Goodbye to dry cough

KATHMANDU: There are two basic types of coughs — chest coughs and dry coughs. The effectiveness of natural cough remedies depends on identifying which cough you have. A chest cough is often characterised by mucus or phlegm in the chest that is brought up by the action of coughing. A dry cough produces no phlegm.

It’s common to have dry cough during the changing weather.

Dry coughs can be caused by allergies to irritants like dust, smoke, pollen, mould, freshly cut grass, pets and certain plants, cleaning agents, room deodorisers and chemical fumes. Since dry coughs have no purpose (that is expectorating mucous or phlegm) and they cause needless irritation in the chest and throat it is beneficial to suppress a dry cough.

Natural cough remedies are often preferred when treating coughs caused by allergies and nasal irritants because over-the-counter antihistamine-decongestant combinations can cause side effects in many people. The side effects caused by these non-natural cough remedies include a variety of symptoms from tremors in the hands and feelings of anxiety to ringing in the ears and rebound congestion.

Causes of allergy cough are

•Viral infection of the upper respiratory tract

•Nasal and sinus allergy

•Esophageal problems and/or stomach problems

•Environmental irritants

Preventing allergy symptoms

•Postpone outdoor activities until later in the morning. Pollens are usually emitted between the hours from 5:00-10:00 am.

•Stay indoors on hot, dry and windy days.

• Wash bedding weekly in hot water.

• Shower and wash your hair every night before going to bed.

• Remove visible mould with non-toxic cleaning products.

• Beware of high mould spore counts after a heavy rain or in the evening.

Here are some natural remedies for curing a dry cough.

•Mix three tablespoons of lemon juice, one cup honey, and one-fourth cup warm water and take two teaspoons daily.

•Peel a small piece of fresh ginger. Sprinkle some salt on it and chew.

•Add a gram of turmeric powder to a teaspoon of honey.

•Soak almonds overnight remove their skin and make a paste of these almonds with little butter and sugar and have a table spoon.

•Mix 15 grams of jaggery with 15 ml of mustard oil and lick it.

•A cup of grape juice mixed with a teaspoon of honey is advised for cough relief.

•Drinking sugar cane juice is beneficial in dry cough. It provides relief from whizzing in the chest.

•Grind 10 corns of black pepper, mix with honey and lick twice daily in the morning and evening.

•Take hot milk mixed with black pepper at bed time. It will cure all types of cough.

•Ginger tea, prepared by adding a few pieces of ginger into boiled water before adding tea leaves, is another effective remedy for cough.

•Take 1-2 gm powder of black pepper, long pepper, and dry ginger in equal proportions and make a mixture. Taking this mixture of powder with honey 2-3 times a day give relief from cough.

•In winters eating garlic at night with meals twice a week will provide relief from cough.

•Sucking on an almond keeps the throat wet and provides relief from cough.

•Mix equal parts of aloe vera juice with honey and take a table spoon twice daily.

•Half-a-cup of honey mixed with four table spoons of vinegar helps. Take a small amount of it whenever you feel any irritation.

•Drinking honey mixed with boiling milk will soothe your throat.

•Chew on cardamom.

•Drink hot milk with honey at bedtime.

•Three cloves of garlic boiled in milk, can be used every night.

•Add two tablespoons of glycerine and two tablespoons of honey to lemon juice. Take one teaspoonful daily.

Patients should see an allergist/immunologist if they —

•Have cough that lasts 3-8 weeks or more.

•Have cough that coexists with asthma.

•Have coexisting chronic cough and nasal symptoms.

•Have a chronic cough and tobacco use or exposure. — Compiled by Abhilasha Subba