Coughing is a common reaction to the respiratory system trying to expel harmful microbes, dust or irritants. It can be a symptom of an underlying illness such as pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma or lung cancer.
Coughs can be a good thing or it may be a symptom of a number of possible problems. As mucus (phlegm or sputum) or other substances accumulate in the airways, this reflexive action tries to facilitate unobstructed breathing.
The cure for a cough must treat the cause. Natural cough remedies include eating cough-fighting foods, avoiding sugar, dairy and processed foods as well as adding the necessary nutrients and supplements, such as vitamin C, to your daily routine. Find my complete list of natural cough remedies for kids, adults and fast relief below.
Top Foods to Relieve Coughs
Water – Helps thin mucus. Drink 8-16 oz every 2 hours.
Chicken broth – Real bone broth helps thin mucus and soothe muscles.
Garlic – Naturally boosts the immune system.
Ginger – Is anti-inflammatory.
Fermented foods – Good bacteria from kefir or sauerkraut help prevent the colonization of harmful bacteria.
Foods to Avoid
Sugar – Decreases white blood cells that help fight off infection.
Fruit juices – Although orange juice contains some vitamin C, it is not as high in vitamin C as whole fruits or vegetables. If you want to drink juice, dilute it.
Conventional dairy products – Cows milk that has been pasteurized is mucus producing.
Chocolate – Can also increase mucus production.
Processed foods – Contain harmful additives and GMO’s that cause an inflammatory reaction and mucus production by the body.
Top 5 Natural Cough Remedies
#1 Vitamin C (1,000 mg 3-4x daily)
Helps with immune system function and boosts white blood cells.
#2 Echinacea (1,000 mg 2-3x daily)
This herb can help your body fight off colds, but it is best to take it at the first sign of illness.
#3 Licorice (500 mg 4x daily- short term use only)
Can reduce coughing and enhance immune system function. It should not be used by people with high blood pressure.
#4 N-acetylcysteine (300-500 mg 2x daily)
Good for people with chronic cough to help reduce the viscosity of phlegm.
#5 Peppermint essential oil
Breathing in peppermint essential oil with a diffuser can help reduce coughing.
Astragalus (500-1000 mg 2-3x daily) – Helps strengthen weak lungs and fight off any underlying infection.
Essential Oils for Coughs
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