- There are medications and syrups available to treat coughing, many of which have the active ingredient of antitussive. These antitussives curb the body's desire to cough all together, but sometimes a cough is so severe that a centrally targeted suppressant might be needed. These come in the form of codeine and dextromethorphan. These centrally targeted suppressants work by numbing the vagus nerve, which is the nerve that connects the chest area, where the lungs are, with the brain stem. The numbed nerve no longer can transmit the action response of coughing, thus the cough is suppressed.
- Herbal tea has long been considered one of the best forms of cough suppression. It lubricates the affected airways enough to stop the reflex cough for a period of time. When adding honey and a drop or two of lemon juice, it becomes even more effective. The lemon juice, along with the hot water, releases the medications in the tea that will sooth the throat, while the honey will coat the throat, giving it the lubrication that it lacks.
- There are some treatments available to people suffering from a dry cough that can be tried prior to going to the physician. Steaming a cough can help hydrate the dry throat and stop the cough. This can be done by taking a hot bath or shower or by simmering some water on the stove, and inhaling the resulting steam. Warm milk can also be used as a cough treatment and as a sleep aid for those suffering from insomnia. Add a tablespoon of honey into the steaming milk to further help suppress the cough before bed. Vinegar is also used to stop a cough. Mix a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink the mixed solution whenever the urge to cough presents itself. The vinegar will help sooth your throat and also reduce the inflammation. Drinking lots of water will also help lubricate the throat when a dry cough is present, but will not completely suppress the cough.