Persistent cough? Best remedies may be right in your kitchen cabinet

Yes, it's extremely hot outside, but don't let this summer weather fool you. A persistent cough doesn't just happen in the fall and winter, it can be a year-round event.

So we asked Pediatrician Dr. Ann Sahakian, Huntington Health Physicians-Descanso Pediatrics, what is the best way to calm a nagging cough?

She explained what a cough is. "The body is trying to clear the airway of things that are in the airway that are not supposed to be there," she said. "Whether it's phlegm or mucous, viral particles or allergens."

Sahakian treats patients with coughs every single day.

Allergies can cause post-nasal drip, which is phlegm and mucous dripping down the back of the throat and that can cause cough.

Sahakian says cough medications contain ingredients that can be dangerous for very young children and overall, they don't really work.

"There are no studies to demonstrate safety and efficacy," she said.

Sahakian said home remedies work best for coughs. Studies show honey works even better than over-the-counter cough and cold medication ingredients.

"You can take it in a spoon, 2 to 5 milliliters which is about a teaspoon. Or you can mix it with decaf tea or just warm water," she said. "No honey for children under the age of 1 because of their risk for botulism."

She also recommends a cool mist humidifier at night and a steamy, warm bath or shower.

"Saline for the nose is also very helpful because it breaks up some of the mucous and the phlegm in the nose," she said. "And for babies suctioning is very helpful. It helps clear up the nose so the baby can eat and breath more comfortably."

If you've tried all this and your cough continues to persist for many weeks, it's time to see your doctor because there might be something you don't know about causing your cough.
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