Coughs are of two types:
- Productive cough (chesty cough): produces mucus from the lungs
- Non-productive cough (dry cough): less or no production of mucus
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help relax the tissues in the passage between your throat and lungs. Ginger also helps soothe your throat and reduces the intensity of the dry cough.
Gingerols and shaogals present in the ginger help to relieve a sore throat quickly. They also kill rhinoviruses, which causes dry cough and cold. Frequent consumption of ginger promotes salivation and mucous secretion which can spit out and thus helping relieve dry cough symptoms.
How to use
Procedure 1: Ginger Tea
- Cut a few pieces of fresh ginger and add to the regular tea
- Allow to steep for a few minutes
- Consume the mixture
- Optional: add a teaspoon of honey to improve the taste
- You can chew fresh pieces of ginger with a little salt sprinkled on them
#2. Salt Water Gargle
Gargling with warm salt water gives you temporary relief from dry cough and sore throat. A high salt barrier is formed around your throat which sucks in all the waste in the form of fluids from the tissues which you later spit out.
Regular gargling with the salt water solution also gives relief from the pain due to the inflamed throat, making them hurt less. Salt water gargle also removes the irritants like allergens, bacteria and fungi from the throat.
Further, salt water gargle soothes your sore throat by adding moisture and decreases the upper respiratory tract infections.
How to perform?
- Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass full of warm water
- Gargle the solution for a few seconds
- Make sure that you face upwards while gargling
- Spit out the solution
- Optional: you can also mix lemon or honey to the warm water
#3. Steam Therapy
Inhaling steam helps in loosening the mucus that accumulates in the tissues of the throat. Steam also helps in clearing the passage between the nasal and the chest.
Steam adds moisture into the air which goes inside the throat as you breathe. The moisture soothes your throat and scratchiness, providing you relief from dry cough.
How to perform?
- Massage your face thoroughly with oil primarily in the forehead and nasal region
- Boil the water in a container till sufficient steam appears
- Add a quarter teaspoon of vicks vaporub in the boiled water
- Cover your head with a cloth and point your nose towards the steam
- Inhale the steam for 10 minutes
- Continue for 2 to 3 days or till the symptoms subside
#4. Raw Honey
The anti-inflammatory properties of honey help to soothe the throat and suppress the cough reflex. A study conducted by NCBI states that honey can be used more effectively than over the counter medicine that contains dextromethorphan (a dry cough suppressant).
Honey also helps in clearing the blockage of airways between the nose and lungs by thinning down the mucus and flushing mucus out of the body.
How to use
- Prepare a glass of warm lemon juice
- Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of honey
- Stir and consume the lukewarm mixture
- Mix two teaspoons of honey in herbal tea or green tea
- Consume the beverage once or twice a day
Turmeric contains three different curcuminoids- Diferuloylmethane, Demothoxycurcumin and Bisdemethoxycurcumin.
Demothoxycurcumin and Bisdemethoxycurcumin provide the medicinal value to turmeric. Both the curcuminoids serve as an anti-inflammatory agent which provides relief to the chest congestion that develops with a chronic dry cough.
The anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties of turmeric reduce the growth of rhinoviruses, providing you relief from dry cough.
Besides this, the volatile oils present in the turmeric gets rid of the sticky and stubborn mucous found in chronic dry cough condition.
How to use
Turmeric milk (golden milk)
- Mix turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk
- Consume before bedtime
#6. Masala Tea
A masala tea consists of hot and spicy ingredients like Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger, Fennel, Peppercorn and Cloves.
The antioxidant quality of all the ingredients helps neutralize the toxic and dry cough triggered by pollution and dust particles. Moreover, consumption of masala tea instantly soothes your irritated throat.
The concoction generates heat in the body that opens up the sinuses. As a result, mucus is released and can be expelled out of the body. Masala tea also helps in perspiration, compelling your body to release unwanted waste via sweat.
How to prepare
- Crush all the ingredients (no need to grind)
- Heat 2 cups of water in a saucepan
- Let the water come to boil and add the crushed spices
- Let the spices boil for 3 to 4 minutes
- Now add 2 teaspoons of tea powder and boil for a minute
- Add milk and boil for another 2 to 3 minutes
- Sip hot masala tea
- Optional: you can add honey or raw sugar as per taste
#7. Holy Basil (Tulsi leaves)
The antiseptic and analgesic properties of Tulsi leaves relive various dry cough conditions. Tulsi leaves are antitussive, which helps to thin and loosen the stubborn mucus in the airways between the throat and lungs. Thus clearing congestion and make breathing easier.
The immunomodulatory properties of tulsi leaves enhance immunity against several dry coughs causing factors and provide relief to your respiratory system. The antimicrobial properties of the essential oils present in tulsi kill all the micro-organisms settled in the throat which not only help in expectoration but also soothe a dry cough.
How to use
- Pluck 5 to 10 fresh tulsi leaves and clean
- Boil the leaves in 300 to 500 ml of water for 5 to 6 minutes
- Drink the infused water after cooling
- You can also chew fresh and clean tulsi leaves if you are too pressed for time
#8. Giloy Juice
The essential oils and aliphatic compounds present in the Giloy strengthen your immunity for dry cough by balancing the three doshas- Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The anti-inflammatory properties of Giloy protect your throat tissues from getting affected by allergies, thereby preventing dry cough.
Giloy is an immunomodulator herb which helps in strengthening the immunity of your respiratory system. Giloy acts an anti-allergic which helps in treating dry cough due to allergic reactions caused by smoke and pollutants.
How to use
- Prepare a juice of Giloy by grinding the leaf and stem of Giloy
- Add two tablespoons of Giloy juice with water and stir thoroughly
- Consume the solution every morning after breakfast till the symptoms subside
Pineapples have an enzyme called bromelain that has anti-inflammatory properties which can combat infections and eradicate bacteria from your throat. Bromelain acts as a dry cough suppressant by dissolving mucus and promoting a speedy recovery.
The bromelain present in the pineapple also reduce symptoms of sinusitis and is exceptionally effective in treating lung inflammation that is caused by persistent dry cough. Bromelain also suppresses the urge to cough more and is beneficial in relieving dry cough caused by asthma.
How to use
- Take a cup of pineapple juice
- Add some honey and pepper and stir
- Drink the juice thrice a day
#10. Licorice Root
Licorice root has a cooling energy and helps to soothe a dry and sore throat, particularly in hot and dry weather. The roots are effective in loosening mucus and reduce inflammation.
Licorice roots give a moisturising effect to your throat so that the throat won’t remain dry throughout. The anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties of licorice root suppress the cough reflex.
How to use
- Mix a half cup licorice roots and few crushed gingers
- Add the ingredients to 3 cups of water
- Boil the mixture
- Drain the excess water and serve warm
#11. Stay Hydrated with Hot Beverages
Keeping your throat moist can reduce dry cough to a certain extent. Hot beverages rehydrate the tissue around your throat. The hot drinks numb and soothe your throat, allowing throat tissue to relax after an excessive dry cough.
Few hot beverages that you can try
- Aniseed tea: soothes the throat and reduces a dry cough
- Decaffeinated black tea: relieves congestion
These 11 home remedies can help you to counter dry cough but are not a permanent solution for a persistent dry cough.
Despite undertaking the home remedies, if you haven’t noticed any improvement in your dry cough, then consult your doctor immediately.