What is Coughing?
At its most basic level, coughing is a forceful expelling of air through open vocal cords. Coughing, or its more scientific label, tussis, can be a symptom of a serious illness, or simply the common cold.
Benefits of Coughing
Yes—coughing has benefits! Controlled coughing is recommended for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as it expels mucus and other blockage from the lungs without expelling too much energy, preventing exhaustion. Tussis is a reaction to an overabundance of mucus, foreign invaders, fluids, and other irritants in the lungs or air passageway. If you did not cough, these particles would build up very quickly and make it extremely hard to breathe. A lack of coughing could also lead to infection. Coughing might be annoying, but just think about how worse you would feel without it—it’s a way to dispel blockage from your body.
Although treating the symptom of coughing won’t necessarily alleviate whatever underlying illness that is causing it, it can provide temporary relief from the reflex of coughing itself. There are numerous over-the-counter treatments available, but you can also use all-natural ingredients and homeopathic methods at home to treat your cough, too.
- Salt water gargle
- Peppermint, marshmallow, and or thyme tea
- Pineapple (fruit or juice)
- Licorice root
- Ginger root
- Daily vitamin
Coughing spreads germs, so try to stay away from coworkers and family in order to avoid getting others sick. If you must be around others, take steps to cover your mouth when you cough. While it is best to cover your mouth with a disposable tissue or handkerchief when you hack, if you do not have one available, cough into the inside of your elbow rather than your hands. Wash your hands immediately afterwards or after coming into contact with someone who has been coughing. Clean frequently touched surfaces—countertops, door handles, computer keyboards and mice, desktops, etc.—to avoid the germs from festering and spreading to others.