Home remedies for cough

Cough Relief with Home Remedies

Coughing due to colds or the flu can be extremely disruptive, especially if it is accompanied by other symptoms. Your cough may make it difficult to function during the day, and it can be embarrassing in public. If you are coughing during the night, you won't be resting well either. Fortunately, many people struggling with a cough can find some relief with home remedies.

Identifying Your Cough Symptoms

The first step to finding a natural remedy for your cough involves identifying the type of cough you are experiencing. Cough symptoms typically develop when your body is responding to an irritant, such as inflammation, allergens or a pathogen. Some of the different types of cough you may experience include: 1

Wet Cough

If your cough is accompanied by mucus, it is considered a "wet" cough. A wet cough may also involve tightness in the chest and wheezing. In most cases, a wet cough is short-term in nature and caused by an infection, such as the common cold.

Dry Cough

If your cough is not accompanied by mucus, it is considered a "dry" cough. A dry cough may have many different causes, including viral infections or postnasal drip.

Cough with other Symptoms

In some cases, cough may be accompanied by additional symptoms, such as chest congestion, nasal congestion, or fever. These additional symptoms may offer clues about the cause of your cough, for example, the common cold or flu Identifying additional symptoms may also make it easier to choose an appropriate home remedy. For example, if you have a fever and congestion in addition to a cough, you could consider home remedies for cough and cold.

What Home Remedies Can Help with a Cough?

You may be asking yourself, "what is good for a cough?" Fortunately, there are a variety of home remedies that may relieve your cough and reduce any other symptoms you are experiencing. Some of the home remedies that may help with your cough include:

1. warm water with honey

A common home remedy to help with your cough is drinking warm water mixed with honey. As honey is known to have anti-inflammatory properties2, honey can help soothe coughing due to dry and irritated throat.3 Take care to not give honey to children under 1, as they run the risk of food poisoning, also known as infant botulism.4

2. Gargling warm saltwater

Gargling warm saltwater is another way to soothe the irritation and loosen thick mucus that may lead to cough. This home remedy may also relieve pain if you have a sore throat.5

3. Adjusting temperature and humidity levels

When you are unwell, it is important to keep your room at a comfortable temperature and avoid being too cold or overheated. For areas with dry air, adopt a humidifier or vaporizer to moisten the air and help ease congestion and coughing. 6

4. Rest

It may take some time for your cough to ease. However, it is important to stay at home and allow your body to rest. This will help avoid exposing your weakened immune system to outside germs, and also minimize the risk of infecting others. 7

5. Keeping hydrated

Dehydration can cause dry and scratchy throats that may trigger coughing fits. Replenish your body’s fluid by drinking plenty of warm water to wash away clinging mucus, and to help decrease the frequency of coughing attacks. 8

6. Using steam

If you have a cough accompanied by phlegm and congestion, you may be able to relieve your symptoms by breathing in steam. You can breathe in steam by taking a warm bath or shower, or you can lean over a bowl filled with warm water and cover your head with a towel. The warm water vapor from the steam can help moisten your respiratory passageways and thin mucus.9

Dealing with Your Cough at Night

If a cough is keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep, you may choose to use an over-the-counter (OTC) medication along with home remedies in the evening hours. For example, taking BENYLIN® Dry Cough Night Syrup or BENYLIN® Mucus and Phlegm Plus Cold Night Syrup with drinking a cup of warm tea may make it easier to get some rest.

Finding an Effective Home Remedy

When it comes to home cough remedies, it’s not a one size fits all approach. You might want to try a few different options and monitor your recovery progress until you find the relief you need. If your cough continues or gets worse despite home remedies and rest, be sure to contact your doctor for advice*. 

BENYLIN® offers a variety of different cough syrups, lozenges and other products to relieve coughs due to colds or flu. Benylin.ca is a comprehensive resource you can use to get the symptom-related information you need whenever a cough develops so you can relieve your cough and get back to enjoying your life as soon as possible.

*If you are using a BENYLIN® product for the temporary relief of any cough, cold or flu symptoms, stop use and ask a doctor if symptoms last for more than 5 days, fever lasts for more than 3 days or sore throat pain lasts for more than 2 days.

Sources:

  1. health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/cracking-the-cough-code
  2. https://www.webmd.com/diet/honey-health-benefits#1
  3. https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/ug1887
  4. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-safety-vulnerable-populations/infant-botulism.html
  5. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cough-get-rid-home-hacks#2
  6. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/7-ways-to-combat-coughs-and-colds
  7. https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/common_cold.html
  8. https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=uh3185
  9. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/qa/how-do-i-use-steam-for-congestion

BENYLIN® products are indicated for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with colds and flu. If you are unsure or you suspect your symptoms are part of another underlying health issue, visit your local doctor for a full diagnosis. 

To be sure any BENYLIN® product is right for you, always read and follow the label.

IMPORTANT: Take ONLY ONE medicine at a time containing acetaminophen.

© Johnson & Johnson Inc. 2021

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