While coughing occasionally is normal and useful to get rid of irritants, a constant cough is a real discomfort. Many a time, it turns out to be an indication of some underlying diseases. Coughing is classified as dry or productive, based on whether mucus is coughed up or not. If yes, then wet or productive cough is confirmed. A dry cough is so named as no or minimal phlegm (sputum) is expelled during the reflex episode. It gets worse at nighttime, particularly during sleep.
Dry Cough Causes
When you talk or remain thirsty for an extended period, you may feel the urge to cough. Indeed, the causes of a dry cough are many and various factors contribute to this discomfort condition. Something like a respiratory tract infection can trigger dry cough in the early stages. Also, it can be a sign of lung cancer that impairs the normal functioning of this respiratory organ. Thus, cough can be a mild or severe condition based on what causes it.
Dry cough can be manifested due to the following reasons.
- Change in air temperature
- Lack of humidity
- Allergic rhinitis
- Throat dryness
- Inhalation of irritants
- Dry atmospheric air
- Postnasal drip syndrome
- Common cold and flu
- Sinus infection
- Chronic smoking
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Medicine side effect
- Pulmonary diseases
How to Cure a Dry Cough Naturally
Any patient having persistent or chronic dry cough should consult a doctor for correct diagnosis and treatment. Also, if coughing is accompanied with wheezing, difficulty in breathing, fever and chest pain, then medical attention is a necessity. Home remedies for treating a dry cough is applicable only for acute condition. They help in reducing the symptoms without major side effects.
Gargling with Salt Water
Irritation of the throat is a main trigger for dry cough. To address this common problem, simply dissolve a pinch of salt in a glass of lukewarm water. Gargle with this salt water solution repeatedly during the day and before going to bed. The next day, you will notice improvement signs and reduced frequency of coughs.
Taking Steam Therapy
A warm water bath gives a hydrating effect to the dry throat. Preferably, stand in the bathroom filled with steam for 10 minutes. Another method to take the benefits of steam therapy is inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water. Repeat this for 2 - 3 times a day to cure dry cough naturally.
Tea for Dry Cough Cure
Hot beverages work great in soothing throat irritation and dry cough. Teas that you can use for curing a dry cough are lemongrass tea, chamomile tea, chrysanthemum tea, ginger tea and catnip tea. Have a cup of hot tea (strictly decaffeinated) just before going to bed, and you will get relief from dry, irritating cough.
Eat Raw Ginger Root
A commonly suggested remedy for dry cough cure is chewing ginger root and swallowing its juice. Peel a fresh ginger root and have it raw, or you can sprinkle a bit of salt on it for increased palatability. Repeat the same for many times a day. Enjoy the curative effect of ginger by consuming ginger extract with honey.
Honey is the Best
For dealing with a dry cough in children (above 1 year old), nothing could be a better cure than feeding pure honey. Its taste is pleasant, not like salt water or raw ginger. So, children enjoy having this liquid medicine, and you don't need to force them for taking honey. Feed ½ teaspoon honey before bed to kids below 5 years. Or mix honey with warm milk and drink it before sleep.
Take Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is used for a number of ailments. It also eases dry cough effectually. Stir 2 - 3 teaspoons of this acidic liquid in a glass of water, and drink it gently. It reduces inflammation and irritation in the throat area, thereby curing a dry cough.
Treat with Almonds
Almonds are effective for curbing cough. Soak some almonds in water overnight. Next day, peel them and crush them to make a paste. Consume this nutty paste to combat a dry cough. Or else, incorporate almond butter in specific amounts in breakfast and meals. It also works in the same way as soaked and crushed almonds.
Self Care for Dry Cough Cure
You can get relief to some extent by elevating your head. Just use extra pillows and keep your head in an elevated position. During winter months, using a humidifier does help in reducing cough incidences. It maintains the room humidity within the comfortable range and prevents dry throat.
For those who have a habit of cigarette smoking, stop it for prompt results. Any kind of allergens, including smoke, fumes, pet dander, pollen, dust, etc. may cause a cough. So, avoid exposure to these irritants to minimize the risks of getting a dry cough. Last but not the least, prevent throat dryness by sipping water at regular intervals.