5 Ways To Get Rid of a Cough in 5 Minutes
Coughing is normal but can be very distressing, especially if persistent. Cough is a protective reflex that helps clear your windpipe and lungs. Whenever you cough, your body keeps dust or other foreign bodies from traveling to your lungs, which may cause a lot of harm.
Most coughs will resolve spontaneously on their own. However, if your cough persists for more than two weeks or contains blood, you may have to see a doctor.
Sometimes, it could be due to an underlying medical condition, a bacterial or viral infection, or an allergy. Some medications like ACE-Inhibitors used to treat hypertension can also cause cough.
How to get rid of a cough in 5 minutes
Getting rid of a cough can be relatively easy. You can use some readily available homemade remedies to get rid of minor coughs in as little as five minutes. You may even have some of these at home already.
- Gargle with salt water
- Add honey to your drinks
- Ginger tea
- Lozenges/cough drops
- Nasal spray
Gargle with Salt Water
Gargling a good mixture of warm water and salt helps to reduce inflammation in your airways. It relieves sore throat but may also help with the dry, itchy feeling of hacking coughs.
Mix just a ½ teaspoon of table salt and 8 ounces of warm drinking water, gargle, and spit out the mixture. You can do this repeatedly to give you fast relief.
Add Honey to Your Drinks
Research shows that honey, whether alone or mixed with tea (preferably hot), provides quick relief from cough. Adding a tablespoon or two to your hot cup of tea will do the trick!
However, you shouldn’t give honey to children less than a year old as it can cause botulism.
Ginger root has been known over the years to be very useful in soothing an aching throat. It has antioxidant and antibacterial effects, which are helpful in several health conditions, including cough.
Use it as fresh slices immersed in hot water or hot tea, or it can come in a tea bag. Ginger also comes in tablets. It also helps relax the muscles in the airways.
This will quickly relieve coughing and the pain from sore throats. Lozenges are small tablets that are mostly flavored. When put in the mouth, lozenges dissolve and release ingredients that increase saliva production to suppress cough and soothe the throat.
Cough syrups often come in two forms: an expectorant and a suppressant (anti-tussive). An expectorant, used for productive cough, thins out mucus in the throat and makes it easier to expel.
A suppressant is a solution for dry cough. It blocks the cough reflex and will help to soothe the persistent irritating feeling in your throat. These syrups often contain menthol, which is responsible for its cooling effect.
Always ask your pharmacists or physician for directions on use. Don’t give cough syrups to children, especially those under five.
Nasal sprays, also called saline sprays, are readily available for allergies. There are different nasal sprays: steroid nasal spray, ipratropium nasal spray, cromolyn sodium nasal spray, antihistamine sprays, and decongestant sprays.
Each of these nasal sprays works uniquely to bring relief. Decongestant sprays reduce congestion in your airways by shrinking swollen and inflamed blood vessels and tissue.
Antihistamine sprays reduce the effects of allergies by stopping the production of histamine. This, in turn, relieves itching, sneezing, and congestion.
You should only use steroid nasal sprays, cromolyn sodium nasal sprays, and ipratropium sprays under a prescription from your doctor.
How Can You Prevent Cough?
Rather than treating cough, it may be better to prevent one altogether. There are different tips to help you avoid coming down with a cough:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, especially persons who are coughing.
- Maintain hydration with liberal food intake.
- While coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. You can also sneeze or cough onto the inner part of your elbow.
- Wash your hands frequently and properly with clean water and soap.
- Keep surfaces clean.
- Avoid smoking or air-polluted areas.
- For coughs caused by allergies, avoid triggers such as animal furs, pollen, dust mites, and molds.
You can use any of the abovementioned tips to help immediately relieve that disturbing cough. However, there are still a few remedies not mentioned in this article. These include:
- Steam inhalation
- Using a neti pot
- Herbs like marshmallow roots and turmeric
- Drinking lots of water
- Taking medication for heartburn
- A hot bath or shower
- Adding probiotics to your diet
- Cough medicines
- Quit smoking
Remedies such as staying hydrated and using a neti pot might sound too easy or even ridiculous. However, you should know that neti pots are used by many people to give relief from nasal congestion.
Hydration is essential on any given day. Drinking enough water when you have coughs will help thin mucus in the throat and relieve your cough.
These home remedies will help relieve cough for most people. If your cough persists after trying one or two of these remedies at home, visit your doctor to investigate the underlying cause and treat it accordingly.