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Cold, flu and cough

Coughing is a normal and healthy reflex. It helps your body clear your airways of mucus, smoke, and other irritants. But constant coughing can take a toll. It may interrupt your sleep, work, and activities, hurt your chest, and tire you out.

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It’s best to stop a cough by treating the underlying cause. Drink lots of fluids. Swallow some honey. It soothes the scratchiness in the back of your throat.  Take a tablespoon as needed, or stir it into a warm drink.

Sip a hot drink. It can ease cold symptoms, including a cough. The liquids are hydrating, and the heat helps to lower congestion. Ginger tea is a good choice. The spicy root may help relax the smooth muscles in your airways. Steep chopped ginger in boiling water for 5-10 minutes and discard before sipping.

Clear irritants from your home. Some people are sensitive to perfumes and fragrances in laundry detergents and air fresheners.

If you have allergies, cleaning away mold, dust, and pollen may help. These allergens may cause a reaction, including a cough. You may need to wash your sheets in hot water, clean your floors with a vacuum, and scrub windows with a bleach solution.

Sleep on an incline. If a cold or an allergy is behind your cough, try raising your head.

Gargle saltwater. Along with soothing a sore throat, gargling can also help loosen thick mucus. It can also help clear away allergens and bacteria. To try it, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water. Gargle, then spit it out.

Vanguard

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