Why You May Want to Rethink Your Cough Drop Consumption (1:43)
The solution for your common cold doesn’t have to be an over-the-counter cough syrup or sugar-filled cough drop! These all natural and at-home solutions are just what the doctor ordered.
1. Soothe a Sore Throat With Pineapple Tea
Pineapple has numerous vitamins and minerals as well as health benefits. This tropical fruit contains bromelain, an enzyme that has anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties. Pineapple can actually help break down mucus in the body when you have a cold.
According to Internist Dr. Sandra Gelbard, adding pineapple into your tea is a great way to soothe an irritated and scratchy throat. Simply steep black tea for three to five minutes and then let pineapple pieces float in the tea for a few minutes before taking a sip.
2. Relieve Sinus Congestion With a Neti Pot
A neti pot can be an all-natural remedy for your stuffy nose. A neti pot helps to clear your sinuses of congestion brought on by the common cold. You can flush out mucus from your nasal cavity with a store-bought or homemade saline solution.
When making a homemade solution for the neti pot, make sure to use distilled or purified water to prevent infection. Tap water and most bottled water are not considered sterile and should be boiled for three to five minutes before using in a neti pot.
3. Toss Out Harmful Cough Drops
Avoid purchasing cough drops containing dyes, corn syrup, and artificial sugar. A cough drop can have up to four grams of sugar and the sugar in just three cough drops could contain as much sugar as a donut! Sugar is considered “food for bacteria,” says Dr. Gelbard: It could worsen the cough or infection in the body.
A common active ingredient in minty cough drops, methanol, could also make your cold worse. While the ingredient provides a cooling sensation to numb the throat, a recent study showed that people who took higher doses of menthol had more severe coughs as a result of irritation and mucus build-up.
While coughing is the body’s natural way of ridding the body of infection, a tablespoon or two of honey can help to soothe a sore throat and suppress your cough before bed.