The fever and achy muscles are gone, youíre feeling much better, but that hacking cough is still hanging in there.† While a cough that wonít go away can be caused by something other than a cold (e.g., bronchitis, sinusitis, allergies, pneumonia), for many, a nagging cough can linger around for up to three weeks after the other symptoms of a cold have passed.† What can you do to get some relief?† Here are a few non-over-the-counter suggestions:
1. Use a humidifier: Running a humidifier moisturizes the air, which helps sooth inflamed respiratory track tissues.† There are different kinds of humidifiers on the market.† A cool mist humidifier, which tends to be the least expensive, works fine.† It provides the moisture, uses less energy than a warm mist humidifier, and prevents the risk of anyone getting burned.
2. Lay off the dairy: Dairy products are known to increase the build-up of mucus, which is the last thing we need to do while trying to rid our bodies of phlegm.
3. Water: Staying well-hydrated is always a good thing, optimizing our bodiesí functioning, including our immune systems.† While both warm and cool water can sooth raw throats, cool water has the added benefit of slightly reducing swelling.
4. Eat honey: Quality raw honey (in contrast to highly processed honey) is anti-viral and anti-bacterial, and can be eaten by itself, in tea, or used in a number of home remedies for coughs and colds (see below.)† A Penn State College of Medicine study tested the impact of nightly doses of buckwheat honey on children (ages 2-18) suffering from night time coughing and a respiratory track infection for 7 days or less.† The study showed that night time coughing was reduced in children who took the honey, encouraging news in light of the FDAís recommendation that children not be given over the counter cold medicines due to potentially harmful effects.
5. Try these natural remedies:
- Ginger and garlic are both touted as having powerful medicinal properties, including the ability to help relieve coughs. If youíve got the wherewithal to do so, you can chew on either one of these raw.† A milder solution is boiling either freshly sliced ginger or a few cloves of garlic in water to make a tea.† Drink this 2-3 times daily.
- Over a low flame, heat chopped onion mixed with a generous dose of honey.† When warm, take a spoonful of mixture, or just honey and hold it in the back of your throat.† Do not drink anything for one-half hour.
- Eat a spoonful of raw honey with some chopped garlic (a little will do ya.)
- Eat a spoonful of raw honey mixed with a pinch of ground white or black pepper several times a day.
To be sure that your prolonged coughing isnít a symptom of a more serious condition, visit a trusted doctor.