Rattle. Cackle. Pop.

No, those are not sounds from any fireworks display or celebration. On the contrary, those are the very sounds that you can make when you have a chesty cough.

Amidst the hacking and coughing, the embarrassing feeling of being the object of everyone’s stares can be quite discomfiting. The thought of whether you’re coughing out contagious germs may also have crossed their minds. Makes you want to choke back that cough, don’t you?

Cough It Out

If you happen to cough once or twice, it may only be your body’s reflex reaction to expel irritants in your passageway. You may have inhaled some dust or pollen, secondhand smoke, or maybe even bits of food have found their way down your windpipe.

However, if you have been coughing for over a month, then it may be a cause for concern. The best thing to do is pay your doctor a visit so he or she can determine the cause of your incessant coughing.

Coughs may be dry or wet. Dry coughs tend to cause a tickling sensation behind your throat. Wet coughs, on the other hand, are chesty coughs. This kind of a cough tends to produce excess mucus or sputum, with chesty cough sufferers having a tough time, especially in the mornings.

Chesty cough symptoms include:

  • Coughing up sticky phlegm
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing

A rattling sound deep in the rib cage also seems to assail chesty cough victims.

To get rid of this nasty nuisance, here are some top remedies that can provide you much-needed chesty cough relief:

1. Plenty of liquids

May it be water, soups, broths, or juices, these liquids can help in alleviating your cough. Studies say that drinking beverages – warm or at room temperature – can help cough sufferers stay hydrated.

Other examples of these beneficial brews are clear broths, decaffeinated black tea, warm juice, and warm water.

A mixture of salt and water can also help soothe cough-weary throats.

2. Teas

Warm teas can also help alleviate a cough, runny nose, or sneezing.

  • A time-honoured home remedy is using honey. You can mix two teaspoons of honey with warm water and you have an instant throat-soother. You can also add a bit of lemon juice to ease congestion and that extra zest.
  • Peppermint can also be a good choice. The menthol in the peppermint helps soothe the throat as well as decongests and breaks down mucus.
  • Thyme leaves contain flavonoids that help tamp down inflammation and relax sore throat muscles. You can purchase ready-to-dip thyme tea or steep teaspoons of crushed thyme leaves in a cup of boiling water. Leave for 10 minutes, then enjoy sipping this anti-cough concoction.

Be wary about giving teas and herbal drinks to children, though. It’s always best to consult with a physician when it comes to pediatric cough care.

3. Fruits

Fruits are excellent sources of vitamins and nutrients that can help you fight cough and colds. Not all fruits are created equal, however, so it would be wise to take note of some that stand head and shoulders above the rest.

  • Start it off with apples. A rich source of antioxidants, apples are said to have over 1,500 mg of vitamin C. It is a good snack that is full of flavonoids and will help make your body stronger.
  • Pineapples are also excellent sources of bromelain – an enzyme that has anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps break down mucus and eases it out of the body.
  • Cranberries and oranges are also fruits that you’d like to ingest or drink. They are potent sources of immune-boosting nutrients that will help nurse your body back into the pink of health.

4. Vegetables

You always hear your parents tell you to eat your vegetables, and they are right.

Vegetables, especially the dark green and leafy ones, are good sources of nutrients and minerals that will help nourish your body back to health. Arugula, kale, spinach, and Swiss chard have cough-busting vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of Vitamin A which aids in keeping your mucosal surfaces healthy and infections at bay.

5.  Steam

Aside from eating and drinking healthy food, you can also help alleviate cough worries by taking a steam bath. The steam will help with decongestion. Drink a warm glass of water after the steam bath to avoid dehydration.

You can also add three to four drops of peppermint oil for every 150ml of water.

The use of a cool-mist humidifier or steam vaporizer can also be helpful for patients with a chesty cough.

The Silent Treatment

One can feel frustrated and helpless when plagued with persistent coughing.

So aside from the above-mentioned home remedies, it will also be wise to resort to cough medicines that will quell the coughing.

There are cough syrups and tablets and even a 24-hour cough medicine in capsule form. These cough treatments are effective in giving cough relief by:

  • Loosening the mucus
  • Clearing the airways
  • Helping prevent the production of excess mucus

With these remedies, you can rest easy and look forward to a quiet, uneventful sleep and more comfortable, breathe-easy days ahead.