Refreshing, tasty and good for you – pineapple juice is one of the best drinks you can incorporate into your diet if you are looking to stay in top form. It's especially worth including in your weekly shop if you find yourself coming down with a cough. According to Natural News, researchers in India have found that when comparing over-the-counter cough syrups with a mixture of pineapple juice, salt, pepper and honey, the natural mixture was far more effective. Five hundred percent more effective, to be precise.
Pineapple is packed full of vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese and magnesium, among others – which boost the immune system – and a powerful enzyme called bromelain – which breaks down proteins and reduces inflammation. The 2010 study in India led to many other studies on the subject, and scientists have concluded that the reason that pineapple juice is so effective is its bromelain content, which reduces the irritation of the throat and relieves coughing.
How to create this pineapple-based cough remedy
This cough remedy is very simple to make at home by combining the following ingredients in a blender and drinking a quarter cup, three times a day:
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 piece of ginger (approximately 3 inches)
1 tablespoon raw, organic honey
1 pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Other natural remedies for coughs, colds and congestion
As reported by Doctors Health Press, there are a number of essential oils that can be used to treat those winter cold symptoms at home:
Lemon oil: One of the most effective essential oils for coughs, and made from the skin of lemons, this is a great way to ease a sore throat. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Scientists also believe that lemon oil can boost your immune system – helping to prevent you from getting coughs in the first place.
Lavender oil: Commonly available and very useful for respiratory disorders, lavender oil can relieve the symptoms of colds, coughs and sinus congestion.
Peppermint oil: Often used for its antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, peppermint oil is effective at treating coughs and respiratory infections. Its menthol components calm and soothe sore throats, whilst also thinning mucus.
Eucalyptus oil: Known for its ability to reduce inflammation, loosen mucus and improve respiratory circulation, eucalyptus oil can help reduce the symptoms of respiratory infections and coughs.
Meanwhile, according to University Health News, the following herbal remedies can also make a huge difference to your body's ability to fight off a cough:
Thyme: Thyme contains two muscle relaxant oils called thymol and carvacrol which suppress your body's urge to cough.
Licorice root: Licorice contains a compound called liquiritin apioside which is also a cough suppressant and can be used to treat coughs, mucous congestion and bronchial problems.
Zinc: Lozenges of zinc are very effective at treating coughs, and a study published in the Journal of Infectious Disease has found that it can halve the recovery time needed for people suffering with a cough from 5.36 days to 2.14 days.
Honey: Well known for its cold and flu relieving properties, a spoonful of honey can also be very effective at treating coughs. It contains antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce cough frequency and improve sleep quality.