One of the most common reasons that people go to their physician is due to a dry cough; cough is not actually a condition but the symptom of a condition and it can be particularly annoying because it is a symptom that can linger on long after a cold (which is its most common cause) is long gone. If you are suffering from a dry cough, which is defined as a cough that is non-productive and does not bring up any mucus or other secretions, there are several good remedies available, ranging from strong narcotics that require a prescription to strange home remedies that can be found in your kitchen pantry.
The strongest traditional medication available as a dry cough remedy is codeine – this is a prescription narcotic that actually blocks the body’s cough reflex. Because the cough is the body’s natural way of expelling something that doesn’t belong in the airway, it is important to make sure that there is no serious illness present that the use of codeine would mask. Another popular cough suppressant is dextromethorphan, which is a common ingredient in over the counter cough and cold medications that can be purchased at any pharmacy.
Other cough remedies that can be purchased at the local drug store or supermarket are cough lozenges or cough drops. The medication that they contain is very mild, and the real benefit of these is similar to consuming any kind of candy; it soothes and coats the throat, and stimulates saliva so that the throat is also less dry. Hot tea with a spoonful of honey is also very helpful at relieving a tickle in the throat that results in a dry cough; it is also very soothing.
Many people are fans of home remedies, some of which may sound strange but are reputed to be effective. Turmeric is an herb that has natural antiseptic properties, and is said to calm the cough, especially if combined with a spoonful of honey. Many of the home remedies involve honey, including drinking grape juice with honey, fresh ginger with honey, and soaking almonds overnight in water, then grinding them and mixing them with honey. Some of the stranger home remedies are sucking on black peppercorns and gargling with spinach juice. Many physicians actually recommend a gargle of warm water with salt to hydrate the throat and eliminate a dry cough.