Is there a natural alternative to Nyquil™?
Natural Cough Relief
by Dollar Stretcher Contributors
Inexpensive Home Remedies to See You Through the Cold Season
Preparing for Cold Season
Natural Chest Congestion Remedies
Editor's note: The following suggestions are not meant to replace your doctor. Saving money should never be more important than your health.
Natural Cough Relief
Is there a natural alternative to Nyquil™? My family has been fighting colds all winter. Every night, it seems like one of us has a coughing spell. I hate using over-the-counter cough relief medicines with their nasty ingredients. Are there any natural alternatives to them? I'd love to find something with natural ingredients that could give my family some cough relief.
It's Take "Thyme" To Get Better
We went through colds with coughing fits last winter, and I am not a big fan of cough syrups either. We found a remedy that has changed our cold care forever! Boil water and pour about one cup of it over one teaspoon of dried thyme. I use a Pyrex measuring cup for steeping. Let it steep for 10 minutes and then strain out the thyme. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw honey. Drink this right before going to bed. Apply Vicks® VapoRub™ on the chest and sleep tight!
Past Remedy Helps Current Problem
When I was a little girl, I had a really nasty cough that my mother could not seem to get rid of no matter what she tried. My grandfather went to the river and peeled the tender bark off of a sycamore tree (not the rough bark). He put it in a saucepan, covered it with water, and brought it to a boil. He kept it at a simmer/boil for one hour and then took it off the heat. After pouring it through a strainer to remove the bark, he used a quart jar to store it in. I do this now. I sweeten it with brown sugar to taste, use it warm or cold, and drink it like regular tea in moderation. Kids really like the taste. I have used this for my children and grandchildren. After they drink it up, it quiets their cough.
Honey Suppresses Coughs Naturally
Honey is a great natural cough suppressant. It's better if the honey is dark and thick. Also, grapefruit juice works well. I would suggest juicing grapefruits yourself to make sure you are getting natural sugar and nothing is being added to the juice.
Works Wonders for Us!
I make thyme tea when we have a cough. Even my girls who are six and four drink it. They know it works much better than the OTC cough medicine! Just steep one teaspoon of dried thyme (or one tablespoon of fresh thyme) in eight ounces of hot water for three to five minutes. Remove the thyme leaves and then add in one tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1/8 teaspoon each of ground turmeric and ground ginger.
Really? On the Feet?
It is so simple. When you go to bed at night, put a thin layer of Vicks® VapoRub™ on the soles of your feet and then put on a pair of socks. This works so good that for years, I have had a small tin of Vicks® on the headboard, so if I start a cough in the night, I can just reach up and find it. I have used it in the daytime as well, but at night, it seems to really help for 24 hours. My friends that have tried this have also been astounded at how well it works.
Change the Temperature
Cough relief is as close as a jar of honey. Keep it by your bed if needed. Take a spoonful and it will soothe the cough. This is not for kids under age two.
In addition to honey, an abrupt change in temperature will often quell the cough spasm. If it's warm, open the freezer door and inhale deeply. If it's cold, put on a kettle and "tent" a towel over your head to inhale the steam. If it's winter, it may be as easy as opening the front door to step outside for a moment.
I have five asthmatics, and they cough the roof off sometimes. Honey is miraculous.
JD in St. Louis
Consider Trying Herbs
You might want to look into some herbs. My favorite herb for a cough is California Poppy. It is a mild calming herb and will stop a cough for me when nothing else will. I have more success with it than I do with prescription cough mixtures.
For more cold relief, you might want to try elderberry and umckaloabo root.
You can use tablets, teas, or extracts. I am fond of extracts. I am not a certified herbalist. I am just speaking from experience. Information on these and other herbs for colds is on the internet, and you might want to read some of the information before you use them.
Homemade Elderberry Syrup as a Preventative
We like to use coltsfoot tea to help stop coughs and also congestion. I buy the loose powder kind and add a couple tablespoons to boiling water, steep, and then add honey to taste. Honey and lemon also help us. Besides the tea, we take tablespoons of honey with a squeeze of lemon when we are sick. This year, we have taken a more preventative approach and have been taking a tablespoon of homemade elderberry syrup. It's very easy to make yourself and much cheaper than buying it premade. A bag of dried elderberries lasts a long time. As a bonus, we have even found the syrup eliminated my husband's seasonal allergies!
Honey and Lemon Do the Trick
We use a spoonful of honey and some lemon juice in a cup of hot water like tea. A bit of ginger is good if you have it. The doctor who diagnosed my son's strep throat said it was as good as or better than anything on the store shelves with no chance of overmedicating. We always have the ingredients on hand, so we haven't used anything else in several years now.
Linger Over This Tea
This recipe is excellent for sore throats and congestion as well as coughs. In a cup of hot tea (herbal preferably), add one teaspoon of honey and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Linger over drinking the tea by inhaling the warm fumes as this will add moisture to your respiratory system. We use the organic non-refined apple cider vinegar (found at Trader Joe's but many grocery stores now carry this item). You can tweak the amount of honey and vinegar to taste.
Cheap as Dirt Remedy
Try peppermint tea mixed with a little cayenne or bird pepper for cough relief. It's a natural expectorant and cheap as dirt if you grow your own. Do not use in children under two. Slippery elm tea can be used on younger children, but it only soothes the throat and is not an expectorant.
Only for Adults
Here is the recipe my family has used for many, many years. We do not, however, use this with children (for obvious reasons).
Empty a bag of peppermint candy (unwrapped) into a blender and pour in enough whiskey/bourbon to just cover the candy. Blend until liquefied and keep in sealed glass jar. When the need arises, two tablespoons does the job beautiful.
Sue in San Antonio
Buy a pack of dates from any grocery store. Eat five to six pieces before going to bed followed by a glass of warm water. Continue every night and you will be happily surprised to be rid of cough forever in probably a week's time.
Kick the Cough with Cayenne
My husband tried all sorts of prescriptions and OTC remedies and then we saw this tip and it worked like a miracle and stopped his cough (allergy) almost instantly. We had tried the honey and lemon juice before, and it helped but never like this. It is the cayenne that seems to make it work so well. Mix together two tablespoons of honey, two tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper.
Run a Humidifier
A spoonful of honey might help. Also, make sure to have a humidifier to keep the heat from drying out the air in the winter. Steam from the shower can calm a cough and add extra needed humidity to the air. Be well!
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