Since COVID, almost everyone knows what a dry cough is, as it was a top indicator of the disease. Dry cough, also known as unproductive cough, is a cough that does not produce any mucus or phlegm, unlike wet cough.
A dry cough usually occurs when something irritates your throat. It can happen as you recover from a cold or flu. Other reasons for dryness include postnasal drip, allergy, asthma, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Usually, a cough is due to an underlying disease and improves as you recover. If a cough lasts more than eight weeks, it is best to consult an ENT Specialist. A persistent cough can indicate serious diseases like lung cancer, COPD, heart failure, and other health conditions. Fortunately, some natural dry cough remedies can help relieve your symptoms. Keep reading to know more about them.
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10 Effective Dry Cough Remedies
Following is a list of remedies to get rid of dry cough:
1. Drinking hot beverages
Consuming hot beverages, such as bone broth or herbal teas, can alleviate the scratchiness in your throat and provide relief from a dry cough.
It may also help relieve other signs of a cold or flu, including fatigue and chills. Hydration is vital to your recovery, and hot beverages raise your hydration levels. Though, you should keep drinking water at regular intervals to stay hydrated. Do not forget to rehydrate after taking steam too.
2. Inhaling steam
Steam can provide moisture to your throat and lessen your cough. It can give instant relief. When it passes through your throat, it wets your throat and aids in loosening mucus. You can take steam by accumulating it from a hot shower.
You can also add hot water to a bowl and lean over it with a towel on your head. Inhale for ten to fifteen minutes. Ensure that the steam is not too much, as it can result in burnt skin. You can also add herbs to it to increase effectiveness. Do not forget to hydrate after taking steam.
3. Try honey
Honey is an effective solution for dry cough. It contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help settle the cough by keeping the throat moist and alleviating swelling. You can eat it raw or add it to warm water to get an immediate calming effect on the throat. Avoid giving it to babies under twelve months because it can lead to botulism in rare cases.
4. Saltwater gargle
Gargling with salt water can reduce swelling in the throat and lessen your cough. It can also ease other signs that accompany a cough, including sneezing, nasal congestion, and voice hoarseness. Gargling with salt water at least two times a day can fasten the healing of a dry cough.
You can do it at home by mixing half a teaspoon of salt with lukewarm water and taking a sip. Tilt your head backward and gargle. Spit out in 30 secs and avoid drinking the water.
Turmeric is a common spice in every Pakistani household and has multiple therapeutic effects, including anti-inflammation and antiseptic.
Turmeric milk, or ‘Haldi doodh’ is a common remedy in Pakistan to relieve many ailments, including dry cough. You can also add turmeric to any drink, such as herbal teas. Mixing turmeric with honey can also soothe your throat due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Peppermint helps ease irritation in the throat as it consists of menthol. Menthol can aid in lowering the urge to cough by providing a cooling effect and opening your nasal passages. So, you can eat peppermint candies to improve the condition of the through and stop coughing.
You can also use peppermint in the form of drops or tea. Drinking peppermint tea before bed can provide relief from nighttime cough. Aromatherapy using peppermint essential oil can also be beneficial for your health.
7. Use a humidifier
A dry cough can occur due to dry air inside the house. A humidifier can moisten the air inside your home or room and prevent a dry cough. It can also clear your sinuses and decrease breathing issues. Keeping a humidifier can be helpful for asthma patients.
Ginger may also help provide comfort from a dry cough due to its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Research reveals that ginger can help relax your throat muscles and ease a cough. You can consume ginger raw or mix it in your tea with some honey. Be careful not to have too much ginger as that can lead to an upset stomach or heartburn.
Some herbs can be fruitful in relieving dry cough. Thyme, licorice root, and slippery elm can improve cough. You can consume the herbs by mixing them in tea or adding them to steam. Drinking herbal teas can also keep your hydration levels up. Cough syrups with these herbs may also be able to help you get rid of a cough.
10. Eucalyptus oil
Aromatherapy with essential oils can be advantageous for dry cough relief. It can also help fight against signs of cold, such as chest congestion, by softening the mucus in the chest and allowing it to come out through cough. Many coughs relieving products, such as rubs, cough syrups, and lozenges, that contain eucalyptus oil may be successful in stopping your cough.
Treating dry cough
It may take some time for your cough to heal. The cough usually lasts from ten to fourteen days. In rare cases, it can last for more than two weeks and may need attention from a doctor. Try the above remedies to get relief, or you can use:
1. Over-the-counter medicines
Many over-the-counter (OTC) products can be useful in curing cough. OTC cough relieving methods include cough syrups, drops, and lozenges. They are easily available at the market and do not need a prescription, but it is best to consult your doctor before taking any medicine.
2. Prescription medicines
If your cough is never-ending, your doctor may prescribe medication that can improve your health. Prescription medication may also be valuable when there is an underlying disease. Treating the condition can aid in recovery from dry cough.
Preventing dry cough
Taking precautions to prevent diseases that may lead to dry cough can help prevent a cough. To keep yourself safe from viral infections, such as cold, flu, and Covid-19 by:
1. Wash your hands
Make a habit of washing your hands after doing anything that may lead to germs on your hand, especially after shaking hands with someone sick. Pack a hand sanitizer when you go out, as it can remove bacteria from your skin.
2. Avoid contact with sick people
Viral infections can be highly contagious. They can be more dangerous for people with suppressed immunity. Stay away from people who may have flu, cold, or Covid-19. It can stop the spread of the disease.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep is vital for your body to function, as it impacts every process in your body. It is also essential to keep your immunity up. Sleep for at least seven hours to nine hours a day. Being well-rested gives you the energy to function throughout the day and keeps your health in check.
4. Boost your immunity
High immunity can ward off diseases and help shield your body from them. People with low immunity are likely to get sick often and find it hard to recover from even minor infections. You can increase your immunity by taking an immunity-boosting supplement or eating foods that strengthen immunity.
Foods that can help enhance your immunity include fatty fish, ginger, garlic, berries, probiotics, and green leafy vegetables. Immunity-enhancing drinks can also help you build strong immunity. Adding these foods to your diet can improve immunity and protect you from various infections or their grave consequences.
Dry cough is a symptom of various diseases, such as colds, flu, acid reflux, allergies, and Covid. In most cases, dry cough is non-threatening, but the illness causing it can harm your health. A dry cough may last for up to two weeks. If it lasts more than that, it is best to seek medical attention as it can signal a concerning underlying disease.
Cough gets better once you heal from the disease. The above-given home remedies can help improve your cough by relieving your throat and decreasing your urge to cough. They may also improve your recovery time. You can also use OTC or prescription drugs to soothe your cough. If the cough goes on for too long, consult your doctor to get treatment.
You can also take preventative measures to save yourself from conditions that may result in a dry cough. You can stay away from viral infections by maintaining good hand hygiene, avoiding being near people who are ill, and getting sufficient sleep. Boosting your immunity can also assist you in fighting infection and preventing diseases.