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How to conquer cough through effective treatment and 13 natural remedies?


Cough is a natural protective mechanism to clear airways and throat. But, excessive, intense and frequent cough signals certain disorder or disease which requires immediate attention. Chronic cough exist from 2-18% globally.

Around 11-25% adults are affected from cough caused due to certain infections. Cough may be due to asthma, respiratory infections, tuberculosis or any other reason.

WHO (World Health Organization) is investigating 300 deaths case which was happened due to certain cough syrups manufactured by 6 drug makers in India and Indonesia. Therefore, it is suggested to avoid self medications and giving syrups to children of less than 6 years of age.

Cough Definition

Cough is basically an instant exhale of air from lungs at high speed which may normally be around 100 miles per hour. It happens due to a natural mechanism to expel irritants from lungs and airways.

Types of cough

It may be of different types and happens due to many reasons but commonly it has two basic types which are:

  • Dry: Its without mucus.
  • Productive: With mucus which is also known as sputum or phlegm.

According to another classification it may be of three types which are as follows:

  • Acute: It happens due to flu or sinus issues.
  • Sub acute: It lasts due to 3-8 weeks.
  • Chronic: It persists for more than 8 weeks.

Cough Causes

There are multiple causes of it which are as follows:

  • Lungs infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • Due to sinuses
  • Cold and flu
  • Viral infections
  • Strong smell
  • Asthma
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • GERD (Gastro esophageal reflux disease)
  • Mold
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Allergies
  • Pertussis (Whooping cough)

Other causes of it may be:

  • Cancer (lung cancer)
  • Smoking
  • Smog
  • Cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis
  • Due to heart, blood pressure or kidney problems

As mentioned earlier, it can be of two main types i.e. dry or wet. Let’s discuss about wet cough now, and identify its main causes. 

Wet coughing normally affect due to certain virus or bacteria. It also involves micro-organisms which are responsible for colds and flu.

Human respiratory tract is mainly composed of mucus membranes which keep the airways moist which ultimately protect lungs from certain irritants.

During flu or cold or in certain infections body produces mucus in abundance to trap irritants and afterwards expel them to protect lungs and it further assists in removing excessive mucus which may cause obstruction. If it persists for more than two weeks then it could be du to certain reasons which are as follows:

  • Asthma: Commonly in asthma patients complains about dry cough but in certain conditions wet coughs are also reported.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): It infects and damage bronchial tubes and lungs.
  • Cystic Fibrosis: It’s a genetic childhood disease which is responsible for mucus production in lungs.
  • Pneumonia: It happens due to virus, bacteria and fungi. It may present mild, moderate or even life threatening conditions.
  • Bronchitis: It is bronchial tubes inflammation which is responsible for carrying air to lungs. It happens due to viral infections. Smokers are in more threat of its encounter.
  • Pulmonary edema: It is characterized by pink or frothy mucus. In pulmonary edema certain fluid fills up in lungs. It commonly occurs during heart failure conditions.

Cough Preventions

Cough may affect any person anytime. It may tender signs and causes but it some conditions occurs due to some unknown reasons. It can be avoided through certain precautions from irritants.

It can be caused by infections may be prevented through:

  • Vaccinations i.e. vaccinations of pneumonia, COVID-19 and influenza.
  • Social distancing from affected people to curb further spread of infections.
  • Self Hygiene i.e. avoiding touch to eyes, mouth and nose.
  • Hand Washing: regular washing of hands and use of sanitizers.

Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that it may not be a common problem while pregnancy but due to certain variations in immune system it may affect. If it persist for longer period of time and cause problems while sleeping or eating then one must consult with medical practitioner.

Secondly, it may be a common symptom of COVID-19. When COVID-19 continue to affect for longer period of time i.e. for months or weeks then one must consult to doctor.

It is also research proven that in COVID-19 cases, 60-70% patients confront from it as initial symptom.

Cough Treatment

As far as the treatment of it is concerned then it primarily depends upon the stimulus. The identification of root cause will definitely assist in chalking out the best prescriptions. Home remedies and medication therapies are as under:

  • In case of certain infections doctors normally advice antibiotics or antiviral medicines. In most of viral infections, antiviral medicines are not recommended e.g. in GERD doctors advice certain diet alterations and prescribe H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors.
  • Drinking plenty of water can also cause ease and comfort. Also steam helps in relieving it.
  • Quit smoking to get rid of it and its other forms.
  • Honey
  • Drops
  • Anti Coughing syrups
  • Hot tea with mixed honey

It is pertinent to note that one must avoid giving syrups to children less than 6 years of age unless doctor’s advice.

  • Guaifenesin is helpful in breaking mucus.
  • Decongestants may be used to get relief from flu, runny nose and postnasal drip.
  • Use medicines as per doctor’s advice and avoid self medication in case of cough. Excessive dosage should be discouraged.
  • Expectorants to help mucus coming out of airways.
  • Suppressants like dextromethorphan to provide relief from dry coughs.
  • Bronchodilators to sooth and relax lungs muscles.
  • Mucolytics like carbocisteine helps in thinning the mucus to help in its expulsion.
  • Antihistamine which facilitate in good sleep.

In case of persistent infections, one must consult a doctor and seek guidance. The medical practitioner will examine and may suggest certain tests depending upon conditions, types, sound and fever:

  • Chest X rays
  • Blood tests
  • CT Scans
  • LFTs (Lungs functional tests)
  • Echocardiogram tests
  • Gastro esophageal reflux evaluation test
  • Sinuses CT Scan

It is observed that certain herbs provide relief and has drastic effects. Herbs like bromelain which is extracted from pineapple plant has certain anti inflammatory properties. In a study conducted on 749 people resulted in 87.2% positive feedback to use of ivy syrups for its relief.

Furthermore, syrups contain marshmallow roots; thyme, ivy and aniseed are found really effective in curing bronchitis and other respiratory tract infections in more than 80% cases.  

When to consult a doctor?

It can be caused due to many reasons and need certain cautions as well. One must consult a doctor when:

  • One has heart issues and feels swelling in legs.
  • Finds difficulty in breathing
  • Facing problem while swallowing
  • In case of vomiting
  • Come in contact with tuberculosis patient.
  • Faced weight loss or sweating at night
  • In case of persistent and prolonged coughing of more than 2 weeks or from 10 to 14 days.
  • Blood in cough
  • In case of violent spells
  • High grade fever of more than 101.5 Fahrenheit.

Foods good against cough

Although, medical attention in case of infections is inevitable yet the importance of foods in curing it cannot be overlooked. There are some food options from our daily life which can assist in curing it in an affordable and organic way. The foods which helps against respiratory infections are as follows:

  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Pineapple
  • Honey
  • Yogurt
  • Soup
  • Tea
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Banana
  • Kiwi

Apart from these really effective food options there are certain home made recipes which can relief cough in a very effective manner which are as follows:

  • Honey with lemon water not only sooth the throat but vitamin C in lemon help in increasing immunity.
  • Ginger turmeric tea is also considered really healthy and effective home remedy.
  • Chicken garlic soap is delicious and nutritious food choice against fighting coughs.
  • Turmeric Milk in which turmeric is mixed with hot and warm milk.


In most of the cases, coughs are considered very lightly. Most of the people start taking self medications without even thinking about the side effects and root causes.

It is inevitable to understand that variety of coughs need variety of solutions and remedies which only a qualified medical practitioner can comprehend.

So, it is important to consult a doctor in case of persistent cough, infectious coughs or if one founds blood in sputum, if it lasts more than 2 weeks and if one person exposed to COVID-19 or tuberculosis.

In case of chest pain, congestion or shortness of breath one must consult doctor immediately.

There are certain home remedies and food options as well which are considered really important against fighting with coughs like hot tea, turmeric, ginger and garlic additions with other food options.

Finally, it is important to note that coughs must not remain unaddressed. Doctors advice and consultations becomes paramount important in case of complications.


What is cough?

Cough is a natural protective mechanism to clear airways and throat.

What causes cough?

Virus, bacteria, certain illnesses, dust, pollen, allergies etc.

What are preventions to get rid of cough?

·        Vaccinations i.e. vaccinations of pneumonia, COVID-19 and influenza.
·        Social distancing from affected people to curb further spread of infections.
·        Self Hygiene i.e. avoiding touch to eyes, mouth and nose.
·        Hand Washing: regular washing of hands and use of sanitizers.

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