Boy, this has been a rough couple of months. I have seen many patients (including myself) over the past several weeks with a persistent and stubborn cough. Whatever the reason for a persons cough, it sure can be annoying. After all, who wants to be the person at church interrupting the sermon every couple of minutes? Or perhaps you are presenting at a meeting and can’t even get past your first slide without dropping a lung. It becomes even more embarrassing when you see the people around you scoot their chairs away, or cover their food; and heaven knows they certainly do not want to shake your hand.
Coughing can be a symptom of a number of problems like upper respiratory infections, influenza, asthma, allergies, smoking, post nasal drip, and medication side effects; however coughing can also be a good thing. The reason we cough is so that our respiratory system can expel harmful microbes, dust, or irritants. It is very common to cough after a cold or other viral infection because your airways can become inflamed and over sensitive long after the virus is gone.
More serious complications of a cough would include congestive heart failure, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer. In order to help ease the symptoms of a cough, you must know the cause for it. The body only heals when you treat the cause and not just mask the symptom.
That being said, here is a list of some of my natural cough remedies for children, adults, and seniors alike.
- Water – a glass of water every couple of hours helps to thin mucous that may be irritating your airways.
- Broth – just like water, bone (chicken) broth helps to thin mucous and also soothes muscles. Add some garlic into that broth for antimicrobial benefits.
- Vitamin C and Vitamin D3 – support immune system function and boosts your white blood cells. I recommend between 3,000-5,000mg of vitamin C and 50,000 IU of vitamin D3.
- Peppermint Oil- breathing in peppermint oil helps to break up mucous and promotes healing of your airways. Add this to a humidifier if you live in a house with dry air.
- Honey – a spoonful of organic honey can coat the irritated mucous membranes and is easy for kids to take.
- Licorice Root or Thyme tea – these wonderful herbs act as a demulcent and can relax the muscles of your trachea and bronchi to open up your airways.
- Chiropractic – getting adjusted stimulates your immune system and helps your body to heal faster. Also, vibration massage can break up phlegm and mucous buildup in your lungs making it easier to breathe.
Lastly, make sure that you avoid foods containing sugar, fruit juices, dairy products,