Remedies for Dry Cough
Dry coughs are very annoying, and can be caused by many different things. Assuming that the cough is caused by a cold or flu, or an allergic reaction, the cure is often found in breaking up the phlegm that rests in the lungs so that the cough can be productive and expel what is irritating the lungs, or soothing the airways so that they relax. Pharmacies carry a wide range of over the counter remedies that are designed to break up mucus in the lungs and turn a dry cough into a productive cough; these are called expectorants.
They also have cough remedies that contain dextromothorphan, which is an ingredient that works to block the cough reflex itself rather than to act on what is evoking the cough in the first place. There are several problems with dextromothorphan. It is often combined with other ingredients in over the counter medications which may be used for symptoms that you don’t have. Its effectiveness is limited, and it has side effects, including dizziness and drowsiness, and it can’t be used by young children. Because of this, many people prefer to use home remedies.
The simplest solutions for dry cough are often the most effective. Drinking plenty of liquids, particularly hot liquids like clear broth or tea, can break up the mucus that may be causing the cough, and sooth the throat at the same time. Vaporizers are a great way to add moisture to the air, which can help calm a dry throat and hydrate at the same time; many people add menthol to the vaporizer in order to clear the nasal passages as well, particularly if the cough is accompanied by a nasal drip. Sucking on hard candies can also coat the throat and calm a cough.
The most popular, best known remedy for dry cough is the taking of a teaspoon of honey, which can either be added to a cup of tea, or even eaten off of a spoon. Be cautious when using honey, as it cannot be given to children under the age of one. Honey combined with some boiled garlic has been said to be helpful, as has honey mixed into a tea made from raw ginger root. Honey can also be mixed with a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime to help still a cough that gets worse at night.