Dry cough can be caused by a number of reasons. It could be a result of asthma, where the small airways in the lungs narrow down, or it could also be caused by an allergic reaction to a substance in the air such as pollen, dust, etc. The most effective and easiest way to combat dry cough in children is through our kitchen cupboards and pantries which are full of substances which can bring a relief or reduce dry cough. Generally, the home remedies for dry cough are safe and without any side effects, but do consult a doctor before using any of these remedies.
Honey and lemon
Honey has natural medicinal properties, which are good for throat and lemon has vitamin C that provides cure to coughs and colds. Organic honey is better to use as it has no impurities. Honey’s soothing properties not only cure the child of dry cough but it is easy on a child’s stomach too. A tablespoon containing a dollop of honey can be given straight to the child or one may add a tablespoon of honey to some warm water and some freshly squeezed lemon to make lemonade. Lemon also has antioxidant properties. The child should sip this concoction slowly to soothe his throat and get rid of the dry cough. Give this medicinal lemonade several times a day to ease the cough of the child. Do not give honey to a child who is under 1 year of age.
Steam to relieve cough is a very common remedy which has been practiced since a very long time. The water vapors present in steam helps to loosen the tightness in the chest and smoothens the movement of dry mucus in the body. The moisture present in steam helps in calming down the dry and tickling throat and reduce coughing. A vaporizer or a humidifier also helps to relieve a child of dry mucus present in the nasal and throat passages and lubricating the throat thus making the breathing easy for a child. Boil the water in a pot or take a humidifier and let your child inhale the steam. If your child is uneasy while sleeping, run the humidifier in his room, this would promote an easy breathing and bring a calming effect on the child.
Water compress and eucalyptus oil
A hot pack or compress is good for a child in reducing dry cough. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or cider to warm water and soak a cheese cloth in it to make a warm compress and place it on the child’s chest, the fumes of eucalyptus oil would break up the congestion and ease the tickling and scratchiness in the throat which leads to coughing. A few drops of eucalyptus added to the humidifier at night in the room of the child would help him to sleep better.
Apple- cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a very beneficial and time honored remedy for cough. Make homemade syrup out of honey and apple-cider vinegar, it is a very effective remedy to treat dry cough in children. Take 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ginger paste, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1tbsp. of apple cider vinegar and 2 tbsp. of water and mix all the ingredients together to form a paste like structure. Give this mixture to your child every few hours; it would help to reduce your child’s dry cough. You could add apple-cider vinegar to the steam water also, to ease the dry cough of your child.
Dry cough can also be eased by having warm broth of chicken or turkey. You could also give a vegetable broth to your child in case you are a vegetarian. Take 3 potatoes and remove their skins, add 1 carrot and 1 celery stalk to 2 cups of water, add garlic and onion, salt and pepper for taste, and simmer all the ingredients for 30 minutes. When this broth cools down a bit, then strain it and give it to your child. This home remedy would help to reduce dry cough of your child. This will also flush out the unnecessary toxins out of the child’s body.
Vitamins and phytochemicals
Supplement your child with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, zinc, bromelain and quercetin. Bromelain and quercetin reduces cough caused by allergies and vitamin and zinc supplements builds the immunity of the child. Colorful fruits and vegetables also contain quercetin and fruits like pineapple has high levels of bromelain. Beans, kidney beans, green peas, cheese, milk and yogurt contain good amount of zinc. Avoid consuming tinned fruits and only use organic fruits and vegetables. You could give your child a platter of fresh fruit and vegetable salad but serve him small and frequent quantities, to avoid coughing from acid reflux.
Turmeric, ginger and raisins
Turmeric, a member of ginger family, reduces the inflammation of the throat and soothe the throat lining. Take warm water and add a teaspoon of turmeric to the water, gargling with this water would reduce the effect of dry cough in your child. Grind fresh ginger and boil it with water for 5 minutes. When the mixture is reduced to half then add a teaspoon of sugar to it and allow it to cool. Give this concoction to your child to sip, it would help in reducing dry cough.
Raisins are a very effective home remedy to cure a dry cough. Take 3 ounces of raisins and make a paste by grinding them and add an equal amount of sugar and heat it, till it forms a sauce like structure. Allow it to cool and give1/2 a spoon of it to your child at bedtime. This concoction has a soothing and calming effect on the throat.
Homeopathy and general home remedies
Homeopathy dose of Spongia may be helpful for relieving your child of dry cough. Spongia is also helpful for a nighttime cough. For a proper prescription consult a homeopath practitioner.
Rest is very important for your child’s health. Rest would help him to recover fast. Avoid smoking near the child and refrain from using perfumes, as it may irritate the child’s throat. Induce a lot of fluids in his daily intake as fluids would provide the adequate moisture level and keep the child hydrated. It would also help the unnecessary toxins to flush out of his system. Dress the child in loose and comfortable clothes. You could also give cough drops and lozenges to your child to provide a soothing effect and they will also provide a relief from a scratchy throat and keep the throat moistened. The zinc present in the drops or lozenges helps to reduce dry cough of your child.