5 Home Treatments and Remedies for Wet Cough

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From article, Coughing is a common reflex action. Coughing is your body’s mechanism in response to irritants in the respiratory system in order to clear your airway of them. A cough may be acute, lasting less than three weeks, or chronic, lasting for more than eight weeks. There are different types of cough: dry, wet, or whooping. The treatment for cough, of course, depends on its nature and causes. A wet or productive cough, i.e., cough that produces more phlegm, indicates that your body is producing more mucus than normal. Both children and adults can suffer from the annoying cough.

5 Home Treatments and Remedies for Wet Cough

Causes and Symptoms of Wet Cough
Acute cough in adults most often occurs because of infections caused by microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses, like those that cause a cold or flu.

Other reasons why your body may produce more mucus than usual may include different health problems such as bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and asthma.

In a toddler or baby, a cough is most often caused by a viral infection or asthma. A wet cough in children may also be caused by inhaling a foreign body, cigarette smoke, or other environmental irritants.

A cough often begins with a hacking cough that causes heaviness in the chest and ultimately leads to coughing up phlegm as the cough develops. It may feel like you have something stuck in your chest or a tickle at the back of your throat.

Other cough symptoms can be a rattling sound when breathing in or coughing (wheezing), breathlessness, chest pain or tightness and mild fever.

A cough may follow a sore throat or a cold and can be worse in the morning. It can affect your work and sleep, and it can disturb others around you, too.

How to Prevent Coughing
Although it cannot be completely avoided, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that you do not come down with a flu or cough. Here are some examples:
  • Avoid getting in contact with others who are or might be sick.
  • In case you are sick, avoid going to school or work, to prevent spreading the infection.
  • Sneeze or cough with your nose and mouth covered.
  • Increase your fluid intake to stay hydrated.
  • Keep the common areas of your home or work clean.
  • Always wash your hands, especially after coughing, eating, using the bathroom, or looking after someone who is sick.
  • If your cough is due to allergy, then you can identify the allergen that affects you and avoid exposure to them.
When to See the Doctor
Normally, most coughs go away on their own. However, there may be times that you need medical attention. Immediately seek the help of a doctor when at least one of the following occurs:
  • Your cough is becoming worse instead of improving.
  • You are unable to eat and breathe properly.
  • You cough up blood.
  • Any of the following symptoms accompany your cough: chills; fever higher than 101 ˚F (38 ˚C); dehydration; foul-smelling, thick, green-or yellow-tinted phlegm; and weakness.
  • Your cough lasts more than 3 weeks.
  • There are swollen glands on the side of your neck.
  • You are also experiencing chest pain.
  • You are losing weight for no apparent reason.
Are Over the Counter Preparations Recommended?
There is little evidence for or against the effectiveness of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. Fortunately, there are several natural cough remedies that can help fight the cause of the problem or even provide quick relief from the symptoms. Here are some home remedies for a wet cough.

1. Salt Water Gargle
Gargling with salt water several times a day is an effective treatment for cough. Salt helps remove mucus from the respiratory tract, while the warm water reduces irritation in the throat. Plus, the antiseptic property of salt helps fight any infection that may have caused the illness.
  • Add ¼-½ teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water.
  • Mix well until the salt is thoroughly dissolved.
  • Gargle with this 2-3 times daily until your congestion clears.
2. Steam Inhalation
Inhaling steam is another very effective way to get quick relief from a cough. The heat and moisture from the steam help break up and dissolve mucus. Moreover, inhaling steam infused with basil leaves or extract can help relieve cough and cold even better.

Fill a bowl with very hot water. Add a few drops of basil, eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil. Put a towel over your head and position your face over the bowl. Inhale the steam for as long as you can and breathe deeply. Do this 2-3 times a day.

You can also take a hot shower and breathe in the steam for 5 minutes. Try this twice daily until the cough is cured.

Note: Steam inhalation might not be suitable for young children, pregnant women or people suffering from high blood pressure or heart conditions.

3. Honey
It helps reduce the thickness of mucus and promotes its easy removal from the respiratory tract. Also, being high in antiviral and antibacterial properties, honey helps fight infection.

Put 1 large organic onion (halved and thinly sliced) and 1 teaspoon of dried thyme (or 3 teaspoons of fresh thyme) in a glass, ceramic, or nonstick saucepan, and add enough honey to fully cover the ingredients (preferably 2 cups of raw local honey).

Simmer over low heat for 1 hour, until the onion becomes juicy and soft.
Pour the mixture into a glass jar, cover with lid, and label. You can store this in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Consume 1 tablespoon of this honey-thyme elixir daily during cold season to prevent or treat a cold.

Note: Do not give honey to children under age 1 as it can lead to botulism.

4. Ginger
As an expectorant, ginger helps in thinning and expelling mucus. It even reduces the intensity and duration of coughing bouts characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation.

Moreover, ginger has immune-boosting properties that help promote quick recovery.
Cut an inch of fresh ginger root into small slices and crush them a little. Put the ginger and 1½ cups of water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes. then strain it. Drink this up to 3 times a day.

Alternatively, mix together 1 tablespoon of freshly extracted ginger juice and 1 tablespoon of raw honey. Take this twice daily for a few days.
You can also chew fresh raw ginger throughout the day.

5. Licorice
Licorice acts as an expectorant and thus can help relieve some symptoms of a cough. It also helps soothe a sore throat. A 2017 study published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry highlights the antitussive and expectorant activities of licorice and its major compounds.

Add ½ teaspoon of licorice root to 1 cup of hot water. Cover and allow it to steep for 5-10 minutes, and then strain. Add a little honey and drink this tea 2-3 times a day.

Another option is to add ½ teaspoon of licorice power and ½ teaspoon of dry ginger powder to 1 glass of hot water. Drink this 2 times a day.

To soothe throat irritation, you can even suck on some licorice candies.

Note: Licorice remedies are not advisable for people with high blood pressure.

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