Cough is a common respiratory condition that often occurs in conjunction with colds and flus. It is a muscle spasm that occurs as a reaction to an irritation or obstruction in the bronchial tubes. A productive cough is associated with mucus that may be just a thin and watery discharge or a thick and whitish phlegm. This kind of cough is usually a kapha associated cough. If the mucus is yellow or green, there is a secondary infection with some pitta association. A dry cough is an irritant in the throat, not a productive cough. This kind of cough is usually a vata associated cough. Please seek professional help if a cough doesn’t go with these home remedies after a few days.
- A teaspoonful of honey a couple times a day for a few days should get rid of a dry cough.
- Eat a ripe banana with 1 teaspoon of honey and 2 pinches of ground black pepper 2-3 times a day.
- Chew 1/4 teaspoon of ajwain (carom) seeds with a teaspoon of natural organic sugar.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of onion juice with 1 teaspoon of honey and drink.
- Boil 1 cup of milk with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon of dry ginger powder. Drink this at night for a dry cough.
- For dry, hacking cough, try this recipe: Mix 2-3 pieces of clove, 4-5 yashtimadhu/licorice sticks, 2-3 long pepper seeds/pippali and some crystals of palm candy and boil in 2 cups of milk. Add some honey and drink an ounce of this milk.
- Extract juice from tulsi (holy basil) (anti-allergic, anti-toxin, expectorant) leaves, mix with honey and use as cough syrup. This works well for dry coughs.
- Add 2 cardamoms (elaichi), 10 raisins and 5 pepper corns in a cup of boiling water. Sip through the day.
Productive Cough (without yellowish or green mucus):
- In honey, mix equal proportions of fresh ginger juice (grate ginger and press to extract juice) or dry ginger powder and black pepper powder. Mix well and use as cough syrup.
- Mix 1/4 teaspoon of sitopaladi with 1 teaspoon of honey as a cough syrup.
- Extract juice of 2 fresh garlic cloves, mix with warm milk and 1/2 tsp of black pepper powder and drink twice a day.
- 1/2 tsp of fresh, pure turmeric (haldi) powder in a cup of warm milk, 1/2 tsp of black pepper powder (optional) mixed with warm milk is also effective for an chronic cough with throat irritation.
- Black pepper powder mixed with melted jaggery, rolled into tiny balls is a good home-made cough pill for a nagging cough.
- In a cup of boiling water, add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder, plus a pinch of clove and a pinch of cinnamon powder.
- Ginger juice, pomegranate juice and honey in equal measures can be used as a syrup.
Productive Cough (with yellowish or greenish mucus):
- Use equal proportions of sitopaladi and mahasudarshan. Use 1/4 teaspoon of this mixture to make a tea and drink it with honey 3 times a day.
- Avoid cold and heavy foods like ice cream, deep fried foods, cold drinks, cheeses etc.
- At the early signs of the onset of a cold, take some proactive measures like steam inhalation, good hydration with light, warm fluids like soups, warm water etc. and adequate rest and sleep to prevent the cold from getting aggravated.
- Protect your chest and neck with warm, protective clothing, especially during cold, rainy or windy weather.
- White radish juice mixed with some honey is a good cure for chronic coughs and is also a good preventative measure for colds and coughs. Just drink some of this when you think you may be susceptible to a cold.
- Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations), regular Pranayama (breathing) exercises like Bhastrika, Kapalabhati help in developing respiratory strength and warmth to the body.
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