During the winter months, colds and coughs seem to be everywhere which, when caught, can be wearisome and unpleasant.
Although the majority of coughs will disappear by themselves within three weeks and are your body’s defence when it comes to getting rid of harmful micro-organisms or dust, there are several natural and effective ways to help hurry the process along. You can try these five methods to help speed up the healing process to leave you feeling happier and healthier…
Drinking hot water with lemon and honey is a well-known remedy for a cough.
“Hot lemon with honey has a similar effect as cough medicines,” the NHS states.
To make the concoction, squeeze half a lemon into a mug of boiled water, and then add one or two teaspoons of honey and stir. Consume the drink while it is still warm for best results.
Another great and natural way to cure a cough is to eat pineapple as it contains the enzyme bromelain. According to a study, this can help to subdue the cough and loosen mucus in the throat. The research suggested that a mixture of pineapple juice, honey, salt and pepper could reduce coughing up to five times faster than some over-the-counter medicines.
Eat a slice of pineapple or drink fresh pineapple juice to reap the benefits.
Thyme leaves contain compounds called flavonoids which work as an anti-inflammatory, relieving symptoms of a cough. Throat muscles become relaxed once you drink thyme tea, which can be made by adding two teaspoons of crushed thyme leaves into a mug of boiling water. Let the tea brew, strain and then drink.
Peppermint is another natural ingredient that can help ease cough symptoms. The menthol in peppermint soothes the throat, breaks down mucus and clears the sinuses.
You can either drink peppermint tea or inhale peppermint vapour.
Another natural way to treat a cough is to use liquorice root. It contains antiviral and antimicrobial properties. You can try liquorice in cough drops, syrups or teas.
These methods can help soothe a dry or chesty cough but you should always visit your GP if you have a hacking cough, chest pain, or if your cough has lasted more than three weeks.