If you’ve gone out to eat recently, or perhaps to a movie, I’m sure you’ve flinched a time to two hearing a hacking cough from someone nearby.  Maybe you’re the one other people noticed?

Either way, a cough seems to be a favorite accessory this time of year.  If you’re like most Americans, you probably want to get rid of the cough.

Take a look at the “Sick” aisle at the grocery store (it’s not really a “Health” aisle, is it?) and you’ll see a nearly endless supply of pills and potions to calm your chest and soothe the ears of everyone else.  Americans love suppressing a cough, but is it such a good idea?

new study from the Annals of Family Medicine reveals that most people underestimate how long a cough should last.  Researchers from the University of Georgia analyzed research and found the average acute cough lasts 17.8 days – nearly 3 weeks!

Adults, however, expect a cough to last about a week.  According to Dr. Robert Graham from Lennox Hill Hospital in New York, adults will try several over-the-counter medications for a week before heading to their medical doctor for an antibiotic.

The problem?  Coughs are typically self-resolving (no intervention necessary) and are usually caused by viruses – therefore an antibiotic is unnecessary and dangerous. Using too many antibiotics has weakened our immune and digestive systems as well as createdantibiotic-resistant “super bugs” that are very difficult to treat.

It’s not just prescription antibiotics that pose a danger – over-the-counter cough syrups are responsible for the death of thousands of children, with the FDA urging parents not to give them to children.

We were born with an innate intelligence in our body, which continually functions to keep our body working properly.  One of those functions includes getting rid of foreign materials likes dust, dirt, germs, etc.  Sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and diarrhea are examples of ways the body acts to cleanse itself.

Coughs, while annoying to you and people around you, are something that should besupported rather than suppressed!

So, what can you do to help support your body’s innate defense mechanism?

  1. Drink warm fluids – Not only will it lubricate your throat, but the warmth will help break up mucus and aid in getting it out!
  2. Essential oil rub – Put a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a teaspoon of coconut oil and rub on your chest.
  3. Soothe your throat – Use local, raw honey in tea or by the teaspoon to soothe a throat that’s sore from coughing.
  4. Get adjusted – Your immune system and nervous system are one system.  Spinal misalignments (subluxations) that interfere with the nervous system will also lead to a less efficient immune system.  Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to boost immune system function and help people get better faster!

Put trust in your body’s innate ability to heal rather than cough syrups!