The main alternative question though, is there a better way? A way to suppress a cough without harming the body?
Honor Your Symptoms
As much of a hassle and unpleasant a cough can be. There is a reason the body has a cough. If allergens, invaders, or other foreign objects get in your body then your defense system must get them out. A cough, sneeze, snot, bowel movement, or any other form of ejection is exactly that, ejecting and flushing out the bad. The point then is not to stop the body from defending itself but to help it do it more effectively, more comfortably, and ideally less often. Within reason, honor your symptoms. The body is doing the right thing to eliminate the foreign invaders and protect itself.
5 Drugless Cough Solutions:
Research shows that head to head with cough medicine for suppressing a night time cough and upper respiratory infection honey has better results.1 Raw local honey contains more effective antioxidants and antimicrobials to fight the local area body invaders. The honey also soothes the throat.
2. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil and leaves are a great cough and natural remedy option. The menthol in peppermint soothes the throat and acts as a decongestant, helping to break down mucus. Peppermint oil can be rubbed on the chest or under the nose. Orally it can be taken 1-3 drops at a time with water. The oil may also be added to a steam bath as a decongestant. Other good sources are peppermint tea.
Ginger tea, ginger chews, or ginger juice are powerful antimicrobial and cough suppressants. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which kill bacteria and helps to loosen congestion in the upper respiratory tract and throat.
The root contains powerful rhizomes that inhibit prostaglandins and act as an anti-inflammatory.2
Cinnamon has long been tauted as a great resource for a number of conditions. Cinnamaldehyde, the main active component of cinnamon, may help fight various kinds of infection and has been shown to be effective against URIs. It has a role as an antimicrobial agent as well as an anti-inflammatory.3 Plus it is great for your teeth and bad breath.
Cinnamon can be consumed as a powder or an oil or cinnamon sticks could be used directly to make tea.
5. Wild Cherry Bark
The bark of the wild cherry tree has been shown to be a functional food. It has been used since Native American days on colds, flu, and sore throats. Research shows cherry bark contain phenolic compounds which elicit significant antioxidant and anti-hypertensive effects.4
Cherry Bark can be consumed in tea or in the form of a syrup. Use as directed and do not overdose.
All of the above remedies have been shown to be helpful in dealing with sore throats, coughs, and the common cold. These are not meant to treat anything and to be safe you should always consult a physician to be sure your cough or symptoms are not a symptom of a more serious underlying problem.