How to stop coughing spells...

United States
December 27, 2012 9:54am CST
Any ideas on how to stop coughing spells? My son is having about one or two times a day where he coughs and coughs and coughs.He finally stops when he gets too tired I think. He just goes to sleep. I cannot tell if it is his throat that is itching or what. I keep trying just about all the "medicines" (which I do not really like doing) but they do not seem to help. I spray throat spray, give inhaler, cough syrups etc.. nothing helps.. he keeps coughing... any natural remedies that might help?
5 people like this
35 responses
@Carolyn63 (1403)
• United States
27 Dec 12
You didn't mention for certain, but I think you are saying it's a dry cough? Like when you get a tickle in your throat? Don't laugh too hard, but when I get like that there are a few tricks I use. One, pickle juice. Something about the vinegar I guess, but it helps. I've also been known to get a small chocolate and let it melt in my mouth. It helps too. But a spoonful of honey, like someone else mentioned would also coat the throat like the chocolate. I do agree, you need to know what is causing them. The first blood pressure medicine the doctors put me on caused a constant tickle in my throat and we had to change meds. I mention this because some meds can cause it. But so can allergies.
• United States
27 Dec 12
He started with a cold last week and this just keeps lingering on. The coughing spells started a couple of days ago. He's only had a couple so far but they really wear him out. I think it seems like a tickle but I am not sure. It seems a little like maybe some sort of spasm too.. who knows.. I gotta keep trying stuff to keep it from happening again, or to make it stop quickly if it does happen again!
@Carolyn63 (1403)
• United States
27 Dec 12
Okay, just went through this. Sounds like he is trying to get an upper respiratory infection, or even the flu. That's what has been going around here. First thing I did was chicken noodle soup. I didn't feel well enough to make it homeade so I bought canned and added ginger, garlic and onions. I also drank lots of hot tea to which I added ginger and cinnamon. The hot tea was chamomile, which is soothing. If I'd had some horehound I'd have added it too. Elderberry syrup if you can find it. If not, it can be purchased in capsule form. Chapparel is another good herb. If it continues and becomes the flu, well, I hate to say it, but we had to have some tamiflu. My husband and I were passing it back and forth making it diffucult to get rid of. Again, let me say, people can be allergic to herbs. Just because it is natural doesn't mean it's safe for everyone.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Dec 12
You know - he may have the flu. A cold does not last this long usually! I am all for herbal remedies if possible and I do understand that it's tricky finding the right combination that works for each individual. Which is actually an advantage over traditional medicine that is a "one-size-fits-all" sort of approach! I think I may go study more about herbs...I might ought to figure out a way to get some chicken soup in his tube... he has trouble swallowing so I don't want to complicate that... thanks!!
@dollar3235 (2063)
• India
27 Dec 12
You try ginger, let him chew raw ginger (remove the coating of the ginger) slowly, it'll not taste good but it's very very effective.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Dec 12
He has a head injury and cannot chew. He eats only pureed foods so far. He can drink thin liquids though. Maybe some ginger tea? Do you think that would help any at all?
• India
28 Dec 12
If he can't chew, give him a few drops of the ginger juice, it'll not taste good but it'll take care of the coughing problem instantly. Later on you can give him ginger tea, that would certainly help.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 12
I will do that .. he's better this morning..
• United States
27 Dec 12
How old is your son? I would think you need to find out what the problem is first before trying to treat it. It might be dust, or if you have the heat on, it might be from the heat too causing a dry throat. If he has allergies, most over the counter products won't work. If you think it's from dryness or dust in the house, you can try a humidifier to add moisture into the air. Or, when he starts coughing really bad, try turning on the hot water and have him bend over the sink and breathe it in..sometimes a towel over the head will help too. This will loosen up any tightness in the chest so he can cough it up. It's hard to pinpoint without knowing what the problem is.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Dec 12
I think it started as a cold. My son in 28 but he has a traumatic brain injury so he cannot tell me if it is his throat that is itchy, or a tickle in his chest.. etc. When he first got congested last week I plugged in the humidifier so it's been going nonstop in his room for about a week now. I am just not too sure what it is now.. he also has asthma so that can be an influencing factor as well...
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Dec 12
Oh goodness, sounds like it might be time to see the doctor. It's good you plugged in the humidifier, but if it's asthma, flu, or pneumonia, it's best to get this all checked out seeing it's already a week. I don't think I'd take the chance since nothing else is working for him. I hope it's nothing major for you but please get him checked out.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 12
Herein lies the problem! He has Physicians at Home - they come when they get ready and they do not answer their phones!... ever! If he is not running a high fever they make you feel like you are stupid for calling and they basically make you feel like you should just wait until it's an emergency then take him to the ER - instead of bothering them - they almost say that!!
@MsTickle (23730)
• Australia
30 Dec 12
Mix up some honey, lemon juice, crushed paracetamol. Mix with warm/hot water and tell your son to sip it till it's gone. Other than that a throat lozenge, not a lolly but a Strepsils or similar.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jan 13
My son has a head injury and cannot use throat lozenges. But he can drink some liquids. I need to get some lemon. I have never heard of paracetamol. What is that? is it an herb or a medicine?
@MsTickle (23730)
• Australia
1 Jan 13
Perhaps you are familiar with a brand called Panadol? Paracetamol is a mild analgesic. Here is a link with some info for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paracetamol so you see, not an herb but a medicine.
• Marikina, Philippines
28 Dec 12
Herbal tea. That is what I know. Natural medicine is the herbal tea. When I got sick, I drink herbal tea and then, all is gone. When I can't stop myself coughing, the doctor advice us to drink a herbal tea mixed with honey and all is gone.
• United States
28 Dec 12
What kind of herbal tea would you suggest? There are lots of herbs that could be used, but which one is best for coughing? The doctor here will not usually suggest any herbs or teas they just like to give more and more medicines.
• Marikina, Philippines
8 Jan 13
Hmmmm... how I wish I remember. What I remember is a herbal tea that mixed with honey. The doctor told my mom and its been a long time, but there is another tea which my mom suggests to me when I have a cough. She told me to drink a Lagundi tea.
@JamesKYTan (1607)
• Malaysia
28 Dec 12
I am not sure your son is having allergy or asthma. If receive this advice from friends through emails. At night try rubbing Vicks Vapor Rub on the underside of both his feet. Then wear socks to cover the feet. Also rub Vicks on his chest and throat.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 12
I remembered to put it on his feet this morning and it seemed to really help. I have been putting it on his chest but it didn't seem to help too much - but of course once the coughing starts not much helps at all..
• Malaysia
31 Dec 12
If putting on his feet helps then you may continue to do so. This method I believe it just to give relief. I remembered once I was coughing and applied Vicks Vapor Rub on the underside of both my feet at night and cover with sock i slept soundly. I still took cough medication to heal the coughing.
@jeanena (1439)
• Bucklin, Kansas
28 Dec 12
Sounds like he has that nasty stuff that is going around here in my area in Kansas. The cough just doesn't seem to go away.My hubby coughed so hard last week he injured his ribs. We have all had it , you cough until there is just no energy left . I have C.O.P.D. so when I start I can cough for hours. I have read the other post on here and your answers the only thing that has given us any relief and rest has been a cough drop and that is out of the question for him.Have you called his Dr. about maybe getting him a good cough syrup that will give him some relief and help him rest? The breathing treatments sound like they might be opening him up so the stuff can come out.I wish I had a great remedy to give you but looks like you have gotten some pretty good ones on here. Best of luck , Hope he gets to feeling better that cough sucks.
• United States
28 Dec 12
So far the breathing treatments seem to be helping. I am really afraid he will hurt himself coughing...I'm in Oklahoma so maybe some of the good spread down here too! lol! He has some codiene that I gave him tonight - hoping we sleep!Thanks!
• Indonesia
28 Dec 12
Hope that codiene works well for your son. Hope you and your son have a good sleep too :)
@rubyroy (824)
• India
28 Dec 12
Next time your son is having a coughing fit,please try this.Keep your hands on his chest and prey by the blood of Christ,thank you for curing my son.The blood of Christ is strong enough to cure any disease so with faith if you pray,it will cure your son instantly.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 12
You know - I really do believe in God's healing power - but since He has not healed the brain injury I have wondered if He even hears when we pray - why bother Him with the small stuff if He cannot handle the big stuff?
• Indonesia
28 Dec 12
It is my belief that God always takes good care of us. We should always pray to Him and ask Him to help us find the best solution to our problem.
• United States
28 Dec 12
All I remember from those days of children with coughing spells is to run the humidifier. I forget whether it is cool mist or warm mist, though? I would take some eucalyptus and rub it on the sole of his foot. This is something that a Vietnamese pedicurist told me one time that would help a baby with croup. You might try the ol vapor rub on the chest too. Hard to guess with a cough. I take it that it is a dry cough. I think that would indicate throat and lungs rather than sinus drainage and mucuous build-up?? Wow, hope he is better soon. You probably need some sleep!
• United States
28 Dec 12
What's sleep? I put the vick's on his chest, but keep forgetting to put in on his feet - humidifier on and running..
• Indonesia
28 Dec 12
True. You have to keep fit while caring for your ill son. Rest and sleep if you need.
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
28 Dec 12
I am a senior male who has not had a cold or flue for several years.I have a secret remedy that I use when I get a sore throat or anything that could lead to a cold or flue. Many years ago I bought a bottle of cheap Mexican Tequila, and shortly after that, when I was coming down with a cold, a shot of tequila stopped my coughing. Since then I always have a bottle at hand, and it has never let me down.
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
28 Dec 12
That sounds like a very practical solution. I will try it out someday. Thanks for sharing barehugs :)
• United States
28 Dec 12
Well I may need to just go get me a bottle of Tequila then! That way I can drink it when he starts coughing so badly and I am stressed because I don't know how to help him! He has a brain injury I am afraid I would get in trouble offering it to him!
@Cutie18f (9567)
• Philippines
27 Dec 12
How old is your son? He seems to be allergic to something. Is it the food he is eating? I know someone who used to have that kind of ailment but the cough just went away on its own. I think making him take vitamin c would help.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Dec 12
My son is 28 - but he has a traumatic brain injury and so I am caring for him 24/7. I think I will add some extra vitamin C - he is better this afternoon but the coughing spells are terrible on him. I started giving him breathing treatments every 4 hours today. I have just about decided it's the flu - he has all the symptoms except high fever - it's only a low grade. Since he is handicapped it is more difficult to get over things like that ...
• Indonesia
28 Dec 12
Drinking lots of warm instead of cool water might help. To avoid unnecessary trial and error, however, consulting a doctor is a recommended option.
@eagletrek2 (2201)
• Kingston, New York
27 Dec 12
Hi this is what I use brags raw apple cider vinger With the mother in it.I use 2 tea spoons of The raw apple code and 2 tea spoons of Raw liguid honey.double check my Spelling, then go to the Bragg site and ask them about how to use for Children. Other thing that can make Coughs certain junk food some People can not eat cholate. OK have good day.
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• United States
27 Dec 12
Thank you for your input. I'll have to check that out. My son is an adult though he is 28 but he has a traumatic brain injury and that is why I am caring for him. I'll go look up the recipe! Thanks!
• Indonesia
28 Dec 12
Your son had better avoid fried and oily food too. Fried and oily food can aggravate his cough. Hope eagletrek2 recipe works well on your son.
@wuoakeyo (42)
• Tanzania
27 Dec 12
This is a very stressful situation. I am concerned that the conventional medication you have used have not worked. Sounds to me like an allergic reaction. If you have not seen a specialist, a pulmonologist, then you better do so. You could also ask for allergy test. My pulmonologist has managed to sort my throat irritation problem - perhaps similar to your son's - using an inhaler. It is now one-half a month and I feel much better.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Dec 12
I went ahead and started him on breathing treatments every 4 hours I hope that is going to help keep his airways open. He is not wheezing - but all gookey. I'll probably give him more meds tonight but I though I would let his body rest from them during the day although I need to give him some more pain meds - you know how you get so sore after all the coughing?
• Indonesia
28 Dec 12
Yes our body will get sore all over if we cough almost non stop. It's good to consult a doctor if the cough persists.
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@yoyo1198 (3645)
• United States
27 Dec 12
I know this sounds far out and unbelieveable but I'm told it really works: Rub Vicks Salve on his feet, put on dry white socks and put him to bed. Sounds like an old wives' tale, I know, but ya won't know unless you try it.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Dec 12
You know, I have actually heard that one! I usually do that when he gets a cold or his nose is stuffy. I put it on his chest last night and then again this morning - I will try to remember to rub it on his feet when I put him back in the bed this evening! Thanks for the reminder!
• Indonesia
28 Dec 12
I did that to my kid last time and it worked. On another occasion when it didn't work, I took her to a doctor to get treated.
1 person likes this
• Lubbock, Texas
27 Dec 12
You can slice some lemon, rind and all, and some ginger and put them in a small jar. Cover the lemon and ginger slices with honey. Put a lid on the jar and set in the refrigerator for a few weeks, then administer one teaspoon of the resulting liquid as a dose. This is great for allergic coughs and for coughs caused by respiratory infection, but I agree with some of the others who suggested you find the cause of the cough. It could be something serious. The lemon, ginger and honey in this remedy are all antibacterial and are all considered safe for anyone over 2 years of age, but there is always the possiblilty of allergies to one or more of these ingredients.
1 person likes this
• Lubbock, Texas
27 Dec 12
You can give honey and lemon juice in equal parts until this concoction is ready. Just give it to him in a spoon, don't try to get him to drink a lemon "toddy". My granddaughter doesn't like lemon at all, but if she starts coughing when she's at my house and I don't have her medicine, I give her lemon and honey and it stops the cough almost immediately.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Dec 12
Hm.. that sounds interesting. How long will this concoction keep in the fridge? This might be something to keep on hand all the time - especially in the winter months. I think he is just having some asthma problems related to the cold he had last week. He is not running a high fever or anything although he was running one earlier this morning. I think he worked it up coughing so much...
@LadyDD (519)
• Romania
1 Jan 13
Did you take him to a doctor? You have to find out first what the cause is and then to search for a natural remedy. It may be a symptom of another health problem. Not all coughs are the same. I had very rare cough spells at night and then I take a teaspoonful of sugar and I suck it until it melt in the mouth. When I have in the house I use honey, it's the best. I noticed my cough spells appear when I'm stressed and tired.
• United States
1 Jan 13
He is getting a little better. I did give in and take him to the doctor, he had bronchitis. He is slowly getting better, but eventually I am going to have to get some sleep! He is still coughing quite a bit but seems to be doing some better.
@surekharathi (14144)
• India
28 Dec 12
Nice discussion friend I also need the solution of this cough and omitting..My throat is itching full night and cant sleep..I also tried many medicine but not cure I am worry not understand what happened.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 12
My son is getting better - but I have been giving him breathing treatments every four hours. I think he has that tickle in his throat..and then he gets upset when he coughs and it does not go away... hope you are better soon!
@rithes (31)
• Indonesia
28 Dec 12
Hi macdingolinger, there is a natural remedy for a cough or sore throat that you can try. *For cough: Mix the water of 1/2 lemon with 1 tablespoon honey and 1 cup of warm water, stir well and then drink. *For sore throat: Mix 1 sliced lemon and 2 cloves with hot water and let be warm. Once warm add 1 teaspoon of honey, stir well and then drink. Hopefully useful.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 12
Thank you for the ideas! I may have to try these as it seems to be a common theme. I just have to figure out a way to get to the store so I can purchase some lemons.
• United States
28 Dec 12
a little honey and lemon lukewarm . not real hot but only lukewarm. also some lukewarm water with some salt mix well BUT DO NOT DRINK IT JUST GOGGLE. THE SALT TAKES THE TICKLE AWAY in the throat and sometimes the doctor will tell you this also. you do not need to do both this and the honey and lemon at that same time just one or the other or space apart. so many hours.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 12
He cannot gargle as he has a brain injury - but he can drink some honey and lemon. I have been wondering if he was just having a little tickle in his throat or in his lung when he coughs so much.
• India
28 Dec 12
Yeah...jus try this one...no harm in tis...bec it is natural....daily night give him tumeric milk...ie just add one or two teaspoon tumeric power (which we use for cooking) in milk ......tats it:)cough automatticaly go off...jus try n see the best result:)
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• United States
28 Dec 12
I had not heard of this remedy. I use tumeric in my cooking a lot so I have some on hand. Maybe I will try it - but I have heard that the milk is not good if you have asthma..