Cough is a sudden, often repetitive, spasmodic contraction of the thoracic cavity, resulting in violent release of air from the lungs, and usually accompanied by a distinctive sound. Coughing is an action performed by the body to throw out or to get rid of substances that are irritating the air passages in their way. A cough is usually initiated to clear the phlegm that is been caught in the trachea or its neighboring areas. Coughing is also triggered when a bolus of food goes down the trachea instead of the esophagus because of the failure of the epiglottis, how ever this may result in choking rather. Frequent or continuous chronic coughing usually is seen when there is some presence of a disease. If the patient is a non-smoker and has a normal chest X-ray, the cause of chronic cough in most of all the patients is due to asthma, reflux ( heartburn) or post-nasal drip.(almost about 93%). Some other causes that contribute to chronic cough include chronic bronchitis and medications like as ACE inhibitors. Coughing occurs both voluntarily as well as involuntarily.
We can say that cough is a forceful release of air from the lungs that can be heard. Coughing is one of the ways of protecting the respiratory system by clearing it of irritants and secretions. Coughs are of two types either dry or productive. Dry cough usually does not bring up a mixture of mucus, irritants, and other substances from the lungs ( sputum), while a productive cough brings up all. If the cough is due to infection caused by bacteria then it may be grey, greenish or brown due to the presence of sputum in it. In the case of an allergy or viral infection the cough produced appears white. In the extremely serious conditions, it may happen that the sputum contains blood (cancer condition).
Environmental pollutants, such as cigarette smoke, dust, or smog, are also assumed to trigger of cough. In the case of cigarette smokers, the nicotine present in the smoke is proved to paralyze the hairs of the nose (cilia) that perform the activity of regularly flushing of the mucus from the respiratory system. Since the mucus now gets builds up, it forces the body for its removal by coughing or some other way (mostly it is coughing or sometimes with vomiting). Post-nasal drip, or the irritating trickle of mucus from the nasal passages into the throat which is caused by allergies or sinusitis, can also be one of the contributing factors for generating cough. Some of the common chronic disease like, as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and cystic fibrosis, are mostly characterized in part by a cough. A condition in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus (gastro esophageal reflux) can cause coughing, especially when a person is lying down, this should not be mistaken as cough caused by disease. Sometimes cough can also be a side-effect of medications that are administered via an inhaler. Many a times drugs used for treating high blood pressure can also cause side effects of cough, like the beta blockers and some ACE inhibitors
It is important to identify and treat the origin of the cough, along with the disease that resulted to it. Avoid smoking and coming in direct contact with people who smoke or who suffer from cold or flu symptoms. Wash hands at frequent times and especially during episodes of upper-respiratory illnesses.
Home Remedies for Cough
The following are some traditionally prescribed remedies for cough.
Take one tea spoon of pure honey and to it add a pinch of grounded white pepper. Regular usage of this 2-3 times a day for about 4-5 days will cure your cough. This is one of the important home remedies for cough.
Honey when taken with black pepper will loosen the mucous and make you spit the mucus. This will be helpful in throwing the irritating substances of the trachea and help you in treating cough. This is one of the effective cough home remedies.
Another effective natural remedy for cough is that if you have cough due to cold then just drink tea made of ginger 3-4 times a day or just eat raw ginger, this will subside your cough.
Drinking red raspberry, honey suckle, or liquor ice tea with honey is helpful in treating cough in 2-3 days. This is one of the effective cough treatment.
Take 2 tablespoons of honey and mix it in one cup of orange juice and drink it. This is a good cough remedy.
Prepare a cough syrup from baked onion juice, comfrey tea, and honey. Drink it daily and your cough will subside.
Another effective cough treatment is to before going to bed just take a spoonful of honey with few drops of vodka or brandy in it.
Mix 1-2 tsp of pure home made turmeric powder in warm milk and drink it twice a day for coughs of a bacterial origin. Within 2 days your cough will be gone by using this method. This is one of the useful home remedies for cough.
You may also gargle with warm water to which lot of salt is added as many times as possible during the day. This will help you to clear phlegm caught in the throat.
Mix 5 ml of onion juice with 10 ml of pure honey. Take this mixture at least twice a day. This will relieve your cough and will also help in soothing throat. This is one of the best cough cure.
Take 5ml of fresh tulsi (Ocimum sanctum, Holy Basil) and mix it in 10 ml of pure honey. Consume this daily at least twice a day.
Add turmeric to a vessel filled with boiling water and inhale the fumes. It is also beneficial for controlling cough. This is a good natural remedies for cough.
Prepare a paste using ¼ teaspoon of red pepper, ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 table spoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 table spoon of honey, and 2 tablespoon of water. Mix them well and take 1 teaspoon of this mixture whenever you have cough. This is one of the simplest home remedy for cough.
In case of severe and chronic cough, crush 2-3 garlic and some cloves. Add this to a glass of milk or water. Then boil the mixture till it reduces to half the original content. Filter this and add a little sugar to it for improving the taste. Drink this twice a day and continue this treatment for at least a week to see visible results.
In a large vessel just simply take plain water and boil it. Now inhale these vapors of steam by covering your head region with the towel. Taking deep breaths in between is advisable. You may cough in the beginning and every thing will be fine in 10 minutes, it will help you later to throw out the waste (phlegm).
One of the useful home remedies for cough is to take 1-2 gm powder of black pepper, long pepper, and dry ginger in equal ratios. Take this mixture of powder with honey, 2-3 times a day.
Cough cure - Take some garlic and boil them in water, and drink it. You can add sugar to improve the taste.
Crush some black pepper and eat them with honey.
Chop up an onion, and pour honey over it. Let it be on a sauce pan on low flame for few minutes. Now take some honey from it and allow it to be in your throat. Do not drink water for at least half an hour of this treatment.
For dry and frequent cough take 1-2 gm powder of fried turmeric with honey, thrice a day. This is one of the useful cough treatment.
Take 2-3 cloves and fry them in butter or ghee, and chew them.
Take half a gram of powder of long pepper and mix it with rock salt, twice a day, with hot water. This is one of the simplest cough remedy.
Take some garlic pieces and then boil it in water, add some sugar, lemon and honey to it and drink it.
Take equal parts of black pepper, dry ginger, and sugar mixed in ghee or butter two times a day.
This home remedy for cough is one of the most useful ones. Take some water in the pot and put it to boil, after the water boils, put three cloves of garlic, one spoon of oregano and leave water for boiling around 4 -5 minutes. Take this water in cup and drink directly or add it in milk and then drink it.
Take little water say ¼ cup , to this add 2 teaspoons of honey, half a lemon, cinnamon and one eucalyptus leaf and drink it.
Take some eucalyptus and mint leaves and boil them in water. Now inhale its vapors while the water cools. It will help you in curing your cough. This is an another natural remedy for cough.
Coughs are involuntary spasms of the respiratory tract, but adults can learn to control them. There are also some things you can do so that cough will not happen at all. The following are some preventive measures:-
(i) As the exact reason for cough is not certain we have to be very careful in selecting foods as some of them can aggravate coughs. Avoid sour substances if they are not suitable like curd, pickles, lemon etc.
(ii) Intake of cold water and other chilled products like ice creams soft drinks should be avoided. If not completely but at least they can be restricted.
(iii) Be away from allergens like dust, smoke. Fumes, gases, etc as much as you can. Cover your face with a handkerchief if possible. If you are riding vehicle frequently than make use of mask or other such products to cover your self.
(iv) Certain aroma is not suitable to you so be far from them.
(v) Daily if possible consume one tea spoon of honey.
(vi) If any member in your house has cough problem, keep children away from them and follow hygienic conditions.
(vii) Quit smoking as this is the major reason for cough.
(viii) Stop consumption of alcohol as they reduce blood sugar level and causes pain in head.
(ix) Avoid crowded places as cough is infectious, keep handkerchief in front of your mouth whenever you cough or sneeze
(x) Wash your hands properly before eating, and take a bath if possible after coming from outside.