For some people cough can prove to be a nightmare. It can keep you up all night, interfere with your lifestyle, and make you feel miserable. No matter if it’s dry, whooping, or wet cough, it is terrible in any form. As per NHS recommendation, taking rest and drinking plenty of fluids reduce cough. Pharmacist or doctor may prescribe medicine to cure cough.
However there are various effective home remedies that allow us to treat cough naturally. Here are some cough remedies that actually work.
1. Try Home-Made Cough Syrup With Honey
Honey is a wonderful cure for treating cough and sore throat, which is why it is used in various cough medicines too. Honey is as effective as common cough suppressants dextromethorphan, so give a try before buying a cough syrup from the chemist by making your own cough syrup at home.
- Mix honey with coconut oil and lemon juice and take it a couple of times a day to treat a bad cough.
- Alternatively, you can take honey directly. Take 2 teaspoons of honey before going to sleep to improve sleep by reducing cough.
- Try grandma’s old remedy, a bourbon shot mixed with honey before you sleep.
Caution : Do not follow this remedy for children’s below age of 1 due to the risk of infant botulism.
2. Heal It With Ginger
Ginger is a mighty helper when it comes to cough. It contains medicinal properties and has been used for thousands of years. It is also among the most commonly prescribed remedies because of presence of some chemicals that reduce nausea, cold and inflammation, thanks to its decongestant and antihistamine properties.
Here is a simple recipe of ginger tea that can help you cure a bad cough
- Take 3 cups of water in a bowl and add a few slices of ginger
- Boil and allow it to simmer for about 20 min
- Strain the liquid, add a tablespoon of honey, squeeze a lemon for better taste, and then sip slowly.
- Alternatively add few drops of ginger oil or fresh ginger slices to steaming water and inhale the vapours to get relief from cough.
3. Take A Hot Shower and Use Humidifiers
Steam is the worst enemy of cough, so it soothes your airways and alleviates sinus congestion. It loosens secretions in the nose. Humidifiers will also help by releasing moisture in the air that reduce cough. Regularly clean humidifiers to avoid infection. Take hot shower by closing the exhaust fan, windows and let steam get to work. However, do not use this cough remedy if you suffer from asthma as it can aggravate the cough in asthma patients.
4. Try Some Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry syrup is an extraordinary cough remedy. Though it is not a direct cure for cough, it is good at fighting cold and flu infections. Many cough syrups has elderberry as ingredient. Elderberry flowers relax bronchial spasms and treat upper respiratory infections. It also strengthens your immune system so your body can get rid of illness faster.
- Take 3.5 cups of water in a saucepan and add 2/3 cup of elderberries, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp cloves and 2 tbsp ginger.
- Boil and cover the pan and simmer for 45 minutes till liquid has reduced to half.
- Mash the mixture to crush berries and strain the liquid and allow the liquid to cool and add 1 cup of honey to it.
- Store in bottle and take ½ tbsp to 1 tbsp for adults and ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids.
Caution : Do not consume other parts of elderberry plant except flowers without proper cooking as it contains cyanide producing compounds.
5. Turmeric Milk
Turmeric has been used for its healing properties for ages now because of its therapeutic properties in treating dry cough. Curcumin present in turmeric has anti inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that relieve symptoms of cough. It relieves chest congestion and fights with bacteria and virus effectively and relieves inflammation.
- To make turmeric milk, add two teaspoons of turmeric powder in a cup of milk. You can also add a teaspoon of honey for better taste. Drink this twice a day. Use goat’s milk instead of cow milk to reduce phlegm.
6. Sip Some Thyme Tea
Thyme is such a wonderful and effective cure for cough and it is an approved remedy for cough, upper respiratory tract infections, whooping cough and sore throat in Germany. It is a potent and natural expectorant and has antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial and astringent properties. The tiny thyme leaves have cough curing compounds called flavonoids that soothe and relax muscles in our throat, reduce inflammation and also effectively treat short term bronchitis.
- To make thyme tea, add some fresh thyme leaves to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and sip the tea slowly. You can also add a slice of lemon and some honey for enhanced benefit.
7. Drink A Lot Of Liquids
Hydration has positive effects on immune functions of our body that allows free movement of fluids in the body. Drinking liquids is extremely helpful while battling cough, be it any one of the many herbal teas, fruit juices or simply a warm glass of water. Fluids thin out the mucus and keep the membranes high and soothe throat. This, in turn, can greatly alleviate the cough.
8. Suck A Lemon
Pucker up your lips and suck a slice of lemon. But don’t forget to sprinkle the lemon with some salt and pepper. The taste will at least distract you from all the coughing you have been suffering from.
9. Take Some Liquorice
Licorice root has properties of antiviral and anti-inflammatory that act tough on cough. Candy, made out of licorice root, is used to treat coughs. It helps soothe inflammation and an irritated throat in turn reduces cough.
Alternatively, Put the Licorice candy in a quart of boiling water and let it steep for about 24 hours. Store and sip whenever necessary to reduce cough.
10. Whiskey Works Too!
Whiskey works like a charm for a bad hacking cough. If you are not a fan of whisky, taking any other alcohol will work too since they provide relief from cough equally well. This is why most cough syrups that you buy have a decent amount of alcohol in them. Suffice it to say that this cough remedy is bound to work! And if you are not a great fan of alcohol altogether, just add a splash of whiskey to your tea.
11. Essential Oils Are A Remedy
When talking about home remedies, it is hard to leave essential oils out of the list because they clear up congestion and provide quick relief. For wet cough, use the ones that are high in key tones such as thujone or camphor. To use these essential oils, either massage them on your throat and chest or burn in an aroma diffuser.
12. Chew Some Garlic
Garlic contains antimicrobial and antibacterial components that make it an excellent cough remedy. There are various ways to use it, first eat a clove of crushed garlic mixed with some honey to soothe a sore throat or you can also simply add garlic to your food. You can also boil some garlic cloves in water and add a teaspoon of oregano oil. Allow cooling at room temperature, before adding honey and drink this mixture. This helps in breathing troubles and also alleviates other cough symptoms.
13. Sip Some Pepper and Honey Tea
Take honey with black pepper to treat chronic cough in no time because pepper stimulates mucus flow and circulation. Pepper has different flavonoids, vitamins, antioxidants that treat cough. Honey is natural cough suppressant and act as a mild antibiotic. To prepare the tea, take one teaspoon of freshly ground pepper and add it to two tablespoons of honey in a bowl and add boiling water. Cover the bowl and let it steep for about 15 minutes then strain and sip the tea slowly.
14. Onion Works Like A Charm
Onions are among the simplest cough remedies you can find. Onion has antimicrobial and anti-inflammation properties as it contains flavonoid phenyols and organosulfur compounds. It reduce mucous and relieve bronchitis symptoms. Just combine a teaspoon of onion juice with an equal amount of honey and drink this as a cough syrup. Breathing in strong vapours of onion can also be beneficial for treating cough symptoms.
15. Reduce Chest Pain With Cayenne Pepper
- Chest pain due to continuous coughing can be relieved using cayenne pepper as it acts as analgesic. It can be used to reduce motion sickness and nausea.
- Just mix an equal amount of cayenne pepper and ginger and add it to double the amount of honey and apple cider vinegar. Mix with some water and store in a bottle. Drink this syrup thrice a day.
- Alternatively drink cayenne tea to reduce tickling sensation and cough.
- Sprinkle cayenne on food to thin mucous secretions and to relieve congestion of nasal passages.
16. Drink Hot Milk With Honey
Honey is not only an excellent remedy for cough, but also adds some flavour to some remedies that may not taste so well. Drinking hot milk with honey can relieve chest pain caused due to excessive coughing. It also helps in curing dry cough as it moistens the glands in throat. To get the best out of this remedy, drink it right before you go to sleep at night.
17. Have You Tried Carrot Juice?
Carrots are a powerhouse of vitamins and nutrients and are also great at treating cough. You can make fresh carrot juice with four to five carrots and dilute it with some water. Add honey for taste and other benefits. Drink this juice few times a day till your symptoms are relieved.
18. Almonds Are Tough On Cough
Almonds are not only nutritious but also have healing properties for cough. You only have to soak about ten almonds in water overnight, crush them to a smooth paste and add 1 tsp of butter or ghee. Eat the paste three to four times a day to get relief from cough.
Raisins or dried grapes are among the handiest cough remedies. They work as an excellent cough remedy for children, especially when they refuse other home remedies or medicines. You can mix ground raisins and boil in a little water to make a smooth sauce and feed it to infants to soothe their cough.
20. Sooth It With Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe Vera gel is highly soothing to inflamed tissues. The gel also has mild analgesic properties that can relieve you from dry cough. Just split open a four inch aloe Vera leaf and scrape out the gel. Sweeten it with honey and consume it twice a day. You can take gel directly if you take the slight bitterness. You can also introduce Aloe Vera juice into your daily routine for maximum benefits.
Phew! That was a long list, yes? But the fact remains that these cough remedies provide relief from various cough symptoms without any side effects associated with cough medicines or syrups. While we love sharing these remedies with you, we must remind you that it is crucial to consult a doctor if the symptoms persist or have been present for more than two weeks.