Coughs can be treated with conventional cough medicines but they often contain cough suppressants. This is not ideal, as your body wants to expel mucus and irritants through a cough. Natural cough remedies can be a safe alternative which allow your body to act naturally.
The most common natural remedies for coughs are herbal remedies and essential oils. Let's explore them a bit further and discover how they can be used to treat various kinds of coughs gently but effectively.
Herbal cough remedies are best taken as a syrup. You can either buy ready-made herbal syrups or make your own. The best herbal remedies for coughs are marshmallow root, thyme, liquorice, onion and echinacea.
There are several types of coughs and remedies vary according to where the problem is. A dry cough is often caused by a sore throat and a tickly cough results from a dry throat. Take 3-8 teaspoons of marshmallow root syrup a day to fight a bout of coughing or to prevent your throat from getting dry.
For a chesty cough take one teaspoon of thyme and liquorice syrup, 2-5 times a day. Thyme is an antiseptic for lungs and liquorice is an anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory herb that will reduce the irritation in the airways. Liquorice should only be used for a few days if you have high blood pressure, heart, kidney or liver problem or suffer from water retention. Pregnant women should not take it at all.
If you cough a lot, take 4-5 teaspoons of onion syrup per day to reduce the frequency of coughing, especially at night. Onion syrup only works when it is freshly made, so you won't be able to buy this. Making your own is very easy though. All you need is one large onion and 5-7 teaspoons of brown sugar or honey.
To make the syrup, peel and slice the onion into chunky slices. Put a couple of slices into a small bowl and cover with a teaspoon of sugar or honey. Repeat the layering until you have used all the ingredients and leave the bowl covered for a few hours. The sugar will extract the juice from the onion and you can then collect the syrup.
If your cough has been bothering you for more than a week, take 1ml of a echinacea tincture (also known as herbal or fluid extract) diluted in water, three times day. The tincture strength should be 1:5, i.e. one part herb to five parts of alcohol. You can buy ready-made tinctures or make your own. Tinctures take two weeks to macerate, so if you haven't made them in advance it's best to buy.
A persistent cough usually indicates the presence of a disease such as asthma, heartburn, post-nasal drip or chronic bronchitis. To treat a chronic cough mix 20ml each of thyme and elecampane tinctures (1:2 strength), liquorice tincture (1:1 strength) and 40ml of ground ivy tincture (1:2 strength). Pour the mix into a dark glass bottle and take 5ml diluted in water, 2-3 times a day.
Essential oils can get into the mucus membrane of the lungs and therefore it is possible to obtain relief from coughs by inhaling essential oils. There are quite a few essential oils that can be used to treat a cough, e.g. black pepper, cedarwood, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, juniper, lavender, lemon, marjoram, peppermint, pine or sweet thyme. Put two or three drops of the oil into hot water and breathe slowly. Continue until the water has cooled down.
Natural cough remedies bring relief from coughing by loosening any phlegm in the lungs and opening airways without drying out the mucus membranes. They bring healing in a gentle yet effective manner and are definitely worth a try.
Monika Ruthe is a complementary therapist and the creator of a natural remedies information resource. To find the best natural healing remedies
for other common ailments visit http://www.naturalhealingremedies.biz