I think that bacteria/viruses in my throat need sugar and peace and quiet to multiply. I stop supplying sugar by ceasing to eat sugary food/drink. This means no cough sweets! I physically remove the bacteria/viruses from my throat by frequently eating non-sugary food. They are then being taken down to my stomach where they cause no trouble! I focus on drinking water, not abrasive teas or coffees. I find eating apples very helpful too, especially when I get woken up in the night with a tickly cough! Take an apple to bed and just reach out for it each time you wake. Now I just get a sore throat/cold and then it heals under a week, no more hacking coughs for weeks afterwards. Best wishes.