Well, cold and cough season is coming up. Like many others, my family experiences far less general illness since we changed to a traditional diet. But a mild cold or cough may still sneak up on us now and then. A few years ago, my knee-jerk response to a persistent cough was a trip to the cough syrup aisle at the drug store. Now, I wouldn't touch those chemical-laden syrups with a ten-foot pole (though perhaps they'd serve as an effective drain cleaner?).
Surprisingly, suppressing a cough is not really medically necessary in most cases. In fact, coughing is your body’s way of clearing mucus and phlegm from the throat, which is important for preventing and removing infection. But of course, there are times when a cough is just downright annoying. So if you’re trying to clear up a cough, whether for a business meeting or just to get some sleep, rest assured there are plenty of time-honored natural remedies available.
Honey is one of the most popular home remedies for a cough - because it really works (and it tastes delicious, too!). A 2007 study showed that just two teaspoons of honey at bedtime is as effective as medicinal cough syrup for reducing nighttime coughing and improving sleep. Another bonus: kids naturally balk at swallowing those nasty cough syrups, but getting honey into a child is usually not a problem. If possible, use raw honey, which is loaded with beneficial enzymes, amino acids, and trace minerals.
Here's some more great home remedies for coughing:
- Mix 1/4 cup of honey with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice for a simple homemade cough syrup. It tastes pretty great and works absolute wonders. You can keep a small jar around and take a small spoonful as needed throughout the day.
- If you want to avoid the sugar in honey, a slice of lemon can also do the trick. Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper over the slice and vigorously suck out the juice. Repeat as often as necessary.
- Grapes are known for providing strong cough relief. Their juice can ease a cough while also encouraging the release of congestion, which can shorten the duration of your cough. Raw grapes and fresh grape juice are the best way to reap these benefits. You can also simmer a cup of raisins in 1/2 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of honey. Stir frequently until the mixture is thick and then allow it to cool. Use a tablespoon at a time to relieve your cough whenever needed.
- If a cough is keeping you from sleeping, try this calming tea that will suppress your cough and relax your nerves:
1 cup strong-brewed chamomile tea
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or your favorite fresh juice)
1 tablespoon raw honey
A warm cup of this tea will help you get a good night of rest, which will put you on the road to recovery from your cough.
I don't know about you, but some of these remedies sound so delicious I might have to fake a cough so I can go make some...
Do you have any home cough remedies to share? Please share them in the comments below!