Home Remedy for Cough
By Bonnie K. McMillen, R.N, B.S.N., College Health Nurse, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Bradford, PA, mcmillen+@pitt.edu

For the adventurous and independent sort, here's a homemade cough syrup recipe that really works. The ingredients are a combination of spices and nutrients with no unpleasant medicinal side effects -- no drowsiness, no dry mucous membranes, no cautions about using machinery or driving.

The recipe is from Herbally Yours by Penny C. Royal, 3rd Edition, June 1982. It seems to work for all kinds of coughs but especially for that dry hacky cough that keeps you awake and hangs on long after the cold is over.

One of our international students recently told me that her mother in India used to give her a cough medicine with similar ingredients.

It soothes an irritated throat and relieves chest congestion and phlegm. The bad news: it tastes terrible -- it really does -- but if you have a persistant cough, it's worth a try.

    * 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    * 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    * 1 Tablespoon honey
    * 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    * 2 Tablespoons water
      Mix and take by the teaspoon.
   I would add sliced red onions.

The recipe doesn't indicate how much to take. I took 3 teaspoons the first time because I had a bad dry cough for over three weeks, and I was desparate for some relief. It worked and I got a good night's sleep. I have been recommending it to others ever since, and many have confirmed my positive results.

Consider the beneficial effects of the individual ingredients:

    * Ginger (zingiber officinale) has long been used and recommended for arthritis and bursitis, because it is a natural anti-inflammatory. According to Home Herbal, by Penelope Ody, D.K. Publishing, June 1995, ginger is a natural antihistamine. It has also been used for for motion sickness and nausea, and in addition, it's known for relieving chest congestion, according to Dr. Andrew Weil, Herbal Medicine Chest http://cgi.pathfinder.com/drweil/herbal/medchest

    * Cayenne (capsaicin) reduces pain, according to Herbs for Health and Healing, by Kathi Keville, Rodale Press, Emmaus, PA, 1996. The same substance that makes cayenne peppers hot relieves the pain by suppressing a chemical that carries the pain message from nerves in the affected area to the brain. According to Home Herbal, by P. Ody, cayenne is warming and stimulating, it is a good cold remedy and eases chills and will even ease the lingering pain from shingles.

    * Vinegar has so many healthful uses. See my article, Vinegar: Ancient Medicine and Popular Home Remedy in Connections Quarterly, Summer 1998 Issue.

    * Honey, according to Home Herbal by P. Ody, will draw pus and poisons out of wounds and it is useful for relief from colds.

    * Water is probably added to make it less strong tasting but it is still strong!

I keep the mixture in the refrigerator after I make it but I don't know if it is necessary.

The next time you have a cough that just won't quit, you might want to give this homemade cough recipe a try.

CAUTION: Any cough persisting more than a week, accompanied by headache or fever, and any cough which is productive of thick yellow or green mucous should be evaluated by a physician. One precaution I have read is regarding the honey: Do not give honey to children under 1 year of age unless it is pasteurized or boiled for five minutes. I would not give this mixture to a young child anyway, because the taste is too strong, and a child with a cough should be seen by a pediatrician.

ANOTHER RECIPE found online: 1. Heat up a small pan with little butter or ghee in it.
2. Add a few grains of black pepper to it and allow it to splutter.
3. After it cools down, chew it up followed with a glass of milk for a soothing effect.
4. Your cough will simply vanish.
5. Repeat 2-3 times for very severe bouts of coughing.

Tips:

1. For small children the pepper may be crushed slightly and mixed with sugar or honey so that they donít find it too hot to swallow.

THE LAST IS BEST---  MAGIC VICS VAPO RUB
 
                       During a lecture on Essential Oils, they told us how
       the foot soles can absorb oils. Their example: Put garlic on your fet
       and within 20 minutes you can 'taste' it.

                      Some of us have used Vicks VapoRub for years for
       everything from chapped lips to sore toes and many body parts in
       between. But I've never heard of this. And don't laugh, it works 100% of
       the time, although the scientists who discovered it aren't sure why. To
       stop night time coughing in a child (or adult as we found out
       personally), put Vicks VapoRub generously on the soles of your feet,
       cover with socks, and the heavy, deep coughing will stop in about 5
       minutes and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. Works 100% of
       the time and is more effective in children than even very strong
       prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely soothing and
       comforting and they will sleep soundly

                      Just happened to tune in A.M. Radio and picked up this
       guy talking about why cough medicines in kids often do more harm than
       good, due to the chemicals in them This method of using Vicks VapoRub on
       the soles of the feet was found to be more effective than prescribed
       medicines for children at bed time. In addition it seems to have a
       soothing and calming effect on sick children who then went on to sleep
       soundly.

                      My wife tried it on herself when she had a very deep
       constant and persistent cough a few weeks ago and it worked 100%! She
       said that it felt like a warm blanket had enveloped her, coughing
       stopped in a few minutes.So she went from; every few seconds
       uncontrollable coughing, she slept cough-free for hours every night she
       used it." (found online)

*   *     *     *     *      *   *     *    *     *      *   *     *     *     *      *   *     *     *     *      *   *     *     *     *

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