10 Tips To Relieve Smoker's Cough
4 min

Top 10 Tips To Relieve Smoker's Cough

4 min

Some of the best cough medicines have remained virtually the same for thousands of years. We will show you how to speed up your recovery from the dreaded smoker's cough using simple recipes and tips.

Most active smokers may have experienced smoker’s cough at one point or another. A chronic and persistent cough that lasts for two or three weeks. Irritated lungs and throat may initially be dry, but as the inflammation lingers, the body starts protecting itself by producing phlegm and sputum.

Phlegm is the thick mucus produced deep in the lungs, while sputum is the combination of phlegm and saliva that gets coughed its way through the throat and out the mouth. The body produces this to protect the cilia - tiny hair like structures in the lungs that get irritated by the carbonized toxic agents found in smoke.

If left untreated, it could lead to some serious medical problems. Fortunately for the vast majority, treatment is quite simple and effective without the need for urgent medical intervention if applied early on.

Here are our top 10 tips to speed up recovery.


Use A Vaporizer Instead Of Smoking

This is by far the best prevention method. Inhaling anything burnt is simply not good for your health. Granted, smoking industrial tobacco is far worse than weed due to all the added chemicals.

Nevertheless, when you burn plant material, you are inhaling a huge quantity of carbonised agents and introducing toxins into your body.

Using a convection heating vaporizer solves this. There is no burning at all. A vaporizer will elevate the air temperature just enough so that the cannabis sublimates into a vapor. You get all the goodies of marijuana without the toxic effects of combustion.


Drink A Powerful, Healing Tea Infusion

This is an ancient remedy that is quite efficient. Infuse some tea with lemon and honey. Grab some thyme and sage and add it in there too.

The warm water will help dissolve phlegm build-up in the throat.

Lemon is packed with vitamin C, which is one of the best antioxidants and detoxifying agents known to man. Honey is naturally antibacterial and soothes coughing by softly lining a dry or hoarse throat.

Thyme is antispasmodic, meaning it will reduce the coughing threshold. Sage is antibacterial, but also reduces inflammation. This is a great combination to have handy all day long to increase your overall water intake.


Sleep With An Elevated Head

Remember getting up in the morning and not be able to breathe through your nose as it was completely clogged up with mucus? But within a few minutes of getting out of bed, you start breathing again.

As you lie in bed, breathe and cough, mucus freely flows up into your sinus cavity. Not only do you feel horrible, but now the lungs have less mucus, leaving the cilia exposed, increasing the coughing. Your body will waste precious energy to produce even more mucus, and the healing process slows down.

A simple trick is to use another pillow. By sleeping with your head elevated, you will prevent this from happening and speed up recovery.


Eat Ginger

Ginger is considered by many to be a superfood. It can be eaten wet or dry, raw, or infused in a tea. Great for both dry and wet coughs. Ginger is diaphoretic, meaning it will increase your body temperature and stimulate sweating.

Ginger contains gingerol, a very potent anti-inflammatory. It inhibits the formation of cytokines, which are chemical messengers for the immune system.


Have A Shot Of Whiskey

Another old remedy that is known to help. A shot of whiskey, powered up by the honey-lemon duo. The whiskey, lemon, and honey mix is sometimes referred to as a Hot Toddy.

Whiskey contains alcohol, which is not usually considered a medicine - but it can work as one. It dissolves viscous mucus, relaxes the nerves, and induces sleep. It also creates a sensation of warmth in the chest. Many over-the-counter cough syrups contain alcohol for these reasons.

Just be wary not to over do it. Excess alcohol does more harm than good.


Avoid Dairy Products

Many people report that consuming dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt, worsens their cough and increases mucus production.

There is a half-truth in this.

On one side, studies have shown that dairy products do not directly produce more mucus. What happens is that the consistency of milk, yoghurt, ice-cream, or butter tends to line the throat and create a mucus-like sensation.

On the other side, the number of people with dairy sensitivity in enormous. This particular variety of food sensitivity can even lead to asthma, bronchitis, and chronic cough.

For many people, this sensitivity is so mild it goes undetected - until your body falls weak from inflammation that is. When your defence mechanisms are low, it could very well be that dairy products will have a stronger effect on your body, adding unwanted side-effects like even more coughing.

So, if you are suffering from smoker’s cough, best stay away from dairy until you fully recover.


Spice Up Your Life

As mentioned above, some herbs and spices contain several health benefits, directly or indirectly, that can help alleviate smoker’s cough symptoms and speed up recovery.

Cough drops (lozenges) for instance, date back to Ancient Egypt. They were made from honey, citrus fruits, herbs, and spices - essentially the same building blocks of modern age over-the-counter drops. These will usually also contain cayenne pepper (capsaicin), menthol, mint, and eucalyptus extracts.

Cheap humidifiers with added menthol and eucalyptus work wonders, as they help open the airways and soothe coughing. You can safely keep it going at night and it will help you tremendously in getting a good night’s sleep.

You can take deeper breaths with less effort, helping relax the body for a speedier recovery.


Have A Steam Bath

This tip is taking the humidifier suggestion to the next level. Prepare yourself a very hot steam bath and fill it with eucalyptus and mint leaves. This will create an infusion that makes for a very pleasant and healing atmosphere. As you breathe in, you will immediately feel a huge sense of relief. That warm water will heat your muscles and help blood vessels dilate, inducing a warm feeling of physical relaxation.

Eucalyptus is an expectorant, so it will help remove excess mucus. It works particularly well in treating sinusitis, as well as bronchitis and asthma. It is proven to dilate the blood vessels, permitting for more efficient oxygen uptake by the lungs.


Gargle Salt Water

Gargling salt water is an excellent remedy for a wet cough and sore throat. By gargling, you create immense vibration and turbulence, which helps clear out the mucus build-up.

It may not taste very nice, but you also don’t need to swallow it to be effective, so you can do it throughout the day as you feel the need.


Exercise And Drink More Water

By drinking more water, you are helping your body deal with inflammation better. We also expel toxins from our bodies using water, for instance by sweating (and going to the bathroom). Adding exercise, you improve your cardiovascular response, increase autoimmune response, and sweat even more.

By exercising, you also are also forced to take deeper breaths, which works the lungs and spreads phlegm more evenly - making the body produce less of it.

Water and exercise are by far two of the best things you can do for your body. Drinking more water is often underrated, but get into this habit, and you will certainly feel an all round improvement in your quality of life.

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter
With a BSc (Hons) degree in Clinical Health Sciences and a passion for growing plants, Luke Sumpter has worked as a professional journalist and writer at the intersection of cannabis and science for the past 7 years.
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