5 Tips For Coughs

Coughing? Here are some simple remedies from a naturopath.

It is that time of year when people start coming in with a cough. There are some simple things you can do at home to ease your symptoms.

The first thing to remember is that your body needs to cough, especially if you are bringing up phlegm or mucous.  So don’t suppress it with an over the counter medication. That being said, if you are coughing so hard until you have a headache, vomit or crack a rib, it is definitely not a good idea either, nor is it necessary. Fortunately, there are a few measures that you can take to soothe the cough so that it is less violent and easier on your body.

#1. Your  lungs will be soothed with  warm moist air. Do  regular steam inhalations by adding a drop or two of an essential oil such as eucalyptus which has anti-microbial properties so will help prevent or treat infection while it also  dilates your nasal and bronchial passages.  If you are stuffed up, you should be able to breathe easier.

To do the inhalation, heat some water, but not to boiling to avoid burning your skin.  Pour the water into a bowl or pot, add a drop or two of oil and then drape a towel over your head and lean over the steaming water.

#2 Take a herbal product called a soothing expectorant


The ingredient that I have found most consistently helpful is licorice root.  Licorice root is quite safe but caution is advised in individuals with hypertension as licorice root can increase blood pressure.  Another great local ingredient is elderberry.  Some lung tonic herbs, such as horsetail, are not safe taken over a long period of time so you should check the label for warnings and ask the product specialist at the store.

#3 Gargle with salt water
Just heat a cup of water and add a pinch of salt to it. Gargle with this mix and you will definitely feel a difference.



#4 Chest Rub – Ointment, or oils mixed with essential oils of Eucalyptus, ginger, thyme and pine can really bring relief, especially at night time. Get coconut oil, lotion and mix 3 drops of 2 or 3 different essential oils. Rub really well on the upper chest and into the upper ribcage, down the breast bone. Avoid the breast areas as it is highly sensitive area.


#5 – Ginger with Honey and Lemon – Making a hot tea with fresh slices of ginger and mixing in Manuka Honey with squeezed lemon. It can reduce Phlegm and help the mucous membrane expel and break down excess mucus.

Getting an annual cough or cold is normal and allows your immune system to stay fit and ready for the bigger things that can come along.

If you are getting more than your share of coughs, colds or flus, then you need a deeper strategy to get to the root cause.  Seeing your Naturopath, is a good place to start. Dr. Cathy is available for consultations. To read more about how she can help or to book an appointment click here.



About the Author:

Dr.Cathy believes that true health begins in the digestive system and that most ailments are either caused or perpetuated by systemic inflammation.  Since 70% of our immune system resides in our gut, it’s a great place to focus in order to make large and sustainable improvements in health.  Cathy also appreciates the vicious cycle of sub-optimal digestion and environmental allergies from her own personal experience of eosinophilic esophagitis.  As a result, she also works on restoring immune system tolerance in order to reduce inflammation.  Once the system has been ‘rebooted’, the body’s signals (uncomfortable symptoms) resolve.

Cathy’s approach to helping you heal is systematic and will include some or all of the following:

  • Identification of food intolerances that cause suboptimal digestion leading to systemic inflammation
  • Identification of environmental allergies and their cross reactivity over physiological systems
  • Bowen therapy to stimulate the body’s healing capacity, restore peripheral and central nervous system function and remodel connective tissue.
  • Compounded bio-therapeutic drainage remedies to stimulate detoxification and improve cellular function in sub-optimally performing organs systems
  • Sublingual desensitization therapy for allergens
  • Herbal and pharmaceutical interventions when required


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