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5 Methods to Help You Get Rid of a Dry Cough

A persistent dry cough can be irritating to handle. The good news is that there are a number of remedies you can try to reduce or eliminate your cough. On this note, it is important to bear in mind that if your cough persists for more than three weeks, you should consult with your doctor. Meanwhile, here are some methods I have found to work on me:


1. Stay Hydrated


Keep your throat moist: A postnasal drip may be a reason for your cough. This occurs when drainage from your nose drips into the back of your throat, which usually happens after a cold or the flu. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids can thin out the mucus caused by colds.

Gargle warm salt water: To help relieve the pain in your throat and reduce inflammation, try gargling some warm salt water before going to bed.  

Drink plenty of warm water: Warm water rehydrates the throat better than hot water - which can cause irritation. Opt for warm tea, such as aniseed, to help you stay hydrated. It will help soothe your throat and reduce a cough. Add cinnamon to gain extra relief.

Boil ginger with your tea leaves: Use ginger to naturally unblock a congested nose and chest. Spice it up with a dash of pepper and add several basil leaves to relieve congestion.

Drink hot cinnamon with honey and milk before bed: Cinnamon and honey are a great combination to help fight infection, decrease swelling or provide antioxidant properties to help cure a sore throat. Combine 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar in a saucepan. Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and 8 ounces milk, mixing thoroughly. Heat until it begins to simmer, but do not boil. Allow to cool and add 1 tablespoon honey, stirring until the honey dissolves completely. Drink while warm.

Drink pineapple juice: Pineapples are beneficial for your health, especially for a cough. In fact according to a study conducted in 2010, pineapple juice is 5 times more effective than cough syrup. The juice softens the larynx and does not leave any residue which may cause you to cough more. It is also a better alternative to orange or lemon juice. Grape juice is also good to opt for when you have a cough. To add to the benefits, mix one teaspoon of honey in a cup of grape juice.

Drink some oregano tea: Simply boil a tablespoon of oregano leaves in a cup of water. Once the water has boiled, strain the oregano out and enjoy.


2. Consume Soothing Food


Soothe your throat with honey: The health benefits of honey are incredible. In soothing a sore throat, honey will help moisten your tonsils, reducing throat irritation. Rose petal infused water is also a good alternative, as the rose essence helps break up the mucus.

Use essential oils: Essential oils can be used for a variety of ailments. The following essential oils may be useful in reducing a persistent cough: eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, sage, tea tree, sandalwood, cedarwood, frankincense and hyssop. Whichever you choose, add 1 to 2 drops of the essential oil to your hands, rubbing them together and cupping them over your nose. Take 4 to 6 deep breaths.

Make a homemade cough syrup: Try an herbal cough syrup by mixing two ounces of the herb mixture to one quart of water. Try fennel, licorice, slippery elm bark, cinnamon, ginger root and orange peel. Simmer the herbs in water, until the mixture is reduced by half, then strain and add one cup of honey, stirring until thoroughly mixed.

Eat warm chicken soup: The steam from the soup will help open the upper respiratory membranes, while the warmth will help soothe your throat. Chicken is packed with protein, and will therefore help you keep your strength. Try these chicken soup recipes to help fight a cough.


3. Use a Humidifier and Steam to Your Advantage


The benefits of using a humidifier: Dry air can cause secretions in your nose to dry up, leading to a cough. A humidifier can help. Be cautious though, as using it too much (if not cleaned properly) can pump fungus and mold back into the air, prolonging your cough.

Take a steamy hot shower: Turn off the fan and close all the windows, creating your very own steam room in the bathroom. Steam is an excellent remedy for coughs caused by colds, allergies and asthma as it helps loosen secretions in your nose.

Inhale steam from a boiling pot of water: Boil a pot of water. Once boiled, remove from the stovetop, and place it on a heat-proof surface. Lean over the water, placing a towel over your head and breathe in the steam. Add some thyme leaves to the water for extra relief.


4. Take Medication to Speed up Recovery


Use a decongestant: If your cough is caused by postnasal drip, consider taking a decongestant, which shrinks nasal tissue that has become swollen, reducing mucus.

Take an antihistamine: This type of medication is especially effective during allergy season, or if your cough is an allergic reaction to something in your environment, such as pets or mold.

5. Treat the Underlying Problem


Visit your doctor to diagnose an infection: Your cough may be a result of a bacterial infection. In which case, visit your doctor to prescribe antibiotics.

Check your environment for irritants: Your cough could be caused by sinus irritation, from a new perfume or spray. Smoke is also a serious cause of coughing and may play a factor.

Stomach irritation may be a cause: If you suffer from GERD (a chronic digestive disease) or frequent heartburn, take steps to minimize their effects. Avoid lying down three hours after meals and avoid spicy food or other food that may trigger your symptoms.

Check your medication: Some medications, particularly ACE inhibitors may cause a chronic cough. If the medication you are using leads to such an effect, discuss different options of medication with your doctor.

Avoid dust and other allergens: Thorough cleaning or air filters can remove dust and allergens from your environment. If this is not possible, use allergy medication to treat a chronic cough.


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