With dry cough being one of the main symptoms of COVID-19, it certainly makes sense to understand it and make note of home remedies for dry cough. For starters, to keep your airways clear of irritating or obstructing substances, your body creates a defensive reflex in the form of a cough, which expels the obstruction, leading you to breathe effectively.
There are two kinds of cough – non-productive and productive. A non-productive cough is usually known as a dry cough; it doesn’t produce mucus, while a productive cough produces mucus or phlegm to clear the lungs. Generally, dry coughs linger for weeks post your flu or the cold.
Salt Water Gargles
Causes For Dry Cough
Masala Chai Tea
Frequently Asked Questions:
Home RemediesA dry cough can have a huge impact on your day-to-day life; besides, it can make your sleep unpleasant at night. There are plenty of home remedies for dry cough which are passed on from generation to generation. However, they are considered safe for short-term use only. Apart from environmental factors like smoke, dust, pollution, mold, pollen and other allergies, asthma, pneumonia, sinusitis, tuberculosis, Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and Interstitial Lung Disease are some of the causes of dry cough, so don’t be negligent.
Tip: Keep experimenting with home remedies for dry cough; it may take time but you will surely find one that suits your body and treats you the best. However, remember that if home remedies are not effective, then it is always advisable to visit your doctor, especially if the cough gets severe with other symptoms like chills and high fever.
Honey is one of the oldest home remedies for dry cough; it is natural, anti-inflammatory, and coats your throat. It has antimicrobial effects that can temper minor bacterial or viral infections. It is the best alternative for adults as well as children, but it should not be given to children under the age of two years. Honey triggers the salivary glands to produce more saliva, which in turn lubricates your airways and eases your cough.
Tip: Take a tablespoon of honey daily one to three times a day for controlling your dry cough. You can also take honey by adding it to a cup of hot water or herbal tea and drink it twice a day.
Another multifunctional remedy is turmeric, which contains curcumin. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, so all these are beneficial for several issues including dry cough. Turmeric is a centuries-old Ayurvedic medicine that can treat arthritis to respiratory diseases.
Tip: You can add a teaspoon of turmeric to hot milk or any other hot beverage and have it before sleeping at night to avoid irritation in the throat. Also, you can take 500 mg of turmeric powder directly twice a day.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that boost immunity as well as help in relieving discomfort. It is one of the effective home remedies for dry coughs as it is an expectorant that will expel mucus and reduce the intensity of coughing bouts.
Tip: You can opt for teas that have ginger as an ingredient. You can also have half a teaspoon of ginger powder added to a cup of hot water, thrice daily. Alternatively, mix a tablespoon of ginger juice and raw honey and have it twice daily. Note that too much ginger can upset your stomach.
Breathing in steam is one of the best home remedies for dry coughs as it helps in loosening the mucus. You can also add varied essential oils for added healing. Even without an additive, warm steam can help moisturize dry and irritated nasal passages, ease throat pain, and reduce the severity of the cough.
To make steam, simply take a large bowl full of hot water; add a couple of drops of essential oils like Nilgiri oil (eucalyptus oil), rosemary oil and tea tree oil. Lean over the bowl with a towel over your head and inhale the vapors for five minutes. If the steam feels too hot on your skin, then quickly discontinue it.
Tip: You can also turn on a hot shower and allow the bathroom to fill up with steam. Stay in this steam for a while till you feel the symptoms have subsided.
Salt Water Gargles
Doctors always advise the patient to do saltwater gargles when it comes to adopting home remedies for dry cough due to their effectiveness in easing a sore throat. Saltwater is osmotic, which changes the direction of fluids; it draws moisture away from the area of soreness which helps in reducing swelling as well as the irritation caused by a dry cough.
Take a glass full of warm water and stir in a half tablespoon of salt. Allow it to cool down before gargling. The saltwater needs to stay for a few seconds at the back of your throat before you spit it out. Repeat and do it for a few days for proper effect.
Tip: Gargle salt water multiple times a day until the cough improves. Avoid giving younger children saltwater to gargle as they may swallow it which might be harmful.
Thyme has been in medicinal use since the Black Plague in Europe. It contains a compound that is antispasmodic, helping relax the muscles of the throat. Apart from being a good home remedy for dry cough and sore throat, thyme also contains antioxidant properties that relieve digestive issues.
Tip: Drink some thyme tea a couple of times each day. You can sweeten it using honey or add lemon juice for taste.
Causes For Dry Cough
A persistent dry cough that keeps you up at night can be quite irritating. In addition to typically being viewed as a communicable infection, it may be caused by non-contagious factors such as acid reflux or allergies.
Tip: In all age groups, a dry or non-productive cough is most commonly caused by a small bacterial or viral infection, according to surveys. However, diseases such as Pneumonia, Bronchitis, and Pharyngitis are less likely to affect younger individuals.
Masala Chai Tea
The beverage's origins can be traced back to 9000 years ago when an Indian king infused Black tea with milk and spices to create a cleansing Ayurvedic beverage as a remedy for diseases. Since the commercialization of tea during the British era, India has been known as a "tea-drinking nation," and tea has been a staple beverage ever since.
The medicinal qualities of the spicy-sweet, creamy beverage are derived from the masala, the beverage's main component.
A variety of spices, including cinnamon, black pepper, clove, and ginger, are rich in antioxidant and antibacterial qualities. Despite providing a much-needed energy boost, the tea break also strengthens the body's immunological system.
Tip: Drink Masala Chai once or twice a day in order to have improved immunity and you get to enjoy your medicine as well!
The quality of these sweet and cool-smelling leaves allows them to grow long beyond a glass of Virgin Mojito. The scent of mint, which contains menthol, can aid in the release of mucus. Therefore, it facilitates breathing by clearing out the nasal passages. Additionally, the cooling effect soothes a sore throat.
Tip: Smelling an inhaler that has mint as its base ingredient, can help in keeping your nasal tract soothed and unclogged. Putting the leaves in boiling water, and inhaling the fumes is also considered to be helpful.
Capsaicin, a component of chili peppers obtained from plants, aids in the treatment of colds and coughs. According to published research, the bioactive component soothes throat discomfort by constricting the dilated blood vessels of an inflamed throat. The important qualities dissolve calcified mucus.
Tip: Chilli can be boiled with apple cider vinegar and water to make a soothing tea. It is recommended to consume chili pepper in small quantities.
The peppermint herb, which is a hybrid of watermint and spearmint, yields an essential oil with anti-cold and other medicinal properties. Since the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, it has been used as a medicine. The menthol and menthon included in the oil produce a cooling feeling that calms and relaxes the bronchial muscles.
Tip: Peppermint oil can be consumed in the form of capsules on prescription in order to treat a bad throat condition.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Apart from using home remedies for dry cough, how can I prevent a sore throat?A. Follow these preventive tips:
- Try to stay as hydrated as you can by having varied herbal teas, enough water and other healthy beverages.
- Avoid close contact with people having colds and coughs; maintain distance.
- Get an air purifier if the indoor air is full of dust and pollen.
- If you have acid reflux, avoid having high-fat food and acidic foods like tomatoes, caffeine, spicy foods and chocolates.
- Do not smoke because it increases irritation and is very harmful to your lungs.
Q: Can irregular sleep cycles and high-stress cause cough?A: They surely can, if this unhealthy routine is consistent in your life. You need to have at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Also, high levels of stress can hamper your immunity, increasing your chances of getting sick. So make sure you exercise regularly and adopt the practice of meditation to reduce stress.
Q: Which foods should be avoided during dry cough?A: You need to avoid the following foods if you have a cold and cough:
- Histamine-dense items like strawberries, mushrooms, avocados, fermented foods, dry fruits, alcohol, and matured cheese
- Dairy products
- Beverages high in caffeine like coffee, tea and soft drinks
- Fried foods
- Foods high in sugar
Q. How do you get rid of a dry cough in 5 minutes?
The simplest way of getting rid of a cough in a hurry is a saltwater gargle. The hot water and salt kill the bacteria present in the throat. Hence, the soreness reduces.
Q. How do I know if my cough is serious?
If the cough lasts for more than 2 weeks, or symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath or high fever starts arising, medical assistance is recommended.
Q. What food triggers cough?
Foods containing citric acid can make a dry cough worse. Having cold desserts while having a sore throat can also make a cough severe.
Q. What kind of cough is pneumonia?
Pneumonia results in a productive cough, with the release of greenish-yellow phlegm, at times it is accompanied by a blood discharge.