How To Stop Coughing Without Medicine June 13, 2017

Be it day or night, a cough can be bothersome. It interferes with your day-to-day routine and those precious hours you get to sleep at night. And once you are up, how are you going to fall back asleep with your throat itching like hell? Ok, let’s calm down for a bit. A cough is actually not that difficult to get rid of, especially with home remedies. Let us explain in detail in this article.

No matter your age or gender, constant coughing can really trouble your body and mind. Unfortunately, we are all affected and afflicted by this very common ailment at some time or the other in our lives. So, what is cough and why does it happen?

Keep reading to know the answers to these questions. We’ll also talk about the wonderful home remedies that can kick the cough out of your throat.

What Causes A Cough?

There are many reasons for a cough. Here are the most common causes:

  • Respiratory tract infection (RTI) – cold, pneumonia, flu, bronchitis, and sinusitis
  • Asthma
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough/Diptheria)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Foreign body
  • Dry mouth
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (Drugs used for diabetes and high blood pressure)
  • Lung tumors
  • Allergies
  • Pollution-related pathogens (1, 2)

The signs and symptoms of cough are given below.

 Cough Symptoms

Other symptoms that often accompany a cough are:

  • Cold
  • High temperature
  • Chills
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Blocked nose
  • Disrupted sleep (1, 2)

When the cough does not last for long, it is usually a temporary and non-serious issue. Recurring or incessant cough can mean serious health issues, hence categorizing cough and identifying the type you are stricken with is essential. These types are given below.

 Types Of Cough

Cough can be categorized as:

  • Acute Cough – when it occurs for less than 3 weeks
  • Chronic Cough – when it continues for more than 8 weeks (in which case, stop reading this and go see a doctor!)
  • Subacute Cough – lasts anywhere between 3 and 8 weeks
  • Productive Cough – if you cough up sputum
  • Dry or Nonproductive Cough – if there is no expulsion of sputum
  • Nocturnal Cough – occurs only at night (3, 4)

As we already saw, the reasons behind a cough are numerous – some are very simple and clear up easily with antibiotics and a lot of TLC, while others may be serious and require long-term treatment and, possibly, hospitalization.

When the causes are common, such as respiratory infections, you can bid goodbye to the resultant cough with the following remedies.

How To Stop Coughing Using Home Remedies

  1. Essential Oils
  2. Pineapple Juice
  3. Honey And Lemon
  4. Honey And Cinnamon
  5. Ginger, Peppermint, And Honey
  6. Apple Cider Vinegar
  7. Vicks On Feet
  8. Tea
  9. Elderberry
  10. Raw Onion On Feet
  11. Buckwheat Honey
  12. Thyme
  13. Salt Water Gargle
  14. Turmeric Milk
  15. Black Pepper
  16. Baking Soda
  17. Basil
  18. Lemongrass
  19. Soup
  20. Fenugreek
  21. Grapes
  22. Guava Leaves
  23. Garlic
  24. Jaggery
  25. Almonds
  26. Carrot Juice

Natural Remedies For Cough

1. Essential Oils For Cough

1. Essential Oils For Cough Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

A few drops of eucalyptus oil OR tea tree oil OR thieves oil

What You Have To Do

Rub the essential oil of your choice on your neck and sinuses. You can also apply a drop or two on the chest.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this twice a day, especially before going to bed.

Why This Works

Eucalyptus oil is an expectorant, and its antibacterial action will relieve cough, headache, body ache, and a blocked nose in no time (5). Tea tree oil is a multipurpose antimicrobial agent that can treat the infection (6). Thieves oil, on the other hand, has more beneficial properties as it is a blend of lemon, cinnamon bark, clove, rosemary, and eucalyptus essential oils. This combination works as an expectorant, an antimicrobial, and an anti-inflammatory agent that can give relief to your throat (7).

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2. Pineapple Juice For Cough

You Will Need

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper powder

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the honey and spices with the pineapple juice.
  2. Drink one-fourth cup of this.
  3. Store the rest in the refrigerator.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this thrice a day.

Why This Works

The bromelain present in pineapple juice reduces cough, inflammation in the respiratory tract, and nasal mucus (8).

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3. Honey And Lemon For Cough

 3. Honey And Lemon For Cough Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • A cup of hot water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add the honey to hot water and mix well.
  2. Add the lemon juice and stir well. Drink this concoction.

How Often You Should Do This

Have this mixture once in the morning and once at night.

Why This Works

Honey is a gentle yet effective cough reliever. It is a demulcent and has soothing properties that can relieve incessant coughing in an instant (9). The vitamin C in lemon juice aids quick recovery from the infection (10). This remedy can be used to relieve cough in children as well.

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4. Honey And Cinnamon For Cough

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • A pinch of cinnamon powder

What You Have To Do

  1. Heat the honey till it becomes slightly runny and add the cinnamon powder to it. Mix it well.
  2. Once the mixture cools down, ingest it.

How Often You Should Do This

Use this yummy cough syrup 2-3 times during the day to keep the cough under control.

Why This Works

Cinnamon, in combination with honey, is a magic potion for coughs that won’t go away. It clears the sinuses and soothes the inflamed respiratory passages (11). This mixture is absolutely safe for children, and they love the flavor too.

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5. Ginger, Peppermint, And Honey For Cough

 5. Ginger, Peppermint, And Honey For Cough Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 3 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon dried peppermint
  • 1 cup honey
  • 4 cups water

What You Have To Do

  1. Take the water in a pan and add the ginger and peppermint to it.
  2. Boil this mixture until it reduces to half of its original volume.
  3. Let it cool down. Add the honey to it and mix well.
  4. Take a tablespoon of this herbal blend.

The rest of the mixture can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about three weeks.

How Often You Should Do This

Have this herbal remedy once in every 3-4 hours.

Why This Works

Ginger has strong antibiotic properties. If taken with honey, it works as a natural painkiller and cough reliever at any time of the day (12). Peppermint helps ginger in eliminating the infection as it is also an antimicrobial agent. It also soothes the sinus passages and the itching sensation in your throat (13).

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6. Apple Cider Vinegar For Cough

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • A glass of warm water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add the vinegar to the water and gargle with this.
  2. Do not ingest this liquid.

A teaspoon of ACV mixed with two teaspoons of honey can be ingested for added relief from cough.

How Often You Should Do This

Gargle with this once or twice every day.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar and its benefits are just never-ending. It can be used to soothe an adamant cough (14). Its antimicrobial and pH balancing properties work in our favor when it comes to treating a cough. If you do not have any ACV at home, you can use white vinegar or red vinegar instead.

Note

If the taste of the vinegar puts you off, you can add some lime juice or salt to make it bearable.

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7. Vicks On Feet For Cough

7. Vicks On Feet For Cough Pinit

Image: Enriscapes / Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • Vicks vaporub
  • Socks

What You Have To Do

Apply Vicks on the soles of your feet and cover them with socks.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every night before going to bed.

Why This Works

This remedy came to light in 2015 when every newspaper started featuring it for its wonderful cough alleviating effects. The vaporub is said to sensitize the nerves going from your feet to your spinal cord and interrupt the cough cycle. Please keep in mind that this remedy is only a temporary fix to stop the coughing and will not treat the cough.

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8. Tea For Cough

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon oregano tea OR licorice root tea OR hibiscus tea (or a tea bag)
  • A cup of boiling water

What You Have To Do

  1. Brew some fresh herbal tea with the herb you have available at home by soaking it in hot water for a few minutes.
  2. Strain and sip on this tea.

How Often You Should Do This

Have 2-3 cups of herbal tea every day until the cough goes away.

Why This Works

Sip on refreshing herbal teas and say goodbye to that cough. Oregano contains thymol that helps to loosen the phlegm and mucus blocking your nasal passages, giving relief from the coughing (15). Licorice root has anti-inflammatory properties that also aid in clearing up your sinus passages (16). Hibiscus tea is rich in vitamin C, which is an essential vitamin required when the body is trying to fight the respiratory infection and recover (17).

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9. Elderberry For Cough

9. Elderberry For Cough Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 2-3 cups dried black elderberries
  • 2 tablespoons ginger root (fresh or dried)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 3 1/2 cups water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add all the ingredients to the water except the honey.
  2. Heat this up for 30-40 minutes until it reduces to half.
  3. Remove the mixture from the flame and mash the berries thoroughly.
  4. Strain this once cooled and then add the honey to it. Mix well.
  5. Take about one tablespoon of this syrup.
  6. Store the remaining syrup in a glass jar in a cold place.

How Often You Should Do This

Take this every 3-4 hours until the cough subsides.

Why This Works

Elderberry is often used to boost immune functions and fight against viral infections like the flu, which can cause cough apart from the other symptoms (18).

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[ Read: Herbal Cough Syrups Available In India ]

10. Raw Onion On Feet For Cough

You Will Need

  • Onion slices (white or red)
  • Socks

What You Have To Do

  1. Place the slices on under your feet and cover them with socks.
  2. Go to bed as usual.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this for a night or two, and you will see the difference for yourself.

Why This Works

Onions are known to absorb impurities from their surroundings and kill any germs present in their vicinity. They also emit phosphoric acid gas, which enters the bloodstream and purifies the blood. The purification helps to kill the cough-causing virus/bacteria (19).

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11. Buckwheat Honey For Cough

11. Buckwheat Honey For Cough Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Buckwheat honey

What You Have To Do

Take half to one tablespoon of this before going to bed.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily until the cough goes away.

Why This Works

Buckwheat honey has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties (20). It also soothes the irritation in the throat and prevents coughing while sleeping.

Caution

Kids whose age is lesser than a year should not be given honey as it can cause botulism. If you are unsure about using this honey remedy for your toddler, consult your physician first.

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12. Thyme For Cough

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • A cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Boil the thyme leaves in water for a few minutes until the water reduces to half the amount.
  2. Sip this liquid.

How Often You Should Do This

Have this liquid once or twice a day.

Why This Works

This beautiful, delicate herb can solve your cough troubles. Thyme has antimicrobial properties that treat the infection causing the cough. It is also mildly sedative in nature and can help reduce any throat pain caused by the cough (21). You will experience an instant soothing relief when you drink this herbal tea.

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13. Salt Water Gargle For Cough

13. Salt Water Gargle For Cough Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon common salt
  • A glass of warm water

What You Have To Do

Mix the salt in the water and gargle with the liquid.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this twice or thrice a day.

Why This Works

Sodium chloride or common salt works effectively against cough and throat pain when used for gargling. It gives humidity to the throat, acts as an antibacterial agent, and soothes the pain. Continuing this remedy once every few days on a regular basis can help prevent throat and upper respiratory tract infections in the future (22).

Caution

Don’t ingest this water as salty water can induce vomiting.

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14.Turmeric Milk For Cough

You Will Need

  • A glass of hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

What You Have To Do

  1. Add the turmeric to the milk and mix well.
  2. Drink this.

If you find the taste too appalling, you can sweeten the milk with some sugar or honey.

How Often You Should Do This

Have a glass of this turmeric-infused milk every day until the cough goes away.

Why This Works

Warm milk or, for that matter, any warm liquid helps in relieving a cough by hydrating the dry, raspy throat. It also reduces chest congestion and helps in the expulsion of sputum. Turmeric, with its amazing healing and antibacterial qualities, will go a long way in curing a nasty cough (23).

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[ Read: Benefits Of Turmeric for health ]

15. Black Pepper

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (preferably freshly ground)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • A cup of hot water

What You Have To Do

  1. To the hot water, add the black pepper powder and honey.
  2. Cover the cup and let this steep for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Drink this tea.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink 1-2 cups every day.

Why This Works

It sounds like a dangerous way to cure a cough, but black pepper is very effective when taken with honey. Sure, it will sting, but your cough will vanish for hours. This is because black pepper is a natural cough suppressant and chest decongestant (24).

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16. Baking Soda For Cough

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

What You Have To Do

  1. Add the baking soda to the maple syrup and mix well.
  2. Take a tablespoon of this mixture.

How Often You Should Do This

Whenever you feel a bout of cough is about to begin, take this syrup.

Why This Works

The maple syrup will soothe the throat irritation, and the baking soda will help to eliminate the infection with its antibacterial properties (25).

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17. Basil

17. Basil Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

A few basil leaves

What You Have To Do

Wash the leaves and chew them. If the taste is too strong, you may add a pinch of salt and/or some black pepper.

How Often You Should Do This

Chew on basil leaves 2-3 times in the day.

Why This Works

Basil leaves have marvellous healing qualities. They are antimicrobial and analgesic and can relieve pain. Their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory properties will aid quick recovery from the cough (26).

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18. Lemongrass For Cough

You Will Need

  • 1-2 lemongrass leaves
  • A cup of hot water

What You Have To Do

  1. Cut the leaves into 1-inch pieces and add them to the cup of hot water.
  2. Steep this for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Strain and drink the tea.

For additional flavor, you can add a small piece of ginger to the tea.

How Often You Should Do This

Have two cups of lemongrass tea every day to get rid of cough without medicines.

Why This Works

This pretty little fragrant herb has a natural summery aroma. It is used to treat cough, cold, and fever because of its germ-killing and mild astringent properties. It can also alleviate any pain caused by the cough (27).

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19. Soup For Cough

19. Soup For Cough Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken bone broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1/4 cup cooked shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice noodles (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sliced scallion
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper powder to taste

What You Have To Do

  1. Add all the ingredients to a pan and simmer for a minute or two to heat up the broth.
  2. Remove from the flame and sip on this healthy herbal soup.

How Often You Should Do This

Have a bowl of this once or twice a day.

Why This Works

The warmth from the soup will decongest your chest and get rid of the cough. The herbs and spices aid in the decongestion and also act as antimicrobial agents against the microorganisms that are causing the throat infection.

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20. Fenugreek For Cough

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons fenugreek seeds
  • 3 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • A cup of honey
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cups warm water

What You Have To Do

  1. Clean the fenugreek seeds and grind them to get a powder.
  2. Add this powder to the warm water along with the thyme, cloves, and oregano. Let this sit for about 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, on a low flame, mix the honey and olive oil in a pan. Continue mixing until the honey has combined with the oil.
  4. Now, strain the herbal tea prepared and add it to the honey-oil mix.
  5. Keep stirring until a homogenous mixture is formed.
  6. Finally, add the lemon juice and give the syrup a final stir.
  7. Remove from the flame and let it cool.
  8. Ingest a tablespoon of this syrup.

Store the rest of the herbal fenugreek syrup in a mason jar in the refrigerator. This is good to use for about two months.

How Often You Should Do This

Take this syrup 2-3 times during the day whenever you have a cough.

Why This Works

Fenugreek soothes a sore throat and gives relief from cough with its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties (28).

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21. Grapes For Cough

 21. Grapes For Cough Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 cup grape juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey

What You Have To Do

Mix the honey with grape juice and drink this.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once every day.

Why This Works

Grapes act as expectorants and decongest the lungs (29).

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22. Guava Leaves For Cough

You Will Need

  • 2-3 guava leaves
  • A glass of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Boil the leaves for a few minutes to prepare a decoction.
  2. Strain and drink the tea prepared.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink a cup of guava leaf tea every day until you get relief from the cough.

Why This Works

Guava leaves have antibiotic properties and are rich in vitamin C. Drinking tea made with these leaves can get rid of the cough by killing the microbes and boosting immunity (30).

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23. Garlic

23. Garlic Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • A glass of milk

What You Have To Do

Boil the garlic cloves in milk and drink it.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink a glass of this milk every night for 2-3 days, and you will definitely notice a difference.

Why This Works

It tastes and sounds horrible, but you can get back to your normal routine soon as this remedy will relieve even the worst of coughs. Garlic has very strong antibacterial and pain-relieving qualities that bid goodbye to your cough with ease (31).

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24. Jaggery For Cough

You Will Need

A small piece of jaggery

What You Have To Do

Keep the jaggery piece in your mouth and suck on it.

How Often You Should Do This

Use this remedy whenever you start coughing.

Why This Works

The jaggery juice will soothe the irritated throat during a bout of cough.

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25. Almonds For Cough

25. Almonds For Cough Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 7-8 almonds
  • A cup of orange juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Grind the almonds to get a fine powder.
  2. Blend this with the orange juice and sip on it.

How Often You Should Do This

Use this as and when required to get the cough under control.

Why This Works

Strange as it may seem, powdered or crushed almonds, added to some orange juice, can be the perfect home remedy for cough. The taste of the mixture is very refreshing and soothing as almonds have natural immune-boosting properties (32). This remedy is recommended for dry cough.

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26. Carrot Juice

You Will Need

A cup of carrot juice

What You Have To Do

Drink this in between meals.

How Often You Should Do This

Have 2-3 cups in a day.

Why This Works

Carrot contains strong antioxidants and phytochemicals that promote health (33). Its juice can aid your body in fighting the throat infection better and help in getting rid of the cough easily.

If your cough is non-serious, these are some simple home remedies that you could try. They are easy to use and can be made from everyday kitchen ingredients. So, before you visit the pharmacy, try them. You will be rid of that cough and spring back on your feet in no time. Most of these tips work equally well for children, though it is best to consult your pediatrician before you try them on your child for the first time.

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Here is a list of food items that are best avoided when you have cough.

Foods To Avoid

  • Dairy and dairy products
  • Caffeinated drinks like coffee, fizzy drinks, etc.
  • Common allergens found in shellfish, yeast, nuts, eggs, soy, and other items
  • Processed foods, such as chips and packaged snacks
  • White bread and white pasta
  • Spicy and fried food

Avoid them as much as possible for fast recovery from cough.

Risk Factors

A cough can easily progress to chronic cough in the presence of certain risk factors. These are:

  • Smoking
  • Vulnerability to allergies
  • Presence of environmental irritants or pollutants
  • Female gender
  • Chronic lung diseases, such as COPD, asthma, and previous lung infections

If you are somebody who is prone to developing cough, take care to avoid any allergens and irritants to prevent this annoying ailment. Simple home care, a few precautionary measures, and a nutritious diet can take you a long way when it comes to preventing cough.

Below are some more cough related questions answered for you.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

How to prevent coughing?

You can use remedies like the herbal teas, soups, and syrups mentioned above to prevent coughing.

Why does my cough get worse at night?

When we lie down, the mucus pools at the back of the throat, causing us to cough more at night.

What is the best position to sleep with a cough?

A simple way to prevent coughing at night is to prop your pillow a little higher than usual and sleep at an incline. You can also try sleeping sideways.

What to give a toddler for cough?

Using honey is a wonderful way to relieve cough in toddlers. However, check with your doctor first.

Why does your head hurt when you cough?

The jerks created by coughing can put pressure on the chest, neck, and head, leading to a headache.

Why do I get a cough after running/exercise?

The physical activity increases your heart rate and slightly constricts your airway passages. This causes a cough.

How long does a cough last?

A cough can last for up to 18-20 days.

Why do I cough after I eat?

Acid reflux after eating can irritate your air passages and cause a coughing fit.

Why do I cough when the air is cold?

The cold air dries up your airways, and coughing and wheezing are indirect responses of the body.

What can cause a persistent cough?

Asthma, GERD, and chronic bronchitis are often associated with a persistent cough.

What does it mean when you cough up blood?

Coughing up blood can indicate problems with your blood vessels, serious infections, and even cancer. Consult a specialist immediately in such cases.

When to see a doctor for a cough?

See a doctor if the cough hasn’t gone away after several weeks. Also, if you notice any of these symptoms:

Wheezing
Coughing up greenish-yellow phlegm
Accompanied fever of above 100oF
Shortness of breath
Coughing up blood

Is it safe to take cough medicine during pregnancy?

Most OTC medicines for cough are safe for consumption during pregnancy. If you are still in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy or even otherwise, it is always best to speak to your doctor for the recommended medication.

Even though some of the remedies we have listed may seem a little unappealing, they do work. Give them a try and see for yourself. They have been tested by many people around the world and their benefits have been approved by specialists.

Find the one that clicks for you and remember to spread the word. Don’t forget to share your experience with us in the comments section below.

Watch a Video from StylecrazeTV – 5 Quick Natural Home Remedies For Cough

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