Barking away? Looking to get rid of a cough fast? For some people, it can be hard to get through winter without a cough or chest infection sneaking up on them. And it can often be equally hard to shift. Everyone is at risk of picking up a virus or bacteria which leads to a cough or chest infection, and vulnerable people may find it hard to recover.
No matter how often you wash your hands or keep your face covered, it can sometimes be impossible to prevent infection. What you can do however, is reduce the severity of the infection and get better quicker. Today, we're showing you how to get rid of a cough fast.
Why Do I Have A Cough?
A cough is a reflex action that temporarily clears the airways of mucus and irritants. Mucus or phlegm is the substance your body secretes to trap viruses, bacteria and other irritating substances. So basically, you NEED mucus to trap all the baddies and you NEED to cough it up to get them out of your body.
Did you know: If you have a cold or cough and you’re taking decongestant medication, you could be slowing down your recovery process or opening yourself up to reinfection. Decongestants dry out your mucus membranes, making it more accessible to bacterial and viral materials.
How to Get Rid of a Cough Fast
If you're looking to get rid of a cough fast, there are a few simple steps that can make all the difference.
Up Your Water Intake
Wondering how to get rid of a cough fast? Firstly, drink plenty of fluids. This is a healthy thing to do anyway, as it prevents dehydration, but it’s all the more important if you have an infection. If you’re dehydrated or overdosed on coffee, you’re slowing your immune system down and impeding your recovery.
Love it or loathe it, we are all familiar with liquorice in the form of a sweet. As an herb, it is an expectorant which means that it facilitates the movement of mucus from the respiratory tract. In short, it helps you get it up and out!
Liquorice also supports your adrenal system. This means that it can improve your energy and stress levels through your period of illness. Many natural cough bottles contain liquorice extract, but you can also buy liquorice capsules and tea. Liquorice is not suitable for those with high blood pressure.
Eat More Garlic
Garlic works to overcome both viruses and bacteria and has been used throughout history to tread infectious conditions. It thins mucus, so it can be very good for a chesty cough that isn’t producing any or much phlegm. Eating garlic raw is best, however if you can’t do that, it is available in strong capsules called Kyolic garlic.
Take Vitamin D Regularly
Vitamin D is the new vitamin C. The vitamin D Council have stated that low vitamin D is linked to increased frequency of respiratory infections and coughs. They have also said that, supplementation of daily vitamin D can cut the severity and duration of a chest infection by a half. It is thought that 20% of over 50s are deficient in vitamin D. Also at risk of vitamin D deficiency are those who work inside, vegans, coeliacs and the elderly.
Inhale Some Steam
Another of our top tips when it comes to how to get rid of a cough fast is get the steam going. Have you ever had a cough and taken a hot shower, only for it to make you cough even more? When you breathe in the steam it can loosen mucus deep within the chest and your body responds with the coughing reflex. If you can stand to inhale steam for several minutes, it may help you to cough up deep seated mucus which is infected and this should aid your recovery.
Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice.
It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements, treatments or remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication.
Checked and updated: 3 March 2021