A cough is a repetitive, sudden, and protective reflex that aims to clear the airways from foreign particles, fluids, microbes, and irritants. Persistent and frequent coughing indicates an underlying disease. From an evolutionary perspective, the pathogens benefit from the cough as the host spreads the disease to other potential hosts by coughing.
In most cases, coughing is due to respiratory tract infections. Other possible cause includes air pollution, choking, smoking, gastroesophageal reflux disease, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and lung tumors. Coughing can be exhausting as it interrupts with rest and sleep. Severe coughing can also result in chest pain and a sore throat.
Besides conventional medical treatment, there are also some natural remedies that may be beneficial for a cough. It is important to note that home remedies are not regulated or evaluated by any agency. Therefore, those who want to use natural remedies should consult their doctor.
Home Remedy #1: Ginger
Ginger is a plant that is commonly used in folk medicine and as a spice. Despite having adequate scientific evidence supporting its uses, ginger has been traditionally used medically as a remedy for nausea and vomiting.
Ginger is also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and may be beneficial for dry or asthmatic cough. One study suggested that ginger can help relax the membranes in the airways and reduces cough. Ginger tea can be made by adding a fresh ginger slice to hot water and allowing it to steep before drinking. Lemon or honey can be added to improve the taste.