Coughing is a necessary reflex that helps the body get rid of foreign particles and irritants, but it can still be quite uncomfortable and, sometimes, inconvenient. This is why most people seek acute cough treatment and remedies for instant relief.
While it is best to treat the underlying cause of cough, easing the symptoms can also be beneficial in many cases. Remedies known to ease cough quickly may prove to be good for the treatment of the medical condition that triggers it.
Don’t know what to do to get rid of cough immediately? Here are four effective remedies you can try:
1. Take a Spoonful of Honey or Mix it With Tea
Research has shown that honey is the most effective thing to take to quickly ease a cough. It can also help soothe a sore throat.
To top that off, it is considered as effective as (if not more effective than) over-the-counter medication in alleviating cough. One study that explored the effectiveness of treatments for cough in children uncovered that patients experienced better, faster relief after taking dark honey, even compared to taking dextromethorphan.
This is because once triggered, mucus production irritates the throat, activating the coughing reflex. Honey works by coating the mucous membranes along the throat.
When using honey for cough, you can mix two teaspoons with herbal tea or warm water and drink this concoction one to two times a day. You may also opt to take a spoonful of honey on its own and let it coat your throat for a couple of minutes before drinking water. If the cough persists, you may repeat this every few hours.
Important Note: Honey is not advisable for children aged one year old and below due to the risk of infant botulism.
2. Drink Ginger Tea
Aside from being an aromatic spice for cooking, ginger is also popularly known as a natural remedy for cough. According to research, this root crop contains anti-inflammatory compounds that could help relax the muscle along the airways.
Ginger is most effective for dry cough and cough caused by asthma because of its inflammatory properties. It also helps alleviate pain and nausea.
To make ginger tea, simply boil 20 to 40 grams of freshly sliced ginger. Allow it to steep for several minutes before consuming the tea. To boost its effectiveness and enhance the taste, you may also add lemon juice or honey.
It is worth noting, however, that ginger tea may sometimes cause acid reflux, heartburn, or stomach upset. Assess the cause of your cough first or consult a physician to be sure if taking ginger tea is ideal.
3. Increase Fluid Intake
Although this might be the most commonly advised cough remedy, it is still worth reiterating as it provides instant relief as well as long-term positive effects on the cough. If you have a cough, increasing your liquid intake will help thin out the mucus produced due to infection or irritants. It can also ease dry cough that may come with an itchy sensation on your throat.
Studies show that fluids taken at room temperature can help alleviate runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. However, there have been reports of patients suffering from flu or common colds experiencing greater relief when drinking warm beverages.
Based on the research, warm drinks help alleviate more symptoms such as fatigue, chills, and sore throat. It was also reported that the relief from such symptoms was instant and continuous even after downing the entire glass or bowl of drink.
4. Try a Piece of Hard Candy
Lozenges provide effective relief from dry cough. However, if you don’t have any on hand, you can simply suck on a hard piece of candy to ease your cough.
Although it might seem like an old wives’ tale, sucking on hard candy actually has science-backed benefits for cough relief. Hard candies melt more slowly compared to chewy ones, which means more saliva is produced and you swallow more during the process. This helps hydrate the throat and suppress the urge to cough.
While any flavor of hard candy could work, certain flavors work better with specific types of cough. Menthol, for example, is best used for dry cough. Studies have shown that the natural cooling effect of menthol works with the cold receptors located in the throat and nose to help stop the coughing reflex. For wet cough, you can choose lemon-flavored drops instead.
Take note, however, that hard candy should only be given to children aged six years old and above. Avoid giving toddlers hard candies to avoid choking.
Instant and Effective Cough Relief
Getting rid of your cough can be achieved with the right use of remedies and proper treatment. To do this, you have to make sure that you ask your doctor for advice and have him check your condition. Once you do, you should also be able to choose the best cough medicine for your specific type of cough.