A cough is not always a medical problem, although coughing can at times indicate the presence of some health condition or infection. Coughing is not really a condition in itself, but is simply a natural reflex to keep the throat and airways clear. When caused by some condition, then coughing is simply one of the many possible symptoms of that condition. At other times a cough may simply develop as a result of irritation to the throat or respiratory passages. Because of the frequency with which we are afflicted with coughs and colds most people prefer using natural methods of treatment to deal with a regular cough. A severe, persistent cough or one that is accompanied by other symptoms should however be examined and investigated by a health care professional. Cough remedies for children, toddlers, babies and infants are particularly popular, because many over the counter drugs can be quite strong and are not ideally suited to frequent administration particularly in children. The same holds true for pregnant women, which is why there is a widespread usage of cough remedies for kids and cough remedies while pregnant for pregnant women.
A cough is not usually a threatening condition and will resolve naturally, but it can be troublesome, particularly when coughing at night keeps you up and prevents you from recuperating. This can lead to fatigue, irritability and exhaustion, serving to further weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to illness. While natural cough remedies may be extremely useful and can greatly help facilitate and hasten healing it should be kept in mind that even the best cough medicine will do no good if you do not take other measures to protect your throat and respiratory system. For example, if you were to try out a variety of sore throat remedies or dry cough remedies for a sore throat or cough, but continued smoking or spending time in an environment with a lot of smoke or pollution, the remedies would be of little effect. Likewise, some amount of caution needs to be exercised in terms of your diet as well.
It should be pointed out that a cough may be productive or dry. A productive cough would be one in which phlegm or sputum is present and such a cough helps to clear mucus from the lungs or respiratory passages. A cough suppressant should therefore never be used on a productive cough. Commonly used cold remedies or runny nose remedies and chest congestion remedies can however offer considerable relief and help clear the passages. In some cases however the cough may be extremely severe and the individual may even experience difficulty breathing, in which case medical attention should be sought immediately. Bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia or a whooping cough are just a few of the possible serious causes of a cough.
The air passages of the lungs are lined with cells secreting mucus, which normally traps particles of dust. When the membranes get infected and inflamed, the secretion of mucus increases and the lining of the air passages is irritated. Coughing is the action by which excess mucus is driven out.
Grapes are one of the most effective home remedies for the treatment of a cough. Grapes tone up the lungs and act as an expectorant, relieving a simple cold and cough in a couple of days. A cup of grape juice mixed with a teaspoon of honey is advised for cough relief.
Almonds are useful for dry coughs. Seven kernels should be soaked in water overnight and the brown skin removed. They should then be ground well to form a fine paste. A quantity of twenty grams each of butter and sugar should then be added to the paste. This paste should be taken in the morning and evening.
The use of raw onion is valuable in a cough. This vegetable should be chopped fine and the juice extracted from it. One teaspoon of the juice should then be mixed with one teaspoon of honey and kept for four or five hours-it will make an excellent cough syrup and should be taken twice daily. Onions are also useful in removing phlegm. A medium-sized onion should be crushed, the juice of one lemon added to it, and then one cup of boiling water poured on it. A teaspoon of honey can be added for taste. This remedy should be taken two or three times a day.
The root of the turmeric plant is useful in a dry cough. The root should he roasted and powdered. This powder should be taken in three gram doses twice daily, in the morning and evening.
The herb belleric myroblan is a household remedy for a cough. A mixture comprising two grams of the pulp of the fruit, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of long pepper, and 2 teaspoons of honey should be administered for the treatment of this condition twice daily. The dried fruit covered with wheat flour and roasted , is another popular remedy for cough condition.
A sauce prepared from raisins is also useful in a cough. This sauce is prepared by grinding 100 gm of raisins with water. About 100 gm of sugar should be mixed with it and the mixture heated. When the mixture acquires a sauce-like consistency, it should be preserved. Twenty grams should be taken at bedtime daily.
Aniseed is another effective remedy for a hard dry cough with difficult expectoration. It breaks up the mucus. A tea made from this spice should be taken regularly for treating this condition.
A person who is going to cough first draws a deep breath in. This action causes his glottis to close and his muscles to contract, thus building up pressure in the chest. Then suddenly, the glottis opens, an explosive discharge of air sweeps through the air passages and carries with it the excess secretions or, in some cases, foreign matter, which has irritated the larynx, trachea, or bronchi.
A cough may be caused by inflammation of the larynx or the pharynx. A cough can develop in the chest due to change in weather or seasonal changes.
The real cause of this disorder, however, is clogging of the bronchial tubes with waste matter. This is due to wrong feeding habits. The reason for higher incidence of cough during winter than in other seasons is that an average person usually eats more of catarrh-forming foods such as white bread, meat, sugar, porridge, puddings, and pies during the colder months of the year. Being over clothed with heavy undergarments and other garments during this period also prevents proper aeration of the skin.
In the case of a severe cough, the patient should fast on orange juice and water till the severity is reduced. The procedure is to take the juice of an orange diluted in a cup of warm water, every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
After the juice fast, the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet for two or three days. In case of a mild cough, the patient can begin with an all-fruit diet for five to seven days, taking three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, grape-fruit, oranges, pineapples, peaches, and melons. For drinks, unsweetened lemon water, or cold or hot plain water may be given.
After the all-fruit diet, the patient should follow a well-balanced diet, with emphasis on wholegrain cereals, raw or lightly cooked vegetables, and fresh fruits.
The patient should avoid meats, sugar, tea, coffee, condiments, pickles, refined and processed foods. He should also avoid soft drinks, candies, ice-cream, and all products made from sugar and while flour.
While the cough is severe, a warm-water enema should be used daily to cleanse the bowels.