Few things can be more irritating than a racking cough. Certain times of the year can find you suffering from this annoying symptom. Winter brings on cold and flu season with its share of cough causing bugs. Then just when we think we are safely done with all of that, we are slammed with beautiful springtime and beautiful pollen.
Allergy symptoms are not just limited to itchy eyes and runny noses. Many people can also experience a lingering cough. You should be aware, however, that all coughs are not created equal.
There are actually two different types of coughs. There are “productive” coughs and there are “non-productive” coughs.
A productive cough basically means that when you cough you are producing, or bringing up mucus. This is good for your body. This mucus needs to leave your body and the only way it can is through coughing.
Generally you should not try to stop a productive cough. If you attempt to suppress the cough, the mucus that is trying to leave your body, could turn into a serious infection. A non-productive cough, however, really serves no decent purpose to your body. A non-productive cough is usually just the lingering effects of an earlier infection. A non-productive cough will just lag on and on, annoying and exhausting you.
Traditionally cough syrups have been used to combat a non-productive cough. However, the last few decades have produced more and more studies that warn against young children using these over the counter medications. Ironically, small children are usually the ones in our homes dealing with a cough.
Luckily, there are some natural alternatives to these over the counter medications. You can make your own, all natural cough syrup right at home. Each ingredient combats the cough in its own way.
Cayenne Pepper contains a substance known as Capsaicin. This substance can actually stimulate mucus membranes helping to flush congestion out of your system.
Ginger works on the body much the same way cayenne does. It helps to promote salivation and mucus secretions which can have a big effect on a dry, hacking cough.
Honey has been used for centuries to calm the symptoms of the common cold. Honey is especially soothing when you have a dry cough, because it coats the throat, making the cough not so painful. You should note, however, that children under one year of age should not eat honey.
Among the myriad of uses for vinegar is cough suppressant. Vinegar can actually tame the inflammation in your throat and upper respiratory tract, giving your body a chance to calm down, and heal itself after an infection.
To make your own, all natural cough syrup, combine 1/4 tsp. cayenne, 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1 Tbsp. honey, 1 Tbsp. vinegar, and 2 Tbsp. hot water. Mix these ingredients together well. You can sip on the cough syrup as needed. Some have found the cough syrup to be more soothing when sipped warm. Simply warm one dose at a time before you take it.