With cold and flu season in full swing, many of us are plagued by a nagging cough. Some of us have dry coughs, while others have mucus-filled coughs. Some coughs keep you up all night and other coughs prevent you from finishing a sentence. Coughs are annoying, and to curb them, many of us grab an over-the-counter cough suppressant to obtain temporary relief.
Although you may find temporary relief from cough syrup, there is actually no proof that these treatments work. Shocking, right? The American Chemical Society put together a video that explained although millions of people spend countless dollars on cough syrups, the scientific evidence to support it isn’t there.
But if there isn’t much evidence that cough syrups work, then why do we feel relief? That has more to do with the inactive ingredients that make a syrup, well, syrupy. The agents that make a syrup thick can soothe the throat and relieve irritants that can lead to coughs.
So, if relieving a cough is as easy as soothing irritants, then you don’t really need a cough syrup after all. In fact, there is a much cheaper and more natural throat soother you can use.
The natural remedy we’re talking about is tea and honey.
Why We Cough
Coughing, although annoying, is your body’s defense mechanism to protect the lungs. As a means to ensure that dust, debris, and other irritants don’t enter our lungs, we cough in response. Unfortunately, sometimes our coughing can become quite intense, which is what disrupts our daily lives and even nightly sleep. It is during times like these that we look for relief.
And relief is as easy as sipping on some hot tea with honey, as it keeps your throat moist and the honey coats your throat, which can offer a soothing sensation.
If you still want to stick with cough syrup though, then just know the FDA has approved it as safe, so you don’t have to worry that you’re taking in anything harmful. Just follow the instructions as indicated and within a few days, your cough should go away on its own.
Related: Influenza (flu) vs. strep throat, differences in symptoms, causes, and treatment