What Is Cough?
When you have a cough, what you have is an involuntary reflex that is actually trying to work for your body instead of against it. When people cough they think something is wrong, but in a healthy person, a cough is actually started by two classes of nerves with ending in the lungs that is try to get rid of something that is irritating it. There are many substances that can irritate the air passages such as mucus, so the cough is trying to expel it from your body.
Most other reasons for a cough in a person who does not smoke is asthma, post-nasal drip, heartburn, pollutants in the air, chronic bronchitis, as well as many upper respiratory infections such as pneumonia, or bronchitis. A simple cold will certainly make you cough as well. If you smoke, then you have a lot more reasons to be coughing. For someone who has smoked for many years they have what is known as smoker’s cough. It is a loud, hacking cough that gets the phlegm out of your lungs. Coughing can be triggered by almost anything that your air passageways do not agree with such as drinking or eating “down the wrong pipe” or air that hits it just the wrong way.
If you have the occasional cough then there is nothing to worry about, but if your cough is severe or lasts for several days then it may be time to see a doctor. Usually, if it is just accompanied by the typical cold symptoms it will go away when the cold does, but if it lasts more than three weeks then there may be a problem in your upper airways that needs attention. If it lasts much longer than that it could indicate a disease of some sort.
Most people try to relieve their coughs with over the counter cough medicines which suppress the cough, but by doing this you are keeping the mucus in your lungs which is not ideal. You cough to get out the mucus and to get rid of the irritants. Instead you should treat your cough with an expectorant which helps to loosen up the phlegm so that you can productively remove it from your respiratory tract. It is always best to be able to get rid of whatever is bothering your respiratory tract. This should be done by keeping your mucus membranes moist instead of drying them out as typical cough suppressants do.
There are plenty of natural remedies that allow you to do this while still slowing down your cough so you are able to sleep and get through a typical day. Natural cough medicines allow the use of herbal medicines to be safer and gentler to your cough, and yet still effective at the same time. It loosens the mucus and opens your airways without drying up the membranes or suppressing your cough so much that your lungs fill up with irritants like mucus that should not be there. Certain herbs such as Hyssopus Officinalis and Althea Officinalis are great for encouraging respiratory health. They also soothe the membranes and make them more productive.
You can also use other natural alternatives such as putting a few drops of eucalyptus into a bath or sink and then breathing in the vapors. The warm air allows the mucus to be loosened and will make you feel better immediately.