6 Surefire Ways to Stop Coughing Now

Healthy Living 58

hot tea with lemonEver have one of those fall or winter mornings, days, or WEEKS when you just can't stop coughing your brains out? When almost no amount of cough drops under the sun are helping, and you feel like crawling under the covers? Yeah, we've all been sick as THAT dog at some point, and it's just awful.

Thankfully, there are some tricks you can pull from up your sleeve should the Worst Cough in the World strike! Here, six surprising ways to stop a nasty cough in its tracks.

  1. Get hydrated. Fluids can help get all that nasty phlegm and secretions thinned out (I know, totally gross) and also soothe an irritated throat. If your cough is dry and hacking, you could try honey in hot water, tea, or lemon juice.
  2. Inhale. It's not just an old wives' tale that inhaling steam for several minutes (in a hot shower, over a sink, etc.) can clear up congestion and curb a persistent cough. It loosens up secretions and makes coughs more productive, hopefully shortening the duration with which you're saddled with said coughs!
  3. Go Down Under. There are tons of herbs out there said to help relieve colds and the flu, of course, but the Aussie plant, eucalyptus, goes way back as a cough and congestion reliever. You can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a your steamy bath (see #2). Or try rubbing an ointment containing eucalyptus on your chest. The oil is said to help loosen phlegm.
  4. Have the soup that isn't only good for the soul. Chicken soup -- which like #2 is one of those things you think your grandma is cute for suggesting but probably only has a placebo effect -- is actually study-proven to work! Research at the University of Nebraska concluded that it's anti-inflammatory, and speeds up the discharge of mucus to ease the symptoms of cold-related coughs. It may be the combo of all the goodies in the broth that have this effect.
  5. Go koo-koo for cocoa. YES, I know, this has to be the best advice ever, right? Apparently, theobromine -- an ingredient in chocolate -- suppresses vagus nerve activity involved in coughing. And get this! Research shows chocolate is nearly a third more effective in stopping persistent coughs than the narcotic codeine. Sweet!
  6. Head to Sesame Street. No, not the show! University of Beirut researchers showed that sesame oil actually reduced cough symptoms more than a placebo, and it was more effective in kids!

What's your go-to trick for curing a persistent cough?


Image via boo lee/Flickr

cold & flu, alternative medicine


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sweet... sweetheart5703

I'm sick now. For me I can usually get better by getting rest, taking vitamins, drinking orange juice, and eating soup...all of which I will do today, until I get better. 

brand... brandspanknnew

I'm sick now as well, and this happened right as I volunteered for OT at my job. Isn't that awesome! -eye roll- So I'm sticking to my TP roll at my desk, Hot Chocolate, and soup if possible. I work odd hours and our cafe is only open during odd hours that don't fit up with mine, but today, 100% I'm making it down there to get my soup today. :) I hope I get better soon. I'm 17 weeks pregnant and I forgot to get the list of approved medications from my DR. Does anyone know any I could take?

GirlN... GirlNamedBillie

My nose has been runny and stuffy for a few days, but this morning I woke up with a sore throat and can't stop coughing. Really sucks considering I'm picking up my husband tonight at 2am from his redeployment ceremony....with our 2 1/2yr old and 10 month old daughters. This is going to suck.


nonmember avatar me

If you have a cough thats been going on for awhile its best to see a dr. to rule out bronchitis. I was told by a dr. that coughing is your longs way of healing themselves by getting out the junk.

ceciliam ceciliam

Plenty of fluids, load up on garlic, ginger tea and warm honey with cinnamon.

PonyC... PonyChaser

When I go to sleep, if the cough is due to fluids dripping down the back of my neck, I hit the Benadryl. It totally dries me up (during the night ONLY) and knocks me out, so the coughing doesn't keep me awake. It only lasts for four hors, tho, so I have to re-dose halfway through the night. But waking once sure beats the heck out of being up ALL night.

Also, be careful with the hot chocolate... if I remember correctly from my college roommate who was a singer, dairy products contribute to phlegm. So if you're making the hot chocolate, make it with WATER, not milk. Not as creamy and rich, but at least you won't be making it worse.

Melis... Melissa042807

@brandspanknnew - I'm sick and pregnant too and my OB told me I could take Robitussin for my cough. 

The thing that helps soothe my cough the most is Celestial Seasoning's Tension Tamer tea with a big ol' spoonful of honey. 

carole76 carole76

great info thanks

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