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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morga... morgantownmom80

I keep cinnamon hard candy for coughs and for me it works better tha cough drops which make me wheeze. My mother had a recipe she was given by a pharmacist 60 years ago when I had croup. 1/3 C lemon juice,2/3 C honey,and 1 C whiskey or brandy. Simmer till alcohol is burnt off,cool and put in fridge in pint jar. Adults get 1T and children get 1/2 -1 t based on pre-school or in school. Also I always kept frozen pink lemonade on hand and made and heated for a drink before bed to sleep like a baby.My kids loved the warm pink lemonade.

Magno... MagnoliaQueen

Buckwheat honey works really well. I used this when I was pregnant and couldn't take any medicine. 

nonmember avatar B

Sesame oil- the research study actually showed that the oil was NOT more effective than placebo (the differences were not statistically significant, which means it was just chance that they looked a little different).
However, honey has been shown to be as effective as over the counter cough syrup.

nonmember avatar memory foam

Good tips, I've used the first three and they have all helped. Honey in lemon juice, especially.

Victoria Goins

1 teaspoon raw unfiltered honey, 1/4 teaspoon organic ceylon cinnamon in a 4oz cup. Pour boiling water over and stir. Inhale the steam and sip the tea. It will stop coughing in its tracks.

nonmember avatar Rudolph

I'm curious about her comment about sesame oil. The study she referenced came to the conclusion: "Conclusion: Like other over the counter anti-tussives, SO did not result in marked improvement in cough symptoms. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved."

esbuc... esbucksix

Believe it or not Dice up an onion and pour some sugar over it and let it sit......(something like you would do for strawberries) and then spoon the syrup.....it doesn't taste very good but it does work and the best thing about it is you can take it as often as you need to as it is herbal and does not have any chemicals that could harm a growing baby......My grandma did this with me and I still use it to this day with my kids and myself....now really bad colds i go for the musinex......because it does last the longest if it is bronchitis........

there... theresaphilly

Two big tablespoons of pure honey followed by 1/3 cup of lemon juice always worked for me.

sweet... sweettigeress

I don't care what anyone says...nothing stops the coughing. Nothing.

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