BEST NATURAL REMEDIES FOR A DRY (PRODUCTIVE, or TICKLY) AND A MUCUS TYPE (UNPRODUCTIVE, or CHESTY) COUGH.
A cough is a symptom, not a disease in and of itself. It is often indicative of an underlying condition. Although the causes are varied, the reason you cough is to help your body get rid of foreign material or mucus from your lungs and upper airway passages.
An excess of secretions and foreign material are expelled from the airways by coughing; However, when this disorder takes on a character of continuous and intense, it can become very annoying, to the point of sometimes limiting the smooth running of daily activities. However, there are some natural remedies for a wet or a dry cough which can help limit the trouble and inconvenience connected to it.
Before turning our attention to the most useful plants against this disorder, however, let’s try and understand the difference between a mucus cough and a dry cough , in order to easily find their symptoms and choose, therefore, the most effective remedies to address them.
MUCUS COUGH AND DRY COUGH. SYMPTOMS AND DIFFERENCES
A dry cough can occur in acute form (or of short duration), typical of the cold season, often associated with the viral infection and caused by colds, bacterial sinusitis, whooping cough, allergic rhinitis or environmental irritants; or in chronic form (persistent) caused by multiple factors: from asthma to gastroesophageal reflux disease, to name a few.
In addition to this division, the cough is usually also stood in two further types:
A Mucus cough, also called productive , for the presence of phlegm , therefore linked to the production of sputum drained in the back of the nose and throat, but also produced in the lungs;
A Dry cough ( non-productive ) because not accompanied by phlegm . Often allergic in nature or due to a cold, an infection of the throat or bronchi.
7 RIGHT RULES TO PREVENT A COUGH
A Cough is usually dealt with according to the cause: wherever possible, simply remove the irritants that cause it – smoke, allergens, etc. -; otherwise, it will be appropriate to address the issue of which a cough is a symptom , unless it is a more complex problem for which it will be necessary consult a specialist. In the case of bronchitis, for example, it will be necessary to try and resolve the bronchial infection itself.
1) NO SMOKING
It is now known the harmful effect that smoking can have on the respiratory tract and lungs in general. Besides irritating to mucous membranes, smoking can also contribute to the weakening of the immune system. If our “natural defensive barriers” are weaker, we are more exposed to external attacks from viruses and bacteria .
2) WATCH OUT FOR DRY ENVIRONMENTS
Especially in the case of a dry cough and tickly, one should pay attention to the environment in which one sleeps and works. The moisture content should ideally be kept between 40 and 60%: in this ideal condition, the mucous membranes are able to purify the air which is breathed in .
Too dry environments inhibit this ability and, therefore, promote inflammation. It is, therefore, advisable to use a special humidifier for the rooms or place a damp cloth on the heater .
3) CONSUME ALCOHOL WITH MODERATION
It would be good to eliminate or at least moderate the consumption of alcohol and spirits: alcohol appears, in fact, to worsen the congestion of the mucous membranes and increase, as a result, their irritation.
4) GET PLENTY OF WATER AND HOT DRINKS
Drinking a lot of water is a natural remedy for a cough. To thin the mucus and facilitate its’ expulsion it is recommended to drink a lot of water during the day.
Further help can also come from hot drinks, like tea, herbal tea, milk with honey or broths.
5) BALANCE YOUR DIET
A balanced diet rich in d the fresh fruits and vegetables in season is key to strengthen the immune system and the body against attacks by external agents. Go ahead then with foods containing good amounts of vitamin C (kiwi, strawberries, cherries, citrus fruits, spinach), vitamin E (nuts, grains, wheat germ and leafy green leaves in general), carotenoids (squash, peppers, tomatoes etc. .) and polyphenols (dry fruit, nuts, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, etc.), all substances that also boast antioxidant properties.
6) AVOID SUDDEN DIFFERENCES IN TEMPERATURE
Especially in winter, to prevent respiratory diseases, one should pay attention to changes in temperature between the residential temperature and the cold outside. When possible it is good not to exceed with the heating and dress in layers , which can be placed or removed as needed.
7) WASH YOUR HANDS
Hygiene for the hands helps to prevent colds and infections. Our hands can host large amounts of bacteria and a lacking hygiene may be a cause of contagion .
Experts estimate that just a thorough washing of hands is enough to bring down substantially the possibility of infection .
THE PLANTS MOST USED AS NATURAL REMEDIES FOR A COUGH.
As mentioned, wet cough is a productive cough, therefore with the presence of phlegm: if phlegm is allowed to stagnate in the bronchial tubes it makes breathing difficult and promotes the proliferation of microbes that could also cause respiratory infections.
Luckily, you can make use of plants that act on the respiratory mucous favoring functionality , lubricating the bronchial secretions and mitigating the burning sensation.
FOR A WET COUGH
The most suitable in the presence of a wet cough are the following:
The Grindelia (Grindelia robusta)
It has a balsamic effect that benefits the functionality of the airways in general and can be useful in case of both a wet and a dry cough.
The Grindelia is a plant native to the swampy regions of California and the northern part of Mexico; It was known and appreciated by American Indians, then by the Jesuits who brought it to Europe.
In phytotherapy, its flowers are used. They are covered in prevalence with a balsamic resin and the whole plant is sticky with it, as leaves and flowers secrete it.
The Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)
It appears to stimulate a more fluid mucous secretion and therefore more easily eliminated”
The beech ( Fagus sylvatica )
The pitch obtained from the plant’s wood, eases coughing, decreases and facilitates expectoration. It can be taken in the form of non-alcoholic liquid syrup, in combination with other plants and nutrients that can ensure a synergistic and more effective action.
… AND THOSE FOR DRY COUGHS
In the presence of a dry cough, in addition to the plants mentioned above, it can also be useful to take herbal extracts with soothing properties , which may be useful to reduce the irritation of the mucous membranes. Among the more effective we mention the following:
Marshmallow (Althaea Officinalis)
The roots, are used in herbal medicine. It is useful “in case of diseases of the respiratory tract, in particular, the polysaccharides that make up mucilage of the ‘Altea, exert an emollient and anti-inflammatory action.
Mallow (Malva sylvestris)
It’s a very used plant due to its large content of mucilage; especially in herbal medicine, the ‘extract of leaves and flowers is used because it can exert a soothing effect in the bronchial mucosa due to its calming properties.
The lime tree
Is a popular plant known to many for the characteristic scent of its flowers in spring; in phototherapy the flower extract is used for its calming properties useful to promote relaxation, and to promote the smooth functioning of the mucosa of the oral-pharyngeal apparatus. The mucilage present in the plant is held liable for the soothing action in cases of irritating coughs
Let us not forget that both cases of a dry as well as a wet cough, can benefit from the use of aromatic herbs , such as eucalyptus, also useful to do fumigations to open congested airways.
HONEY: A FOLK COUGH REMEDY ALSO RECOGNIZED BY the WHO
A spoonful of honey n a cup of warm milk is one of the natural remedies for a wet cough: this is the classic “Grandma” remedy to deal with the coughing and generally in almost all respiratory system problems.
Studies and recent research have shown that, as it often happens, the honey-milk popular tradition is right . To support the beneficial properties of honey and its effectiveness as a natural remedy for a wet or a dry cough there is now the confirmation of the WHO ( World Health Organization ).The only suggested caution is regarding the excessive intake of this substance by children, which could lead to hyperactivity and insomnia.
Until next time.