Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Natural Cough Remedies


My daughter was diagnosed with Croup last week and I got sick shortly after. I am now on day 5 of feeling pretty lousy and a suffering with a horrible congested cough. This sent me on the search for some natural cough remedies that my ease my discomfort.


Congested Coughs Causes
The obvious causes of coughing are colds, flu, bronchial infections, sinus congestion, smoking, and the need to rid the throat of foreign matter. But did you know that heartburn is one of the leading causes? For some unknown reason heartburn is the cause for about 10% of chronic coughers. See our Heartburn section for suggestions to relieve both the heartburn and coughing. Dust, pollen and chemicals are other sources of irritants. Also, some drugs, most notably ACE inhibitors used for high blood pressure, have coughing as a side effect in 21% of the people using them. Coughing is also a common symptom of asthma. The sound of your cough may indicate its cause. Below is a list of the cough sounds and what that may indicate:

A barking cough - bronchitis or croup

A high-pitched cough - your vocal cords are involved and the airways have become narrowed

A wheezing cough - asthma and/or bronchitis

A loud, gasping cough with difficulty getting air - whooping cough

Tips
• Breathe the steam from a vaporizer, hot shower, or pan of boiling water. The moist air will soothe the airways and loosen sinus congestion and phlegm in your throat and lungs. A few drops of the oil of eucalyptus will help this process.

• Elevate the head of your bed. This will allow your sinuses and nasal passages to drain better and not create that "tickle" in your throat.

• Stop smoking. Passive smoke or other irritants, such as chemicals, can be a cause. Household cleaners, new carpeting, paneling and mattresses are some of the many possible sources of chemical irritants.

• Drink at least 8 eight ounce glasses of water. This is especially important if your cough is due to an illness. Water is the best expectorant you can take and will help thin the mucus and loosen the cough.

• Do not use over-the-counter expectorant cough remedies as they just suppress the symptoms and do not address the underlying problem. If you have the kind of cough with mucus you want to get it out of your respiratory system, not suppress it. Try one of the natural expectorant remedies below.

• Try eating hot chili peppers, horseradish or other spicy foods. They will help loosen mucus.

• During the winter, if your house is dry, use a humidifier and a cool-mist vaporizer in your bedroom at night. This will help thin the mucus. Be sure to thoroughly clean the vaporizer, as it can harbor bacteria.

• Drink hot tea to break up the mucus and open and moisten the airways.

• Cough drops or hard candy will help stop the tickle if you have a dry cough and will moisten the throat.

• Avoid foods that increase the production of mucus, such as dairy products, meat and fried foods.

• Hot packs placed on your throat and chest are very soothing.

Supplements
Vitamins A, C and E are beneficial with conditions that cause coughs.

Aromatherapy
The use of inhaled steam can be very effective in liquefying mucus and reducing irritation. To control the steam, bend over the steaming water while holding a towel over your head. Try some of these aromatherapy oils. Inhaling essential oils can stimulate your lungs to expel phlegm.

Cypress Add three drops each of cypress and juniper oil and a drop of ginger.

Cedar Dilute 3 drops of oil of cedar in one teaspoon of carrier oil, such as olive, sweet almond or jojoba, and massage onto your chest several times a day.
Add 10-15 drops to a pot of steaming water and inhale the vapors

Eucalyptus Add a few drops of eucalyptus to a carrier oil and rub on your chest.
• Put 10-15 drops of oil in boiling water and inhale the steam. Eucalyptus is a good decongestant and expectorant. You can also add three drops of hyssop oil.

Jasmine Use the oil in a burner or put a few drops on a handkerchief and inhale the fumes.

Myrrh Add a few drops of myrrh to a carrier oil and rub on your chest. This will help reduce mucus.

Peppermint Dilute 3 drops of peppermint oil in one teaspoon of carrier oil, such as olive, sweet almond or jojoba, and massage onto your chest several times a day.
Add 10-15 drops to a pot of steaming water and inhale the vapors.

Pine Put some essential pine oil in a burner to soothe the throat. You can also place a few drops on a handkerchief and inhale the fumes.

Thyme Add 10-15 drops of this oil in a pan of boiling water and inhale the fumes, in an infuser, or place a few drops on a handkerchief and inhale.
• Massaging using oil of thyme may also be helpful in relieving your cough. Put 5 drops in 1/4 cup olive oil and massage your neck and upper body. Thyme is an excellent expectorant and has been used for centuries to heal respiratory conditions.

Reflexology
Rub the padded area below your big toe in various directions at the first sign of a cough. Also, hold back the toes and press on the raised area with your thumb. This will help relieve chest congestion.

Remedies

Folk

Aloe vera Mix equal parts of aloe juice and honey. This is very good for a scratchy cough.
Angelica Use a tincture of the root or leaf, or make a tea. Angelica is an expectorant. Do not use if you are pregnant.

Bee balm Native Americans used bee balm to alleviate colds and coughs. Steep two teaspoons of fresh (one, dried) bee balm leaves in a cup of hot water, covered, for four minutes. Sip a cup three times a day. Bee balm has antiseptic compounds that can help heal respiratory infections and clear nasal congestion.

Carrot juice Mix with honey and a little warm water. Take a tablespoonful several times a day.

Cayenne pepper Mix 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a glass of water and use as a gargle, swallowing afterward. You can also use 15-20 drops of Tabasco sauce in a glass of water or juice. Pepper helps clear congestion and draws blood to the throat to fight infection.

Chamomile tea will soothe the throat.

Garlic Grate one or two cloves of garlic and mix with a teaspoon of honey. Take as needed.

Ginger Make a tea using ginger and drink 6 oz several times a day, as needed.

Grape juice Mix a cup of grape juice with a teaspoon of honey.

Honey Mix honey with juice of a fresh lemon and take as needed. Not only does honey soothe the tickle, but it has antibacterial properties, too.

• Dr. D. C. Jarvis, in his classic book, Folk Medicine, described another honey remedy that worked very well: boil a whole lemon for 10 minutes; when cool enough to handle roll it back and forth on a hard surface, cut it in half and squeeze the juice into a pint of raw honey. Add a teaspoon of glycerin and take as often as needed.

Horehound cough drops have been used for generations to quell coughs. One of horehound's compounds, marrubiin, stimulates bronchial secretions and helps break up congestion.

Hyssop Steep two teaspoons of dried hyssop in one cup of boiling water, covered for ten minutes; strain and drink cool for an expectorant or hot to relieve congestion. The oils in hyssop are good for mild respiratory problems. Hyssop contains marrubiin, the same compound that makes horehound an excellent expectorant.

Lime juice Mix equal parts of lime juice and honey.

Mullein soothes and relaxes the lungs and bronchial tubes, which eases a cough. Use 25-30 drops of tincture in a small glass of boiling water three times a day.

Onion broth Make a broth by boiling an onion for 10-15 minutes; strain and drink the broth several times a day. The broth will reduce congestion.

Onion juice Make a syrup by combining 1 teaspoonful of raw onion juice with 1 teaspoonful of honey; let stand for 3-4 hours, and take in divided doses.

Sugar Suck on a cube of raw sugar.

Tea Tea made with peppermint or rosemary will help break up congestion.

Thyme Make a tea using two tablespoons of fresh (one tablespoon of dried) thyme in a cup of boiling water; steep, covered, for four minutes; strain and drink hot. Thyme relaxes the lungs and promotes expectoration of mucus. It contains a volatile oil, thymol, which has antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

Looks like I have a lot to try!
- Shannan


Source:
Health911

1 comment:

Patrik said...

Hi guys,
This post is very useful and very interesting to read, Really this post is providing nice information,Keep it up.
How to Relieve Congestion in a Baby

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