On the heels of my cold and flu remedy ideas, I thought I would also share some of my favorite cough remedies. When I get sick, it goes right to my lungs. And I don’t really get the opportunity to slow down or take sick days, so having remedies that keep me from coughing all over everyone is essential in my life.
I do try to avoid the over-the-counter syrups as they are mostly corn syrup and dye, and the ‘nighttime’ ones leave me feeling unfit for much of anything. Keep in mind, I am sharing adult doses and that kid doses are going to vary based on age and severity of symptoms.
– Catnip tea: Catnip is a household favorite for many of us who have cats. Luckily if you are allergic to your cats (as I probably was for 11 years), you can use their medicine as your own. Take about 2 tsp of the loose herb per cup, steep, strain, and drink 4 cups per day. Catnip is in a class of herbs that we call ‘nervines’ that help relax the nervous system as well as decrease spasmodic activity like chronic coughs. I also use Sleepy Time or Well Rested teas alongside the Catnip at bedtime to help decrease my cough for the night. And of course, I put delicious honey provided by some local bees via one of my favorite local doulas.
– Honey Loquat Syrup: This is a traditional Chinese formulation of several herbs including loquat, fritillary, licorice, coltsfoot, schisandra, menthol, and many others. The effect is soothing, anti-inflammatory, anti-tussive (meaning anti-cough), and tasty. Just take 1 Tbsp, add to warm water, and drink 4-5 times per day.
– Acupuncture and cupping: Acupuncture is pretty much my go-to medicine for everything and has been for nearly 10 years. I do credit my semi-regular tune ups with staying fairly healthy over the years despite the constant barrage of critters in my air space. Within the realm of Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is really only one branch. There are other techniques like Tui Na, Gua Sha, and cupping that are needle-less and incredibly powerful for moving things along in the body. I find these techniques to be the most effective when the cough lodges itself in my upper chest or lungs, as well as preventing the process altogether.
– Water and fresh air: at the risk of repeating myself…I will. This time of year we tend to be indoors more, drinking less water because it is not as warm and sunny, and blowing dusty, hot, and dry air into our lungs. It is a recipe for crunchy, crackly lung tissue. And how lucky are all of us that we live in a cool, damp climate to counteract the hot, dry indoors? I admit that I have to remind myself to drink water and get outside everyday, and now I am reminding you too.
– Pineapple juice: I found out this week that the nickname a family has for me is Pineapple Doctor (which I love!). You can probably guess that it has to do with Bromelain and having used it in their care in the past. And it so happens that I came across this article this week and thought I would share it: http://www.naturalcuresnotmedicine.com/pineapple-juice-is-…/.
I do want to emphasize that not all juices are alike. Freshly prepared pineapple juice or eating the fruit is very different in its medicinal content than many of the processed versions you will get on the shelf (which often contain added sugars and corn byproducts).
Try these out, let me know what you think, and please share your tried-and-true remedies!
Be well, Pineapple Doctor