A simple way to ease a cough is with salt water. It may help cut down the duration of a cough, While it may sting a little at first, this solution is effective for killing bacteria, loosening up mucus, and diminishing pain.
Ginger is well known for its power in calming an upset stomach. Turns out it can also work wonders for a cough.
Pepcid, Prilosec, or other antacids can relieve acid reflux and nix any associated coughs, notes Dr. Hanak.
Coughing, but also craving something sweet? You are in luck! “Honey has been found to be helpful in alleviating cough, either on its own or as part of a cup of tea,”
Besides helping you de-stress after a long day, soaking in a hot bath can ease common cold symptoms like congestion, coughing, and sinus pressure. (A shower works just as well, FYI.) That's thanks to the humidity from the steam, which is great for opening your sinuses and thinning out your mucus.
Hydration is important on any given day, but it can be especially crucial when you have a cough. “Staying well hydrated can help thin mucus in the back of the throat, which can lead to mild improvement in a cough,” explains Dr. Hanak.
Another quick and easy at-home remedy to stop a cough in its tracks? A lozenge or hard candy. Sucking on one can stimulate saliva production, which increases secretions in the mouth and can in turn dampen any cough.
If your cough is a result of allergies, Dr. Hanak recommends trying Flonase or Nasonex paired with a daily allergy pill such as Allegra, Claritin, or Zyrtec.
To tame a cough caused by a postnasal drip, Dr. Hanak suggests using a neti pot, which can wash out any debris or mucus from your nasal passages. “Clearing mucus from the nasal passages can be helpful in reducing post nasal drainage, thereby improving cough,” he explains.
Of course, you'll also want to give OTC medications a shot, especially if you've already tried everything else. Antitussives are cough suppressants and can block the cough reflex, a
Probiotics can promote good gut health, but Dr. Hanak says they have also been shown to have a marginal impact on staving off the common cold and reducing coughing. Great sources of probiotics include yogurt and fermented foods like miso and kimchi.
By minimizing exposure to chemicals and irritants, which are harmful to the lungs, Dr. Hanak says quitting smoking can cut down on inflammation. A cough caused by smoking can be progressive, depending on how much someone smokes and how long they have been smoking, he adds.