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Showing posts with label cough. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cough. Show all posts

Sep 15, 2010

Dry Cough Remedies


Dry Cough Remedies

Coughing is a natural reflex of the body
when the throat comes into contact with some irritant. A cough may happen when a person is choking since this is a method used to remove the offending item from the throat. In general, a cough is used to send mucus up the throat into the mouth. This happens when there is an infection in the throat. 
 
The body secretes mucus around the infection in order to trap the germs and send them out. It is therefore essential to spit out any mucus that has been brought up in a cough. A cough with such fluid is often known as a phlegm cough.

A dry cough is a type of cough that has no mucus in it. It is usually a type of cough that occurs when there is an irritation in the throat passage. This irritation causes a mild inflammation or itch to develop in the throat. 
 
Coughing occurs simply because of the irritated throat lining. There are some known causes for dry cough. When a person has ingested food or water in a way that has not gone down well, a cough may result. 
 
A dry cough can occur due to an asthma problem that affects an individual. Smoke and other environmental pollution could also cause dry coughing. There are also particular types of dust and pollen that can cause this problem. Typically, a dry and low humidity environment is required for a condition of dry coughing to persist.

Typically, dry cough remedies are designed to soothe the throat and reduce the irritation, therefore reducing the coughing. 
 
The best form of dry cough treatment is through the consumption of herbal teas. Apart from providing warm relief and lubrication to the throat, the herbal tea will also have some useful substances that can help reduce the severity of the irritation. The best recommendation for this problem is any type of green tea, mixed with honey. 
 
Ginger tea is another warm drink that can help with a dry cough. Drinking warm water will provide some dry cough relief as it lubricates the throat and may wash down some of the irritants that are causing the coughing symptoms. 
 
There are also many different dry cough diets that are recommended. While these vary from culture to culture, one thing that can be avoided when suffering from a dry cough is excessively dry food or food that has a lot of spice in it. This will probably aggravate the cough.

May 21, 2009

CASE STUDY : COUGH


There are two basic kinds of coughs, congested and dry, with each one having different underlying causes.

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 ¼ 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.

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.

See Your Doctor When...
* If you have any of the following conditions along with your cough,

* See your doctor without delay because you may have an infection, or the cough may indicate the presence of a more serious health condition.

* Your cough doesn't get better after a few days. Coughing can lead to fractured ribs or a heart attack.

* You cough up blood or bloody mucus.

* Your mucus is yellow, brown or green and does not improve in a few days. This will indicate that you have an infection.

* If you cough for more than three days for no apparent reason.

Or, if you have:

* Shortness of breath when you cough.

* Sharp pains in your chest when you cough.

* A fever along with a persistent cough. This could be indicative of a serious respiratory illness. If you have a high fever and difficulty breathing you may have pneumonia.

* Chest pain

* Persistent chills

* Excessive night sweats

* Laryngitis and a persistent cough that lasts for more than three weeks.

* A skin rash, earache, pain in the teeth or sinuses, or a headache.

Dry Coughs :
A dry cough will be raspy and without phlegm and may be due to smoking, asthma, dust, foreign matter, pollution, or come after a sore throat.

* Another cause of your dry cough could be a climate-controlled building. The heating and cooling systems dry the air and your respiratory membranes, too. Rapid temperature and humidity changes upon entering a building add to the problem. Chronic coughing, sneezing and a runny nose may be the result. If you work in a climate-controlled building, avoid cold drinks and food as they interfere with your body's ability to maintain its optimal temperature. During the air-conditioning season cold foods and drinks affect your body's temperature and its ability to adjust to the building's conditions; instead drink hot liquids and eat warm foods. When your building is heated, drink fluids at room temperature. You want to soothe the mucus membranes and moisturize your throat.

* Inhaling steam from a pan with one of the essential oils mentioned above added is particularly helpful with dry coughs.

Remedies :
* Aloe vera juice Mix equal parts of aloe vera juice and honey and take a tablespoon or two as needed. Good for a smoker's cough.
* Apple cider vinegar Sprinkle apple cider vinegar on your pillowcase before bedtime.
* Put 1 or 2 teaspoons of vinegar in a glass of water and keep beside your bed to use when you feel the tickling sensation coming on. Take a few swallows as needed. Vinegar dissolves mucus and reduces inflammation.

* Mix ½ cup of honey with 3-4 tablespoons of vinegar. Take one tablespoon before going to bed or during a coughing fit, and throughout the day, as needed. Stir well before use.

* Comfrey -Take a comfrey tea for dry persistent coughs. Comfrey should not be taken for long term use as it may cause liver damage.

* Codonopsis root Use a decoction, tincture or powder for chronic coughs.
* Garlic Mince a clove of garlic and place in a small bowl; cover with honey and cover the bowl with plastic wrap; marinate overnight. Take one tablespoonful upon awakening, then throughout the day, as needed.

* Honey Add a tablespoon of honey to a glass of boiling water and drink as needed. This will soothe the throat.

Horehound lozenges help suppress a dry cough.

* Licorice root -Take 5 grams of powdered root with honey three times a day. You can also make a decoction by using ½ teaspoon to one cup of water. Take three cups daily. Licorice has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, and is an expectorant. Do not use if you have high blood pressure.

* Tea -Make a tea of wild cherry bark, slippery elm or red clover. Sweeten with honey.
* Zinc lozenges are helpful.

Homeopathy :
Antimonium tart Is to be used if the cough is loose and rattling with little or no phlegm and breathing is painful.

Bryonia Use when a cold has gone to the chest and turned in to a hard, dry cough.

Drosera Use for a cough after which you have a whooping sound or with vomiting.

Ferrum phos. Is beneficial for a hard, dry cough with a tickle.

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 ¼-½ 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.

Supplements : Vitamins A, C and E are beneficial with conditions that cause coughs.
Tips to Control Cough :
* 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.