14 Natural Home Remedies for a Productive Wet Cough

A productive cough, or wet cough, is any cough that produces mucous or phlegm.  It is always important for one to check with a trusted doctor or health practitioner if there is concern about a productive cough. However, there are some easy home remedies which can be helpful in treating a productive cough in children or adults. Continue reading

20 Ways to Fight Inflammation

WHAT IS INFLAMMATION?

Inflammation ProcessInflammation is an immune response. It is the body’s natural and automatic way to protect itself and fight off injury, infection, and disease. The body’s immune cells collect in an area of concern in the body through the blood stream.  Then the blood vessels increase blood flow at the site and it becomes warm, swollen, sometimes reddish in color.  This is experienced as discomfort, pain or tenderness.  Inflammation is a natural part of healing.  Chronic inflammation, however,  is another situation. Something has gone wrong in the body’s mechanism, resulting in continuous inflammation.

Inflammation and Chronic Disease

WHY IS CHRONIC INFLAMMATION SERIOUS?

The body is not supposed to be “overheated” for extended periods of time.  When the body is in a state of chronic inflammation, it is essentially being attacked, and slowly begins to die.  This can be a very serious situation, if neglected.  Chronic inflammation is a primary cause of all degenerative diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

WHAT ARE INFLAMMATORY DISEASES?

CPB - Chronic Pulminary BronchitisInflammation is the “itis” in all of the “itis” diseases, such as:

  • bronchitis
  • arthritis
  • tendonitis
  • bursitis
  • cephalitis
  • dermatitis
  • colitis
  • diverticulitis
  • meningitis
  • gastroenteritis
  • gingivitis
  • folliculitis
  • hepatitis
  • layringitis
  • pancreatitis
  • osteoarthritis
  • peridontitis
  • polyneuritis
  • retinitis
  • rhinitis
  • sinusitis
  • spondylitis
  • tonsilitis
  • vaginitis
  • vasculitis

and many, many more.

Inflammation DiagramWHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION?

  1. bloating & passing gas
  2. belching
  3. burning skin
  4. dark circles and bags under the eyes
  5. itchy ears and eyes
  6. diarrhea
  7. constipation
  8. cramping
  9. joint pain or stiffness
  10. muscle spasms, twitching
  11. fatigue
  12. memory problems
  13. rash, hives, acne, cysts, boils
  14. scaly, rough skin
  15. cough or sore throat
  16. stuffy nose or runny nose
  17. loss of appetite
  18. fever or chills
  19. headache
  20. puffiness, edema, water retention

TESTING FOR INFLAMMATION

If you believe that you have inflammation, you might want to get tested. The first test you should know about is called the C Reactive Protein test. There are two CRP tests:
CRP Test Results
1) The specific test that MUST BE REQUESTED to provide information about inflammation and cardiac risk, is the H.S.C.R.P. test. This is a high-sensitivity cardiac reactive protein test.

2) Another test used is the consisting of CRP and IL-6 tests and TNF (tumor necrosis factor), interleukins -1 beta and 8. If you are concerned and want accurate test results, ask your doctor specifically for these tests by the complete and full name.  Other similar tests might not provide the information you need or might be misleading.

STOPPING CHRONIC INFLAMMATION IS CRITICAL TO WELLNESS

Joint InflammationWhy is chronic inflammation so common in our society today?  There are different types of inflammation. There is the swollen, painful, visible inflammation, such as when one sprains an ankle or if one has an infected tooth or gingivitis. There also is a silent killer. This is inflammation of a different sort, inflammation deep within the cells of the body. We often do not realize this inflammation exists, as we are experiencing general flu-like symptoms of discomfort that don’t seem to disappear, therefore, many of us are unknowingly experiencing chronic inflammation and are not taking measures to stop it.

If  inflammation is diagnosed, such as in the case of arthritis, medical doctors will often prescribe a life-time of NSAIDS or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, to reduce or stop inflammation in the body. Most doctors today, combine this treatment with a change in lifestyle and diet. This is because many research studies have shown that a change in lifestyle and diet can dramatically reduce and eliminate inflammation.  Research has also shown that certain foods increase inflammation in the body such as trans fats commonly found in commercially processed packaged foods. Food additives and chemicals also increase inflammation.   Below are some supplements and lifestyle changes that have been known to be effective in stopping or reducing inflammation.  Always work carefully with your trusted health practitioner to determine which diet and healthy living plan is best for you.

20 Cures for Inflammation20 REMEDIES TO REDUCE CHRONIC INFLAMMATION

  1. zinc
  2. fresh fish and fish oil
  3. vitamin D
  4. probiotics
  5. organic, no GMO foods
  6. allergen-free diet
  7. limit oils to only coconut or palm oil
  8. no trans fats
  9. exercise regularly
  10. yoga and deep breathing
  11. meditation
  12. biofeedback
  13. massage
  14. no microwave
  15. basic greens
  16. omega-3 fatty acids
  17. spices – ginger, rosemary, turmeric, oregano
  18. no refined sugars
  19. antioxidants
  20. electrolyzed water

RESOURCES
Inflammation Research Foundation

From Fat to Chronic Inflammation

Chronic Inflammation and Late-Life Decline 

Chronic Inflammation – International Wellness Directory

_______________________________________

Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart,  M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University.
 Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.”  She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3  nonprofit health and wellness education organization.  For more information about  the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.


Disclaimer:  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

Natural Cough Suppressants

Natural Cough Suppressants

This is the season for coughs and sniffles. Healthy alternatives to relieving a cough can be found in nature.

This is the time of year when many people overindulge and overwork. Stress and improper diet can wear on the body and lead to fatigue and disease.  Coughing is the body’s way of telling us it is stressed and in need of care.

WHY TRY NATURAL COUGH SUPPRESSANTS?
In 2007, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel declared that cough medicines for children can be potentially harmful, and recommended that many of these products be banned. As an alternative, it was recommended that something as simple as a spoonful of honey or even a small cup of herb-flavored water, be given to children with persistent cough, which has few side effects and seems to be effective. Here are a few cough suppressants which have been known to be helpful for many years. When preparing these natural cough remedies, remember that organic foods and herbs which have not been genetically modified or treated with toxic pesticides are generally always best and most healthy for the body.

Of course, always consult with your family physician, trusted healthcare provider, allergist, or nutritionist before trying new foods that your body is not accustomed to eating, and to determine the reason for your cough.

WHAT ARE SOME EFFECTIVE NATURAL COUGH SUPPRESSANTS?
Cherry bark
Cherry bark has been a very important key ingredient in herbal cough syrups for many years. Cherokee and Iroquis native American Indians introduced cherry bark to colonists and settlers. Cherry bark is a good expectorant and treatment for dry coughs and throat irritations. Wild cherry bark contains prunasin which can be toxic if used unsafely, but when taken in tea or cough syrup form, it safe. It also contains natural cyanide (as do many other foods that contains pits), but cyanide poisoning is very unlikely since one would have to ingest very large doses of cherry bark.  You can make your own natural cherry bark syrup by boiling cherry bark with water, honey, and licorice root and allowing it to cool to form a soothing cough syrup, or by drinking as a hot tea.

Marshmallow Marshmallow is not just the white spongy,  confection that people in the United States put in their hot chocolate or roast at a campfire.  It is an herb, Althaea officinalis, a plant with short leaves and small pale white and pink flowers. The plant has been used for more than 2,000 years. The confectionery food treat by the same name, does not contain any of the herb and is not considered medicinal or effective in treating cough symptoms. According to the American Botanical Council, recent animal and human studies have found marshmallow root to be effective in treating coughs, when used alone and also combined with other herbs. Marshmallow root can be used as a tea, by adding 1-2 teaspoons of dried root to a cup of hot water and drinking several times a day.

HoneyHoney has been widely used for many years as a natural remedy for cough because of its  anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Choose pure, organic honey. For cough relief, try swallowing one tablespoon of honey.  If an adult or child has difficulty swallowing pure honey, it can added or mixed with warm or hot water, or tea, or with herbs and spices.  Honey helps coat the throat to ease soreness as a result of excessive coughing. The honey flavored tea and water helps to break up the mucous in the throat and soothe the irritation. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,  honey may be useful in relieving coughing, but it should never be given to children under a year of age because in rare cases it can cause infantile botulism.

GingerGinger root, the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, is one of the most renowned natural remedies for cough. The key part of the ginger root is thought to be the volatile oils and phenol compounds gingerols and shogaols. Ginger has been well researched and many of its traditional uses confirmed by scientific studies. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and also is an effective aid in digestion. Ginger tea and ginger drinks can be found in most health food stores. Fresh ginger is best and most powerful.

  • Wash the root thoroughly in clean water, and slice a piece of ginger from the root.
  • To stop a persistent cough, apply the slice fresh ginger in your mouth whenever coughing occurs.
  • Chew the sliced ginger until your cough has stopped. You can also make ginger tea by adding chopped slices of ginger root to boiling water, steeping, and serving.

ElderberriesElderberries, Sambucus nigra are known for their antioxidant activity, in treatment of coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsilitis. Bioflavonoids and proteins in the juice fight cold and flu virus infections.  In 1995, it is reported that Elderberry juice was used to control a flu epidemic in Panama.  The berries are fully digestible when fully ripe but are mildly poisonous when eaten unripe. Elderberry plant is traditionally used as a medicinal plant by many people worldwide. 

  • Stem, bark, leaves, flowers, fruits, and root extracts can each be used to treat bronchitis, cough, upper respiratory cold infections, and fever.
  •  The dried flowers can be simmered for 15 minutes, and the tea can be poured through a coffee filter before drinking.
  • All parts of the plant can be poisonous if not eaten safely.

Mullien
Mullein
, “donkey’s ears” or Verbascum thapsus, an herb found throughout the United States, is a woolly-leafed biennial plant with yellow flowers. It has expectorant and cough suppressant properties and has been widely accepted by many around the world, as a useful and favorite herbal remedy for treating sore throat and cough symptoms.  It is primarily used to treat respiratory disorders such as asthma, coughs, tuberculosis, and related respiratory problems.

  • Mullein tea can be made by pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 – 2 teaspoons of dried mullein flowers and leaves.
  • Cover and steep for 10 – 15 minutes..
  • The tea can be filtered through a very fine sieve or coffee filter, to remove the fine hairs which irritate the throat.
  • A cough syrup can be make by boiling mullein, honey or sugar and water and allowing it to thicken and cool.

Ivy Leaf ExtractIvy Leaf extract (Hedera Helix), not as well-known as the others, has been found to be very effective in easing cough and upper respiratory problems. English ivy leaves seem to be able to break up chest congestion and relieve muscle spasms, and to help breathing in adults and children with chronic bronchitis. Cough Syrup with ivy leaf offers dependable help with the excessive formation of thick mucus and coughs associated with chronic broncitis, asthmas, tuberculosis, pneumonia and other upper respiratory disorders.  Hofmann, Hecker, and Volp (2003) concluded, “The trials included in this review indicate that ivy leaf extract preparations have effects with respect to an improvement of respiratory functions of children with chronic bronchial asthma, but more far-reaching conclusions can hardly be drawn because of a meagre database, including the fact that only one primary trial included a placebo control. Further research, particularly into the long-term efficacy of the herbal extract, is needed.


RESOURCES

Bukutu C, et al. Complementary, holistic, and integrative medicine: The common cold. Pediatrics in Review. 2008;29:e66.

Paul IM, et al. Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2007;161:1140.

Hofmann D, Hecker M, Volp A, Efficacy of dry extract of ivy leaves in children with bronchial asthma–a review of randomized controlled trials. Phytomedicine. 2003 Mar;10(2-3):213-20.

Holzinger F, and Chenot J-F, Systematic Review of Clinical Trials Assessing the Effectiveness of Ivy Leaf (Hedera Helix) for Acute Upper Respiratory Tract Infections, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 382789, 9 pages

Liu W, Jiang H, and Mao B, Chinese Herbal Medicine for Postinfectious Cough: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials, Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine, Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 906765. PMC385334810 Published online Nov 20, 2013. doi: 10.1155/2013/906765

Shadkam MN, et al. A comparison of the effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and diphenhydramine on nightly cough and sleep quality in children and their parents. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2010;16:787.

 

_______________________________

Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart,  M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University.  Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.”  She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3  nonprofit health and wellness education organization.  For more information about  the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.


Disclaimer:
 The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.