A dry cough is also called an unproductive cough. Unlike productive, wet coughs, dry coughs are unable to remove mucus, phlegm, or irritants from your lungs or nasal passages.
Dry coughs can linger for weeks after you’ve had a cold or the flu. They may also be caused by a number of conditions, such as:
acid reflux or GERD
They may also be a long-lasting side effect from exposure to environmental toxins, such as cigarette smoke.
Dry coughs can be very uncomfortable and may occur in both children and adults. There are a number of clinical treatments you can use to alleviate them, but there are also at-home remedies which can be just as effective in many cases.
For adults and children ages 1 and up, honey can be used to treat day and nighttime dry coughing.
Honey has antibacterial properties and can also help to coat the throat, alleviating irritation.
You can try taking honey by the teaspoon several times daily, or add it to tea or warm water to drink.
To avoid infant botulism, a rare complication which can occur in infants, never give honey to a child under 1 year old.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound which may have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. It may also be beneficial for several conditions, including a dry cough.
Curcumin is best absorbed into the blood stream when taken with black pepper. You can add 1 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper into a beverage, such as cold orange juice, to drink. You can also make it into a warm tea.
Turmeric has been usedTrusted Source to treat upper respiratory conditions, bronchitis, and asthma in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
You can get turmeric in its spice-form, as well as a capsule.
Ginger has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been shownTrusted Source to boost the immune system and relieve pain and discomfort.
Ginger can be found in many teas as an ingredient. You can also make ginger tea from ginger root by steeping the peeled or cut root in warm water. Adding honey may make it even more beneficial for dry cough.
You can also take ginger in capsule form, or chew on ginger root to alleviate dry cough.
Peppermint contains menthol, which helps to numb nerve endings in the throat that become irritated by coughing. This may provide pain relief and reduce the urge to cough.
Peppermint also helps reduce congestion, plus, it’s been foundTrusted Source to have antibacterial and antiviral qualities.
There are a number of ways to take peppermint. These include drinking peppermint tea or sucking on peppermint lozenges. Try drinking peppermint tea right before bed to help alleviate nighttime coughs.
You can also use peppermint essential oil as an aromatherapy treatment.
5.Gargle with salt water
Gargling with warm salt water will help ease the discomfort and irritation caused by a dry cough. Salt water also helps kill bacteria in the mouth and throat.
To do this, dissolve 1 teaspoon of table salt in a large glass of warm water. Then gargle several times a day.
This dry cough remedy isn’t recommended for young children, who might swallow the salt water.
If you wake up with an irritated throat from coughing during the night, gargle with salt water immediately after brushing your teeth to help numb and soothe the nerve endings in your throat.