Cough is a symptom to an underlying respiratory disorder and it is equally essential to keep away any irritants that may sneak into the body through the throat or nose. Coughing can be an infrequent action to clear the throat or sometimes can become serious when persistent for a couple of weeks.
Consistent coughing along with other symptoms could mean that there is a severe underlying health problem. Whatever the case may be, it is crucial to cure the condition by using some of the best herbs for cough and other homemade remedies that help in relieving the condition immediately.
Read on to find out what cough is and how it affects our body, and various herbs for cough that should be a part of our diet, and other such valuable information.
What is a Cough?
Cough is a spontaneous response when dust, dirt or mucus irritates the throat. Just as blinking or sneezing works, cough too protects our body. Lungs mucus(1) gets produced in the throat and helps in keeping the air passageway moist. It also helps in building a protective layer against irritants and germs that we may breathe in.
Infrequent coughing is normal and helps in removing any alien particles from our nose or throat. Although occasional coughing is considered a normal phenomenon or bodily reflex, persistent coughing may be the cause of some health problems or an underlying condition.
As we age, our process of coughing becomes less strong as our muscles tend to lose the strength to cough powerfully. It does not help in removing the irritants and particles from the throat and nose, which may cause serious health problems such as lung diseases, which is very common during old age.
Cough along with other signs and symptoms such as the runny nose, chest pain, shortness of breath, acid reflux in some cases, increase in mucus production, and blood in the mucus, and among others may be an alarming sign of an underlying condition, which you must diagnose immediately.
The seriousness of coughing may depend on multiple factors such as other symptoms observed along with coughing, persistent coughing, and more. Therefore, it is crucial to keep a watch if there are other signs along with coughing.
[Read: Home Remedies for Cough]
6 Herbs to Include in Your Diet to Get Rid of Cough
As we all know, herbs have healing properties. They are used since ancient times to cure and treat several illnesses. By using the right herb, you can treat cough without difficulty and effectively.
Some of these herbs are used in the form of essential oils while others can be consumed as a part of the daily diet. Here are six herbs that you must include in your diet to get rid of cough.
Yes, you read that right. It seems that the Christmas tree has got more to it than just being a decorative item at home. Pine has herbal properties and is known to relieve cough.
It is one of the best herbs for a cough that you can take with honey to relieve cough and throat irritation.
Since ancient Greece, mullein herb is being used to ease cough and inflammation. You can either consume this herb in the form of tea or can also find some of the over-the-counter sprays that help in soothing irritation during cough to relieve pain.
One of the best herbs for cough is thyme which is a useful herb that is in use by many people to heal numerous kinds of health problems, especially cough and cold. You can take this efficient herb in the form of tea.
If you are suffering from a chesty cough, thyme along with other herbs such as licorice root, eucalyptus oil, star anise, and ivy can be used together to loosen the mucus and clear the chest and throat.
This herb is a member of the mint family. Horehound is a bitter herb that is great as a pain reliever, cold suppressant, and soothes any digestive distress. This herb gets used as a cough syrup, but you can also prepare a horehound tea. Don’t forget to add lemon slices and raw honey to cut off the bitter taste of the herb.
One of the most excellent herbs for cough, sage, not only helps in soothing the cough but also acts as a pain reliever antibacterial herb, which can treats sore throat as well. It is also an effective herb during fever. You can prepare sage tea to lower the fever and cure a stubborn cough. However, pregnant women should not consume sage(2) tea or the herb in its raw form.
6. Wild Cherry Bark
You might have seen this ingredient in most of the herbal cough syrups. Wild cherry bark is a key ingredient in over-the-counter cough syrups and has great pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. It helps in opening up the chest blockages caused due to cough and soothes the throat.
Although an excellent herb for cough, wild cherry bark is not recommended for nursing mothers, children, and people with liver or kidney disease.
[Read: Get Rid of a Cough]
Some Foods to Avoid to Get Better Results from Herbs
As we include some of the herbs in our diet to keep away the cough, there are some foods that you must avoid during cough. You can quickly treat it only if the immune system of the body is robust and can fight back effectively.
It is possible if the diet is proper, healthy, and wholesome and does not include unnecessary food items or herbs that aggravate the condition. Here are six such foods that you must exclude from your diet during cough.
1. Fried Food
Well, fried snacks are yum, but these should be kept away from the diet if you are suffering from cough. Processed and fried foods cause inflammation that leads to weakening of the immune system, and thereby it becomes difficult to treat the cough.
2. Dairy Products
The production of mucus increases during cough and cold. Consumption of dairy products further aggravates the production of mucus, which also increases the severity and intensity of mucus and blocks the air passages in the throat and nose. Therefore, it is highly recommended to avoid dairy products during cough.
3. Fast Foods
Fast foods are trending and are an all-time favorite of children and adults alike, but these do not contain any nutritional value as they are often prepared using genetically-modified ingredients. So, during cough, fast foods should not be a part of the diet as these food items do not help in boosting the immune system and instead make the digestive system slow and weak
Juices contain a high amount of sugar. As per health experts, consumption of juices during cough and cold reduces the capacity of white blood cells to fight back the diseases and weakens the immunity system. Moreover, juices contain acids that further irritate the throat and aggravate cough.
Many people have a preconceived notion that consuming alcohol during cough and cold keeps the body warm and helps in alleviating the cough. But the reality is different or rather opposite. Alcohol not only dehydrates the body but also weakens the immune system that makes the condition worse as the body can’t fight back the health issue effectively.
Caffeine is another such item which you must avoid if suffering from cough as it might worsen the condition by drying the cough more than usual. It can also lead to a breathing issue. Therefore, it is best to avoid caffeine during cough to keep away any further unforeseen health problem.
Tea Recipes to Cure Cough
Runny nose, irritated throat, and cough can be easily treated with some of the best homemade tea recipes. These are simple to prepare and soothe the throat, and clear any nose blockage; it also effectively helps in curing the cough. Read on to prepare these tea recipes to cure cough.
Thyme Tea Recipe
- Take one cup of water. Bring it to boil.
- Now, add three thyme springs and steep the same in the water for five to ten minutes.
- You can add cinnamon powder to the water to add a sweet flavor to the tea.
- Once you are done with the steeping, strain the tea in a cup using a strainer or a mesh muslin cloth.
Your thyme tea for cough is ready. Drink it hot.
Herbal Tea Recipe
- Take three to four slices of ginger and add it to boiling water.
- Add two to three chopped garlic cloves to the boiling water.
- Now add two tablespoons of herbal tea to the water and let it steep for five to ten minutes.
- You can add raw honey to add a sweet flavor to the tea. Do not use processed sugar or other sweeteners.
- Now, strain the tea using a filter or a mesh muslin cloth and pour the tea in a cup.
Your hot herbal tea for cough is ready!
Licorice Root Tea Recipe
- Take an inch of licorice root and steep it for five to ten minutes approximately.
- The flavor of licorice root is strong, and therefore one needs to adapt to the taste. To add sweetness to the tea, you can add raw honey.
- Squeeze a fresh lemon to add a dash of flavor to the tea and drink it hot.
Chamomile Tea Recipe
- You can either take fresh or dried flowers of German chamomile or Roman chamomile to prepare tea for curing cough.
- Add two tablespoons of chamomile to eight ounces of water and boil it.
- Steep the same for ten minutes. Remember, the more you steep it, the stronger the flavor of the tea.
- Add raw honey or a slice of lemon for taste.
Although coughing is a natural bodily reflex, persistent coughing is a sign of a health issue, which you must tackle immediately and effectively. The bottom line is, we cannot stop the irritants from entering our system through the throat or nose but what we can do is prevent such condition by staying away from anyone who is suffering from contagious diseases that may spread the germs.
Moreover, in case you are suffering from common cold and cough, there are some of the best herbs for a cough that can be used to treat the condition effectively. The immune system needs a boost from time to time so that it can fight the irritants in the body causing cough.
It can be done by keeping this valuable information handy and using the best herbs for cough for preparing tea recipes, which would help in soothing the irritation in the throat, soothing the inflammation, alleviating pain, and keeping away cough effectively.
Some of the other things that you can do to keep away cough are, wash the hands frequently and avoid sharing towels, cutlery or pillows in public places. As the proverb goes, prevention is better than cure, so it is good to stay alert, but if the condition is unavoidable, visit your doctor immediately. And rest, you still have the best cures right here for you!