A smoker’s cough is a persistent, annoying affliction suffered by long-term smokers. Even while you’re in the process of quitting, you’ll still be bothered by that cough which is particularly irritating first thing in the morning.
So what causes smoker’s cough? Your airways are lined with tiny, hair-like cells called cilia. The job of these cells is to trap toxins in the air you inhale and move them up toward your moth where you exhale them, effectively removing them from your body. Smoking damages the cilia and paralyzes them so that they don’t function properly. This allows the nasties in the smoke you inhale to pass freely into your lungs. The resultant inflammation leads to coughing.
Try the following to ease your smoker’s cough. The beauty of home remedies is that you know exactly what’s in them (unlike your cigarettes!), and they’re cheap to make, (unlike your cigarettes!!) You may not find that they all work for you but at least one should.
1. Red pepper, apple, ginger, honey and cider vinegar
¼ tsp red pepper
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp clear honey
Combine all the ingredients with 2 tbsp of warm water and mix well to form a paste. Take 1 tsp whenever you cough.
2. Drink water
Water therapy is very effective in the battle to kick the habit and it also helps soothe your cough by lubricating your throat and keeping your body well-hydrated.
A simple and delicious throat soother is hot tea sweetened with a teaspoon of honey. The honey acts as a lubricant and soother for your tired and stressed throat.
A really good way to soothe a sore throat and help clear phlegm is to gargle with warm, salty water. This is not to everyone’s taste and I personally prefer the tea with honey option but it does work!
5. Eucalyptus and mint
Make a fragrant brew using fresh mint and eucalyptus leaves. Place a few leaves in a bowl and pour a kettle of hot (not boiling) water over them. Put a towel over your head and inhale the fragrant steam as it rises. The vapor is a brilliant decongestant and will really help ease your cough and open up your chest. If you can’t get fresh leaves, a few drops of essential oils (available from health food shops) will do the job just as well.
6. Garlic cloves
This remedy is marginally less unpleasant than the salty water gargle but not recommended if you have a hot date or a job interview the following morning.
Take two garlic cloves and crush them. Place the crushed garlic in a glass of milk. Mix well and then place in a pan and boil until the fluid reduces by 50 percent. Strain the mixture to remove the garlic and add sugar to taste. Drink this potion twice a day for a week and you should see a marked improvement in your cough.
It should be stressed that all these remedies should be used in conjunction with, not instead of, medication prescribed to you by your doctor and if your cough is chronic, painful or you find that you’re coughing up blood, consult your GP immediately.