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How to Stop a Cough in 5 Minutes

A nagging and persistent cough can really be annoying especially during the night when you are desperately seeking sleep. Or perhaps you are at the office and the coughing is not only disrupting your daily work activities but those around you as well. Coughing can be related to many things and if it continues for more than a week, it is time to call the doctor to schedule an appointment. However, there are a few tips and tricks to stop a cough in five minutes or less 1.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Drink a full 8-ounce glass of water and keep the water on hand to drink. This will lubricate the throat frequently and keep mucus from forming. The coughing should stop within five minutes.

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Elevate your pillow if the coughing is worse at night. You may even want to consider placing a couple of hardback books underneath the mattress to elevate it as well. Sometimes laying on your side may help stop a cough 1.

Take a hot, steamy shower for five minutes. Breathing in the steam may help keep the throat damp and will stop that annoying hacking cough 1.

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Rub Vicks Vapor rub on the soles of your feet and cover with socks. This is an old farmer's tale but is sure to stop a cough in five minutes 1. Repeat the process if coughing persists and the rub absorbs into the socks.

Eat spicy foods such as a bowl of hot chili or a plate of chips and salsa. Spicy foods break up mucus, open airways and will stop a cough 1.

Drink a cup of hot tea or make a bowl of steaming chicken soup. Hot liquids can open up airways and moisturize a scratchy, dry throat in five minutes.


See a doctor if the cough is associated with a fever.