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icoHome Remedies or Cough Syrup? From Myths to Medicine

It seems that winter is here, the days are growing darker and shorter, temperatures are plummeting, and let the ceaseless coughing commence. Such a cough can be an actual nuisance, and usually starts after a certain cold, but can also intensity after we’re over it. So, how can you handle a cough, and what kind of treatment should you try?

What’s a cough?

Coughing is the body’s natural reaction for expelling foreign objects and infections from your respiratory system, like allergens such as dust and phlegm. Coughing is a complicated topic, and there are many conditions that come with coughing. There’s a cough that follows the common flue, but there’s also a cough that can be a sign of a serious infection. There are a variety of coughs. Coughs also vary from adults to kids, they can be chronic or severe, a cough can be dry, and it can come with phlegm and mucus. 

Therefore, it’s important to identify the source for the cough, especially when it comes to young children, so the right treatment can be assigned. For a proper diagnosis, you should see a doctor. Of course, you can also self-medicate and there’s no need to stress out; in most cases, you can treat coughing in a natural way. Some claim that coughs caused by light viral diseases, don’t always need a treatment, and the coughing will disappear on its own. However, when it doesn’t, and you’d like to alleviate the coughing, there are certain things you should do.

Coughing Home Remedies and Common Recommendations

These home remedies have usually been passed down from one generation to the next. You must have heard of the healing powers of the chicken soup, or your aunts home ointment. Most home remedies haven’t been scientifically proven, but that being said, they can sometimes alleviate coughing. Here are a couple of recommendations:

  • Drink lukewarm or warm water or tea (heating the area helps in removing phlegm and mucus.)
  • Eat honey or have a honey candy. This home remedy is in fact backed up by science as honey has been found to alleviate coughing. The honey should be diluted with some warm water, but it should be noted – do not give honey to children under 12 months.
  • Soaking onion in honey overnight and hydrating
  • Licorice tea
  • Another important tip: when we cough, especially if our cough had phlegm and mucus, it’s important to drink a lot of fluids since our body loses them as we cough. Make sure to drink water or any other liquid throughout the day.

What about non-natural cough syrup?

When it comes to coughing, we all remember the bitter flavor of cough syrup we’ve taken as children. Cough syrup is the most common solution for coughing, and it comes in a variety of options. There are different types of cough medicine:

  • Medicine that suppresses the cough and treat ceaseless and dry coughing. This group include codeine and dextromethorphan, medicine that are mostly sold as syrups with a doctor’s prescription.
  • Expectorants that treat cough with phlegm, these medications make the phlegm thinner, and most can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription. They can come as syrups, pills and more. Some are used for treating coughs, and other combine other ingredients – anti-inflammatory, for instance.

And what about a natural cough syrup?

There are several formulas, in syrup form, that contain naturally produced ingredients, and suit both children and adults. These syrups usually contain herbs such as thyme, althaea, licorice, elderberry, echinacea and more.

Cough syrups for kids

When it comes to little kids, it’s recommended to visit a pediatrician and receive the appropriate treatment.

When must you see a doctor?

  • When the coughing lasts more than 3 weeks, that is, when the cough is chronic and worsens
  • When you take a cough medicine, but the cough doesn’t show any improvement
  • When the coughing child is under 6 years old
  • When the coughing comes with other symptoms such as a fever, chest pain and breathing difficulties. 

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