3 Types of Coughs and The Natural Remedies to Treat Them
Cold season is here whether (and weather) we like it or not, which means it’s only a matter of time before that annoying sensation will attack our throats and the downward spiral to poor health leaves us bed ridden.
In its basic form, a cough serves to remove foreign bacteria, mucus or irritants from our lungs, or as a symptom of respiratory inflammation. However, not all coughs are created equal and knowing which cough is attacking your throat is the first step to a healthy and speedy recovery.
Here are the 3 types of coughs most commonly seen in doctors offices and the at-home remedies to keep you out of the clinic and out of bed:
1. Chronic Dry Cough
This is that stubborn cough that never seems to go away. Unlike other coughs, a dry cough will produce no phlegm, and will often trigger coughing fits that can leave victims stomach sore and in extreme cases lead to broken ribs.
Most commonly diagnosed as a sensitivity to irritants in the air, a dry cough can also come in response to medications that regulate blood pressure, or a hypersensitivity in the upper airways caused by acid reflux.
Remedy: Boil 10 whole peppercorns in 2 cups of water until the water has reduced by 1/2 a cup. Strain the water and mix with a teaspoon of honey. Sip and repeat twice daily until symptoms subside.
2. Tickled Cough
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Similar to the dry cough, a tickly cough in your throat can linger for months, and often occurs during the daytime. Although it generally feels dry and scratchy, this type of cough sometimes feels like mucus is dripping down the back of your throat or that there is a lump when you swallow.
That post nasal drip would normally go unnoticed, but an increased inflammation of upper airways in response to allergies or polluted air, can make your throat extra sensitive to mucus.
Remedy: Antibiotics won’t help a tickled cough because it is not a bacterial infection. The best treatment is herbal. Extracts of spruce and pine shoots make a great syrup that can calm inflammation and soothe the tickle in your throat.
3. Hacking Cough
This cough can be very painful and is often at its worst in the morning. Unlike the other cough types, this will likely produce phlegm that is yellow, green, or rust colored. The appearance of this mucus generally signifies an infection of the airways in the lungs known as the bronchi. This acute viral infection known as bronchitis can result in a very sore throat, blocked nose, wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Remedy: Over the counter medications can further weaken your immune system and lead to more serious health problems like strep throat and pneumonia. The best treatment for a hacking cough is rest and lots of liquids. Hot liquids can effectively thin mucus and make it easier to expel infection. A salt water gargle can also help thin phlegm and reduce inflammation, and also contains powerful antiseptic properties.
It is important to listen to your cough and identify the symptoms giving you grief. A cough can trigger further health issues if left untreated, and by correctly identifying the kind of cough you have, you will be better able to treat it.
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