22 Proven Natural Home Remedies for Persistent & Dry Coughs
Why use Home Remedies for Cough?
The hype for home made remedies to treat natural ailments such as a cough has been known for some time now. Seriously! Would you have ever thought about treating dry and wet cough with the ingredients you may have in the cupboard? Perhaps you’ve never been made aware of home remedies being the time savers and they not only are good at healing that stubborn cough but they also heal the cough ailment from the root. In this article, I'm going to talk about various proven home remedies for cough.
Let’s face the fact!!! Times are changing. Natural cure for a cough comes under Alternative Medicine or Complementary Medicine. In one of the research studies, it is clearly indicated that the use of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has increased in years. Herbal remedies are stated to be evident based according to the research conducted .
It is also stated that many general practitioners use Alternative Medicine in their practice. Keeping in mind the usefulness of Alternative Medicine; this article aims to highlight the home remedies for dry cough and wet cough so you don’t have to run to a physician all the time.
Dry and Wet Cough Explained
A dry cough doesn’t produce sputum or phlegm. A dry cough causes a tickling sensation in the throat and you may feel a lump in the throat. A dry cough can be caused due to allergies or being exposed to irritants, smoke, pollution, mild sinusitis or viral infections.
It is also indicated that a dry cough can be caused due to stress as the breathing becomes shallower and this triggers a cough .
A wet cough, on the other hand, is caused due to the production of phlegm and sputum. It is said that initially, cough starts off dry and slowly it can progress to produce phlegm and sputum, thus initiating the process of wet cough .
Now to the home remedies for treating both the dry and wet cough, it is stated by Ainsley Thomas the author of ‘Home Remedies better than Cough Medicines’ that home remedies are as effective or may be more effective than the contemporary medicines. Traditional medicines are said to delay the process of recovery in case of chest infections .
Over the years there has been comprehensive data collected on different home remedies for a cough. The article will further outline some of the unique natural treatments for cough. The natural cough remedies mentioned in the article are researched and evidence based.
1. Home Remedy - Turmeric
Turmeric is the most common spice known for its antiseptic properties. A review on turmeric as a spice to heal a cough was investigated. It is termed as ‘Golden Spice’. The plant is billions of years old. It hales from Zingiberaceae family. However, it is also rich in volatile oils and curcumin which have therapeutic action and protect against a cough.
Curcuminoids such as bisdemethoxycurcumin, diferuloylmethane, and desmethoxycurcumin are present in turmeric. These main compounds help with chest congestion, therefore, giving instant relief to a chronic cough caused .
It is stated that Turmeric is treated for many respiratory conditions such as bronchial hyperactivity, asthma, and other disorders. Studies have evidently proved his existence and efficiency continuously. Turmeric is one of the best cough medicine and is said to be more effective than the modern medicine due to its antioxidant enzymes 
There are different ways to use turmeric for cough treatment however, the most common method is explained below:
- 1 Cup of Milk
- ½ Tablespoon of Turmeric powder
Boil the mixture till its diluted well with each other. You are supposed to take this mixture twice a day .
2. Home Remedy - Black Pepper
Pepper is one of the most important spices which is always stalked in your kitchen cupboard. Pepper works wonders when it comes to treating cough. Pepper is stated by research as one of the spices that dilate the blood vessels, reduces congestion and clears mucus . Adults can chew couple or three peppercorns. For Children, the following recipe works best.
- 6 Black Pepper crushed
- 1 teaspoon of Honey
- A pinch of Ginger juice
Mix all the ingredients together; you can give 5 ml of this cough syrup to children below 5 years of age. Children above 5 years of age can take 10 ml of this cough syrup.(This recipe can be alternated by using milk as well if you decide to use milk then make sure you take this as a drink one hour before bedtime).
This is for one-time use only if you are interested in stocking this natural cough syrup; make sure that you take the said measures of the ingredients in larger quantity.
Honey is going to be one of the common ingredients that are used with multiple other ingredients to heal a cough. In an investigative study conducted by Ran D. Goldman ‘Honey for treatment of a cough in children’, it was said that honey helps in reducing the secretion of a cough and aids cough in children. Goldman (2011) suggests one more effective recipe using honey especially for children who suffer from a stubborn cough .
3. Home Remedy - Buckwheat Honey for Cough (for Children below 9 years)
Buckwheat honey has many uses including that it is gluten free, it has a brownish tone and it almost tastes like chocolate. It has three times more of Iron, 8 times of Potassium and 13 times more the Manganese.
Additionally according to the research when compared the single dose of buckwheat honey to the contemporary medicine, it was proven that buckwheat honey or dextromethorphan reduced the frequency of a cough and restored upper respiratory tract imbalances caused due to a cough. Buckwheat honey also was studied to provide good night sleep to those suffering from respiratory problems . Buckwheat honey, therefore, has more effect than the normal honey.
- One cup of Milk
- 4 Teaspoons of Buckwheat honey
Mix the buckwheat honey in the warm milk and consume it every day twice (Morning and Evening) before the cough recedes .
4. Home Remedy - Peppermint Leaves for Cough
Maryland Medical Center conducted a detailed research on peppermint to play a crucial role of a decongestant. Peppermint consist menthol which loosens the phlegm in lungs, therefore it allows soothing of the coughing sensation.
Furthermore, Pepper mint ‘Mentha Piperita’ is known for its numbing and calming effect. Peppermint is known for its active agent ‘menthol’ which acts as an effective decongestant. Menthol thins mucus; it is an effective expectorant; it loosens phlegm and soothes coughs . It also helps additionally in soothing the itching throat. It is used mainly to treat a dry cough. The recipe for the peppermint is as follows:
- Six Peppermint leaves crushed
- Buckwheat or Normal Honey (1 spoon for one-time use)
You can add the crushed leaves to one spoon of buckwheat honey and this can be given at one time to soothe the coughing sensation.
Additionally, you can be creative and create lozenges using honey and peppermint leaves. The proportion can be adjusted as per the need; you only need to make sure that peppermint is always a little more in the proportion than honey .
5. Home Remedy - Garlic for Cough
Garlic is one of the most important ingredients that can be missed as well. It is effective to heal asthma and cough. A study conducted by Leyla Bayan, Peir Hossain Koulivand and Ali Gorji discussed the therapeutic uses of garlic in treating cough and other diseases.
Garlic scientific term is ‘Allium Sativum L’ has crucial compounds that aid and treat respiratory disorders and chronic cough. Several experiments have proven Garlic as one of the most effective plants that cure many physical ailments . Garlic has antimicrobial effects which eradicate the traces of cough and asthma.
- Three cloves of Garlic
- 1 cup of Milk
Boil three cloves of garlic with milk. This mixture is supposed to be consumed every night till you find relief from cough or asthma. If a cough progresses to asthmatic attacks, then 1 pod of garlic should be macerated and boiled in 120 ml of pure malt-vinegar.
The mixture has to be strained and stored in a sterilized bottle. Please take 1 teaspoon for children below 6 years of age, and 2 teaspoons for adults with one-three fenugreek seeds every evening before bed time .
6. Home Remedy - Basil Leaves
Basil leaves are also known as Tulsi leaves ‘Ocimum Sanctum; consists of healing properties which act as a suppressant for cough. Tulsi is known to found as a protective agent for the organs and tissues from industrial pollutants, chemical stress and heavy metals. It is continuously been studied for its effective function and antimicrobial activity which offers solutions to the wet and dry cough.
Tulsi is understood to be one of the plants that have answers to most modern health problems . Tulsi has a holistic approach to healing; it maintains the balance or equilibrium to surpass the medicine effect to the patient. It is equally known for its both spiritual and medicinal properties . In order to use Tulsi leaves for the treatment of cough you need the following
- Handful of Tulsi leaves
- ½ liter of water
Boil the leaves with water till only half of the water remains. Drain the leaves and add honey and ginger to the mixture. This mixture gives immediate relief from cough and cold and it promotes good sleep .
7. Home Remedy - Bitter Gourd
Who would have known that bitter gourd can be used to get cough relief. According to the Ayurveda research, it is stated that Bitter Gourd acts as a cough suppressant. The Ayurvedic word for it is ‘Kasa’. Bitter Gourd contains anti-viral and antibiotic properties that can treat a persistent cough.
A teaspoon of bitter gourd for children and two teaspoons of bitter gourd juice for adults can relieve their chest congestion and the irritation caused by the cough .
The recipe for the syrup is as follows:
- 1 tsp Bitter gourd root paste
- 1 tsp Honey or Basil juice
Mix the two and have it every night for a month to find relief from any kind of respiratory disorders which include Asthma, rhinitis, pharyngitis and severe cough .
8. Home Remedy - Ginger for Cough
Use of Ginger to beat the cough and cold is not a new concept. We have always known the amazing properties of ginger root in healing ailments. Ginger is used exclusively in Alternative treatment. It contains bioactive components such as rhizomes and oleoresin which helps in treatment of different diseases including a stubborn cough.
Ginger root is considered as a therapeutic plan as it contains pharmacological, chemical and medicinal properties that have been reviewed for its efficacy .
The following mixture can be prepared for the treatment of cough
- 1 tsp of Honey
- 1 tsp of Ginger Juice
This mixture should be consumed three to four times daily to relieve cough. Additionally, 1 cup of fenugreek (decoction) with half a pinch of honey and 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger juice can also act as a great expectorant .
9. Home Remedy - Onion for Cough
Interestingly Onion is a multi-purpose vegetable. According to the research study conducted it is stated that Onion ‘Allium Cepa’ is valued for its therapeutic uses. Onion contains flavonoid quercetin. Onion bulb contains anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, diuretic, expectorant, antispasmodic, hypotensive properties . Therefore, there is no doubt that onion is a medicinal herb which has been used for years by traditional Ayurvedic practitioners and Alternative Medicine practices for its use as a cough expectorant.
To make the cough syrup you need:
- 1 cup of Onion Juice
- 1 cup of Honey Juice
Mix the two and store it in the sterilized bottle and this mixture of 3-4 teaspoon should be consumed daily. The Scientific explanation for the Onion states that it liquefies the phlegm and thus prevents chest congestion .
10. Cough Home Remedy - Spinach
Source: Jason Bachman
It is not surprising to know that Spinach can also be effective in healing the cough. You probably are hearing this for the first time. Well!!! It’s great that you get to know something new after coming so far in the article. The reason why spinach is considered as a suppressant is because of its nutritional value. Spinach is rich in Iron, Magnesium, Proteins, and Minerals .
To prepare the cough expectorant from spinach you need:
- 1 cup of Fresh Spinach leaves
- 2 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds
- Pinch of Ammonium chloride
- Pinch of Honey
Mix all the ingredients and store this cough expectorant in a sterilized bottle. It is recommended that 10 ml of mixture need to be taken at all three times (Morning, Noon, and Evening). It is stated that this expectorant is supposed to be more effective than any other tonics .
11. Remedy for Dry cough - Coconut
Did you know that coconut too can be used for the treatment of a cough? Again, isn’t it amazing that nature is a self-healer and the creation provides us the way to create our own home remedies? Coconut hails from ‘Cocos Nucifera’ that is the palm family. It has a long history of being used as medicine and food. It has antiviral attributes that help in treating the cough.
Coconut deactivates the antiviral action and helps in restoring the health system . It is one of the best dry cough remedies which can be caused either due to continuous smoking or due to the irritation in the throat .
In order to make cough mixture you need:
- 100 grams of Buckwheat Honey
- 100 ml of Coconut oil
- Pinch of Cinnamon
Coconut oil is whipped continuously till it becomes frothy. Honey has to be added to the whisked coconut oil to combine it as a homogenous mixture. At the end, a pinch of cinnamon is added. This mixture is poured into the ice tray and frozen for twenty minutes.
After twenty minutes the sweets are taken of the ice tray and stored in the Jar. The candies are to be stored in a refrigerator .
12. Home Remedy - Sage Leaves for Cough
Sage is also known as ‘Salvia’, it is one of the commonly used medicines for inflammation, bacterial infection, and angiogenesis and is also used as an agent to heal cough . It is also a common spice that is found in the kitchen cupboard. Sage is similar to peppermint. It works effectively to heal throat infection. It is recommended by Ayurvedic physicians and has got some proven benefits for cough.
To create sage cough mixture you need the following:
- 1 Full cup of Sage leaves
- ½ liter of Water
Let the ½ liter water be boiled and add sage leaves to it. Let it cool for some time, and add a little honey and vinegar. This mixture will clear the throat infection!!! You can take 1 teaspoon of the mixture daily or you can even use it to gargle in the morning empty stomach .
13. Home Remedy - Fennel Seeds
Source: Ted Rabbitts
Fennel seeds are beneficial and effective to heal the stubborn dry or wet cough. A research study conducted on all the natural cough remedies used Fennel seeds as one of the most effective remedies that can be used to clear breathing problems, irritation of blockages, clearing phlegm etc . Fennel seeds have multiple purpose use as well. However, in order to create a nice cough mixture from fennel seeds you need:
- 1 teaspoon of crushed Fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon of Honey
- Pinch of Ginger Juice
This mixture can be taken three times a day. It proves to stop the throat irritation, and it relieves the cough .
14. Home Remedy - Cardamom for Cough
Cardamom is a delicious spice which is almost used in every other cooking dish. The taste of cardamom is just ‘Yum’ if eaten by itself. However for the recommendation or treatment of cough, gargling with an infusion of cinnamon and cardamom can help cure a sore throat, hoarseness, pharyngitis and also give relief from the cough upheaval.
It is recommended to gargle twice a day daily with this mixture .
15. Home Remedy - Betel Leaves for Cough
Strangely ‘Betel Leaves’ are considered to be used to get relief from congested breathing and dry and wet coughs. However, according to the studies ‘Betel Leaves’ are supposed to contain a lot of healing properties. Studies have stated that betel leaves contain ‘Phenol’ which is an essential oil it is also named as ‘chavicol’ which has antiseptic properties. The method of consuming betel leaves for instant relief can be followed below:
- 3-4 tsp of Mustard oil
- Crushed Betel leaves
Betel leaves are supposed to be soaked in the mustard oil. This mixture needs to be applied on the chest to get relief from cough and chest congestion .
16. Home Remedy for Cough - Thyme Leaves
Thyme is one of the most beneficial herbs that is used to heal respiratory illnesses. The studies conducted on Thyme state that the essence of thyme leaves mixed with ivy can generously provide relief from coughing. Thyme leaves are also known for their healing from bronchitis. Thyme leaves contain flavonoids that apparently relax the throat muscles which are strained while coughing and additionally it reduces the inflammation caused due to coughing .
- 2 teaspoons of crushed Thyme leaves
- 1 cup of Boiling water
Boil thyme leaves in the water for around ten minutes, after the flavor of thyme leaves is completely diluted with the water, then strain the mixture and drink it at one time. This mixture can be taken in the morning and in the night before going to bed .
17. Home Remedy - Marshmallow for Cough
Have you heard of Marshmallows being used to suppress coughs? I don’t think you probably have heard this before. Marshmallow comes from ‘Althaea Officinalis’ (perennial) that usually flowers in the summer season. It is indicated that since the ancient times the roots and leaves of the herbs have been used to treat a sore throat and provide relief from coughs .
Marshmallow contains (mucilage) which soothes the irritation of the throat that causes cough. There is no method of how you can consume marshmallow. It can be consumed in tea form. Therefore, adults can have marshmallow warm tea to soothe the throat and suppress an irritating cough. For some reason, this remedy is not advisable for children .
18. Home Remedy - Bromelain for Cough
Here is the other surprising remedy to suppress cough. Bromelain is an enzyme that is only found in the steam of pineapples. No one can think of having a pineapple while suffering cough. In contrary, we would hesitate to even try pineapple as a remedial for cough.
The research study states that Bromelain, an enzyme in the pineapple stem helps not only in suppressing coughs but also it helps in loosening the mucus in the throat. Bromelain is also studied to relieve allergy based sinusitis, which again contributes to mucus and coughs .
19. Home Remedy for Dry Cough - Jaggery
There is no doubt that ‘Jaggery’ is one of the important food products in Indian Cuisine. Well again, if you did not know, Jaggery contains ‘antioxidant ’ properties which promote the strong immune system. Jaggery also contains phosphorous, calcium and potassium. It is said that taking 15 grams of crushed jaggery helps in treating cough. This remedy is especially known to work for a dry cough .
After eating the crushed jaggery, it is recommended that no other fluid as to be taken for at least twenty minutes.
Alternatively, the second remedy of Jaggery is given below:
- Two table spoons of crushed Jaggery
- 10 to 12 black Peppercorns
This mixture has to be mixed together and eaten twice a day to find relief in cough. This mixture provides a good night rest as well .
20. Home Remedy - Almonds
Almonds are already known for many health and nutritional benefits. Here is another take on almonds, they are also useful in the treatment of a dry or a stubborn cough. Almonds contain iron, vitamin E, copper, zinc etc and therefore it is recommended to chew two to three almonds a day.
The second method consists of Ingredients
- 5 soaked Almonds
- 1 teaspoon Mishri powder
Almonds are supposed to be soaked overnight, next morning they should be peeled and grinded to make almond paste. 1 teaspoon mishri powder needs to be added to the paste and eaten empty stomach. This treatment is of fifteen days and it is recommended to heal stubborn or clinically diagnosed cough. This remedy also helps in expelling phlegm .
21. Home Remedy - Mustard Oil
Mustard oil is well known for its healing properties. It is used in many homes for cooking. Mustard oil also serves as a multi purpose as many people use it for massage as well. However, the main factor of mustard oil is its great effect in healing or removing chest congestion.
When there is a consistent cough throughout the night, then it is recommended to heat the mustard oil and apply it on the chest. This remedy works wonders for both the Adults and children and it is one of best home remedies for Cough at night. It not only soothes the burning sensation in the chest but it also promotes good night rest .
22. Home Remedy - Herbal Tea
Herbal tea prepared with different spices and herbs can do wonders for health. It is considered as one of the most effective remedies to soothe a cough, relieve itching and irritation in the throat.
- ½ inch piece of Ginger
- 5-7 black Pepper corns
- One small Green Cardamom
- One piece of Cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon Honey
Bring all the ingredients to boil in one glass of water, and let it boil till the water is reduced to half. Strain all the ingredients and add ½ teaspoon of honey as a sweetener. This remedy works wonders for Adults more than children. It’s the best at work during nights before retiring to bed .
From the overview of the article, it can be said that Herbal medicine/ Alternative/ Complementary medicine is effective in the treatment of a cough. It is stated that Complementary medicine follows broad medical practices in making sure that the treatment for the ailments is from the roots unlike over the counter drugs.
Natural remedies for cough are easier to prepare and they are an immediate help as most ingredients are always stocked in the kitchen. According to the authors Claudia Pileggi, Valentina Mascaro, Aida Bianco and Maria Pavia, it is said that complementary alternative medicines are proven as the first point of action in mild and moderate cough conditions .
In concluding remarks, it can be said that herbal remedies do play a vital role in the management of different types of cough. Therefore, in the recent years, there is a lot of research to prove on the various home remedies that can be used as a natural treatment which is not only emergency help but also effective in every way. Herbs are therefore beneficial to not only relieve the cough symptoms for adults but also for children .
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