Just when you need a lot of sleep to make you feel better when you’ve caught a cold you get a cough which definitely gets worse at night. Coughs can be painful and debilitating and make your stomach muscles ache with the effort. To try and get a restorative night’s sleep you need to quell the coughing, so here we offer a few tips.
One of my safeguards is to dilute a teaspoonful of honey (preferably Manuka honey) in a glass of warm water and have it by the bedside in case you start hacking in the night. If it starts as soon as you lie down it’s a good idea to prop yourself up on pillows, which means you might get at least some sleep. I always like to massage Vicks Rub into the chest area before going to sleep. It contains eucalyptus oil, but for a completely natural remedy a few drops of Eucalyptus or Olbas oil in a carrier oil (almond, calendula, etc.) has the same effect.
Steaming: You can’t beat steaming either – morning and night and even in between, but especially before you go to sleep. If you put a few drops of essential oil into a bowl of steaming hot water so much the better. Cover your head with a towel and breathe in the pungent vapours. I can recommend Olbas oil (a combination of oils), eucalyptus, tea tree, and lavender oils dissolved in water. But be careful – if they are too strong it can be quite overpowering so start with a couple of drops and add more if necessary.
Olbas Decongestant Oil, 10ml, £6.79
Absolute Aromas Organic Tea Tree Oil, 10ml, £7.58
Absolute Aromas Lavender Oil, 10ml, £11.95
Absolute Aromas Eucalyptus Globulus Oil, 10ml, £7.23
When I was a child we gargled with TCP which was horrible! Now I prefer something more natural – if you’ve got Himalayan salt crystals put a pinch in a glass of warm water. Or if you’re prepared for another strong taste a couple of drops of Tea Tree Oil in warm water works well on a sore throat/cough.
I also swear by Echinacea and A. Vogel’s Echinaforce Echinacea Throat Spray moistens your throat and can prevent coughing.
A. Vogel Echinaforce Echinacea tincture, 50ml, £10.95
A. Vogel Echinaforce Echinacea tablets, 42, £7.41
Dr Jen Tan of A. Vogel, recommends plenty of hydration with hot drinks and water, but avoiding mucus-forming milk. He also endorses lemon and honey which can be mixed together and sipped, and plenty of Vitamin C.
Thyme and pine are also cough relievers and they are included, with honey, in A. Vogel’s Bronchosan Syrup and Cough Spray.
Find out more about these products at: www.avogel.co.uk
Some other favourites:
Comvita Propolis Herbal Elixir with Manuka Honey & Propolis, 100ml, £11.99 has a soothing effect on throats.
A. Vogel Echinacea lozenges, 30g, £5.36
Potter’s Chest Mixture with Lobelia, 150ml, £6.39
Cherry Active liquid made from Montmorency cherries. Delicious and packed with Vitamin C, Concentrate, 473ml, £17.15; 30 capsules, £12.11