Which Cough Remedies Might Work For You?
Some cough remedies are obviously better than others, and what works for one person, or one condition, may not work for another. Before looking for a specific remedy that may work for you, it's important to recognize that there are different categories of coughing. On the one hand we have coughing due to congestion, on the other hand there is the dry cough. What works for one type may not work for the other. Believe it or not, there is also the productive cough, and the non-productive cough. Bet you thought all coughing was non-productive.
Coughs Due To Congestion - This is the type of cough we tend to experience most often. It's mostly present when we suffer from a cold or the flu. Bronchitis and sinus problems are other sources of coughs due to congestion, and the obvious cough remedies we look for are those designed to relieve or reduce congestion. A throat irritation, symptomatic of something more serious, may also the reason for coughing. Not too many people are aware of it, but heartburn, which can irritate the esophagus, is often a cause for coughing, as is asthma. A more serious situation behind fits of coughing is pneumonia.
When we cough as a result of any of the above causes, the cough is productive. That is, it is performing a useful function, that of removing phlegm and mucus. If you have ever had a serious case of pneumonia you may actually been encouraged to cough up mucus and liquid from you lungs as part of the curative process. Of course, violent and out-of-control coughing needs to be treated, but now you know what productive coughing is all about. Still, you want relief, and have the need for one or more cough remedies that will do the job for you.
Maybe when you can remember when you were little, sitting in a chair and leaning over a pan of boiling water on a hot plate. You had a towel over your head and your mother would put a big glob of Vicks in the boiling water. You'd sit there for quite a few minutes, inhaling the steam and the Vicks vapor. It really wasn't a bad experience, and seemed to help. The problem today might be that most households no longer have a hot plate, and the kitchen range just isn't a good substitute.
What still works though is warm, moist air. It's one of the best cough remedies when it comes to clearing up the sinuses and relieving congestion. If you do have a hot plate and want to try the above technique, oil of eucalyptus, cedar, cypress, peppermint or hyssop oil (a few drops in the water) also work quite well. Many over the counter cough suppressants contain eucalyptus, and also some contain peppermint, both the basis for some pleasant tasting candies. Not only is warm, moist air helpful, but water itself can be at times very effective in relieving and reducing congestion. We normally don't think of water as having medicinal properties, and in fact it really doesn't. But many times we don't drink as much of it as we should, and one of those times is when we have a cold or some other malady which brings on coughing. Drinking a few glasses of water during the day can really prove helpful.
Some of the cough remedies mentioned below, simply help relieve the symptoms, other help in attacking the underlying cause. The purpose here however is not to cure whatever illness or disease ails you, simply to provide some information on how to relieve coughing and congestion.
Bad For Bears, Good For You - Ever gone to a Mexican restaurant, maybe while suffering from a slight head cold or some nasal congestion, had a particularly spicy dish, or just some hot salsa, and notice how your sinuses cleared up? If you had a cough that might have cleared up as well. Not permanently, but for long enough to enjoy the meal and perhaps a bit longer. That was the chili pepper at work, or more specifically the capsicum. It's the same ingredient found in bear spray, and besides clearing up sinuses and chasing away bears, capsicum also has powerful antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties. Good stuff if you don't get it in your eyes! So add hot chili peppers to your list of potential cough remedies. Another remedy with a bit of heat in it is Tabasco sauce (just a few drops) in a glass of water. (continued...)