During the dark and cold winter months, it seems inevitable that at some point we will all come down with some kind of illness. It may be a 24-hour sniffle, that seems to disappear as quickly as it came, without much interference to your day. Or, it could be a fortnight-long battle against the dreaded ‘flu,’ where your only weapons are tissues, blankets, chicken soup and pity from friends and family members who don’t want to get *too* close. Whatever war your immune system is waging, there is usually one symptom that persists the longest and can get pretty tiresome – the cough. Here are some of the best remedies to cure that pesky cough.
Yes, believe it or not, water really is one of the best things you can take to get rid of your cough. It’s important to stay hydrated anyway, but especially when you are unwell. If you have plenty of fluid, the mucus blocking your lungs and sinuses will be thinned out, which means you won’t have to cough as hard and your throat won’t get as sore and irritated. If you don’t like drinking water, then a similar effect can be produced by breathing in the steam from a hot bath or shower.
Honey is the best remedy to soothe a sore throat, which you will almost definitely have after a couple of days of a bad cough. Honey has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, due to its natural antibacterial properties – so not only will it soothe, but it will also help combat your cold! You can either take a teaspoon straight from the pot, or put it into a mug along with some lemon juice and hot water, to make a comforting hot drink. Be sure to only give honey to children over one-year-old, as infants can’t digest it.
It’s an oldie but a goodie – chicken soup is not only delicious but can really help you fight away that cough. Quite apart from being packed with nutrients and vitamins that will support your immune system to fight your cold, it also has some more short-term benefits. Make sure you make it nice and spicy, as the heat from eating it will help open your sinuses so you can breathe easier. You may also be able to taste it a bit better, as food quite often loses its flavor when you have a cold.
If you’re out and about, you may not be able to whip up a chicken soup, and keeping a pot of honey in your bag may get a little sticky. The best thing to take with you on the move are some cough drops, which you can suck on just like you would candy. Cough drops are quite often infused with menthol, which numbs the tongue and throat as well as opening up the passageways into your lungs. If you can breathe better, you’re less likely to feel the urge to cough.
Instead of heading down to the doctors whenever you start to feel unwell, try these home remedies out first. Even though having a cough can be irritating, there are ways you can combat it that don’t require a prescription. Of course, if it gets really bad, or persists for longer than a week, then you should always seek professional medical advice. In the meantime, drink lots of water and put some chicken soup on the stove, and you should feel right as rain in no time!