Protect the respiratory tract
Avoid anything that adds stress to the mucous membranes of your airways. Do not smoke or avoid smoky rooms. Drink a lot, preferably three liters a day. As a result, the bronchial mucus becomes more fluid and can be easily coughed off. Make sure you have a pleasant indoor climate: overheated and dry air is poisonous for your bronchi - it's best to set up a humidifier, or you can hang wet wipes.
Herbs work from inside and outside
With herbal teas you kill two birds with one stone - they provide sufficient hydration and use the healing power of the herbs. A tea with Malvenblüten or leaves or Spitzwegerichkraut relieves the coughing irritation. To dissolve the slime, prepare an infusion of eucalyptus leaves, elderberries or thyme herb. Honey not only sweetens the tea but also dissolves the mucus.
Nettle tea, licorice, ginger, fennel or anise also have a soothing effect on coughing. All medicinal herbs can be obtained loosely or as a ready mix in the pharmacy. There you can also ask for the exact preparation.
Incidentally, eucalyptus oil can also be used externally for rubbings. Or you take a warm bath with the essential oil, the vapors soothe your respiratory system. For children, a bath with eucalyptus, however, is not suitable because its vapors may lead to breathlessness.
Wraps help with cough
Neck and chest wraps have already relieved coughing in the generation of our grandmothers. For acute cough, you can put on neck wraps with cooked, still warm, mashed potatoes or try the variety with chopped, warmed onions. To do this, cover your neck with a thin inner cloth, then place eg potatoes or onions on a dishcloth and carefully wrap the mass around your neck. Another cloth holds everything in place. In chronic bronchitis help hot moist chest wrap, they dissolve the mucus.
Homeopathy and acupressure for cough
Many homeopathic remedies are recommended for cough, such as Bryonia alba (white turnip) in a gradually developing cough with piercing chest pain, Cuprum metallicum (metallic copper) in prolonged coughing attacks or Ipecacuanha (vomit) in tough mucus that can not be coughed off.
Acupressure can also help with a cough. The relevant points Lungs 7, 8 and 9 sit on the side of the wrist, just below the thumb bale. Press one or more of these points as tight as you can for a minute or two. Repeat as needed after half an hour.
Medicines for cough
There are several medicines for cough with different effects:
- Cough suppressants (antitussives) relieve the symptoms of dry, dry cough and ensure a quiet night. But do not take them over a longer period, as they prevent the mucus from coughing up. Active substances are, for example, codeine, dextromethorphan or noscapine. There are also herbal supplements such as coltsfoot, marshmallow, Icelandic moss or plantain.
- Mucolytic drugs (mucolytics) make it easier to cough up the mucus. Known active substances are, for example, acetylcysteine, bromhexine or carbocistein. Those who prefer a herbal remedy can take preparations containing ivy, thyme, eucalyptus or myrtol.
If there is a bacterial infection, your doctor will prescribe you an antibiotic.
Cough - when to the doctor?
For the treatment of coughing, it is important to know the (mostly harmless) cause and to treat the underlying disease. The symptoms usually disappear quickly when you actively support your body in healing. In the following cases you should definitely consult a doctor:
- if you do not know why you cough
- if you cough for more than two weeks
- if you cough greenish or yellowish expectoration or blood
- if you get high fever
- if you have severe breathing difficulties
Many colds can be avoided if you keep your immune system fit and follow a few simple rules:
- Maintain a balanced diet and sleep enough.
- Drink two to three liters daily.
- If possible, do not smoke.
- Strengthen your body with alternating showers or sauna sessions.
- Wash hands frequently if you had contact with people who had a cold.