...Since acne bacteria cannot survive (most of them) in pH below 4 or above 8 or 9(a really tough one cannot survive above 9, but most of them cannot do so at 8), it makes for apple cider vinegar and vinegar to be able to treat acne by the acidity at around 3.5 pH, while milk of magnesia is about pH of 9.4 (my own milk of magnesia I measured - but without the aluminum additives). In the same manner, a small amount of milk of magnesia applied to the skin can also relieved of allergies (they are soothing) and the reason why is the pH kill off to some extent the fungus (although ammonium chloride solution does a better job), while the COMMON additives in most milk of magnesia ALSO CONTAINS peppermint oil.
It is therefore sometimes helpful to add a little baking soda (such as 1/4 teaspoon in one glass of water to reduce SOME coughs) taken at 1/2 tablespoon at a time (assuming of course I am a child) but or even 1/4 teaspoon of milk of magnesia in 1/2 glass of water taken only 1 tablespoon or 1/2 tablespoon also kill off the bacteria/viruses by the alkalizing actions of both antibacterial magnesium, the peppermint common additives to reduce the irritations can also help coughing. The reason for the coughing are really the microbes that exists in the biofilm and excess mucus. So killing them off by alkalization or peppermint (they also kill the microbes) works to some extent.
EC: Read the rest of Ted's post here: https://www.earthclinic.com/cures/coughs_questions.html#Question_922