If you are suffering from a persistent cough and are looking for a quick home remedy, olive oil can help reduce coughing symptoms by naturally coating your throat, increasing lubrication and reducing your urge to cough. If your cough is paired with more serious symptoms, such as nausea and dizziness, consult a doctor to get a diagnosis before consuming olive oil for your cough. While your first tablespoon of olive oil may induce an additional urge to cough, this is due to the phenols in the olive oil that have antioxidant properties, which keep the oil from going bad.
If you are suffering from a cough, consuming 1 tablespoon of olive oil can help lubricate your throat. If your child is suffering from a cough, giving her 1 teaspoon of olive oil, paired with a little sugar or flavoring to help it go down easier, will also sooth and coat the throat. In addition to its ability to act as a lubricant, olive oil is composed of the antioxidant hydroxytyrosol, helping to destroy free radicals in the body as well as boost your immune system.
Homemade Cough Syrup
Making a homemade cough syrup using olive oil will help you combat your cough as well as reduce reduce inflammation in the throat. Combine 1/4 cup lemon juice with 1/4 cup honey. Warm up 1/2 cup of olive oil, mixing the honey and lemon mixture into the olive oil while it is still warm. Consume 1 tablespoon of the natural cough syrup every two to three hours to help soothe your throat.
Olive oil can help provide relief for your cough symptoms by reducing inflammation in your throat, much the same way that ibuprofen works. According to researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, the back of your throat has receptors that recognize the anti-inflammatory agent oleocanthal, which presents itself in both olive oil and ibuprofen. If your cough is sparked by dust and dirt getting into your throat, causing the tissue to become inflamed, olive oil can help to reduce inflammation.
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While natural remedies can help reduce cough symptoms, it is important you talk to your doctor to discuss the best way to improve your health and reduce your coughing symptoms. If your cough is severe, resulting in sharp pains in your neck and throat, consult your doctor immediately to get a culture taken to see if you have a bacterial infection or something more serious than a simple cough. In addition to olive oil, over-the-counter medications can also help suppress your cough.
Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.