Natural Cough Relief

Many herbs can function as natural cough syrups, aiding in the elimination of mucus and phlegm from the airways.

As with many medications, herbal options trump the pharmaceuticals in this area, as well, because they lack most of the side effects (and safety concerns) associated with the drugs.

In most cases, the herbs used as expectorants are safe for anyone out of diapers — something that can't be said for OTC expectorants, which the Food and Drug Administration doesn't recommend for anyone under the age of eleven. The FDA recently announced that it's looking into the matter after a spate of accidents involving kids and cough syrup.

Herbal Expectorants

Doctors recommend using an expectorant to help rid yourself of phlegm — you use it to help along a “productive” cough. Some herbal expectorants are:

  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

  • Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

  • Before scientists developed the drugs used in today's cold and flu remedies, herbs like barberry (Berberis vulgaris), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) were the remedies of choice for fighting coughs and other cold and flu symptoms.

    Cough Suppressants

    Antitussives are agents that suppress the urge to cough, and they're used when you've got a dry, painful cough that's not producing any phlegm. Some herbal options include:

  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

  • Hops (Humulus lupulus)

  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

  • Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)

  • Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

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