Coughing is a voluntary or involuntary response that allows the airway to remove a foreign object or obstruction, such as phlegm. According to the Mayo Clinic, a persistent cough is triggered by many things, including pneumonia, influenza, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, the common cold, hay fever and bronchitis. There are several ways, both natural and through the assistance of medications, to suppress a potentially spastic cough before it begins.
Take an over-the-counter cough suppressant that contains the ingredient dextromethorphan according to the package directions. These medications will help quiet your cough before it becomes out of control.
Turn on a warm-air humidifier or take a long, hot shower. The steam will help quiet the cough by soothing your irritated lungs and throat.
Pop a cough drop or piece of hard candy into your mouth. Either will increase your saliva production and help soothe a dry scratchy throat and irritating cough.
Drink hot tea, warm lemon water or warm chicken broth. All of these liquids will help soothe your throat and thin out the mucus in your airways, causing your cough to become more productive.
Sleep with your head slightly elevated. Stick an extra pillow under your head or sleep in a recliner to prevent mucus from settling in your lungs, which will make your cough worse the next morning.
Mix 1 teaspoon honey, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 cup warm water. Consume the thinned-out honey to help soothe your throat and naturally suppress your cough.
Pour 1 cup boiling water into a cup. Add 1 teaspoon dried peppermint to the mixture. Allow the peppermint to steep in the water for five minutes and then drink it. The peppermint will not only suppress your cough, it will also soothe a dry, sore throat.
Speak to a doctor if your cough persists longer than two weeks, if you are wheezing, or if you are coughing up blood or having trouble swallowing or breathing.