Best Home Remedies for Cough Relief

Clinical review: Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse

Guaco tea or carrot juice have bronchodilating properties, making these great natural remedies to relieve a productive cough. If you have a dry cough, ginger and lemon tea are other good options, as these teas contain because antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. 

In addition to these home remedies, you can also mix honey in a a cup of water (room temperature) and drink to help hydrate the vocal cords, relieve the throat lining and decrease coughing fits.

It is important to identify the cause of the cough so that treatment is appropriate and efficient.

1. Dry cough

A great home remedy for a dry cough is ginger and lemon tea, as both ginger and lemon have anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce irritation in the throat and lungs. These teas can also clear the airways to relieve a dry cough.

This natural remedy can also be used for children who have a cough, as it has no side effects. 

Ingredients​

  • 5 g ginger root
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 500 mL of water (about 2 cups)

How to prepare

To prepare the tea, boil the ginger in water on low heat until the liquid reduces by half. Then remove from the stove, strain and add the lemon juice. If you wish, you can add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten, keeping in mind that honey should not be used in babies under 1 year.

Take 1 tablespoon of this tea every four hours, while the cough persists. See other ways your can get rid of a dry cough.

2. Baby's cough

Lemon tea with honey is a great way to treat a baby’s cough at home, but this should only be given to babies over one year old. Younger babies do not have a fully developed immune system and honey has Clostridium botulinum spores, which can put the baby at risk of getting botulism. 

Honey and lemon tea helps to relieve a cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion, and it is also improves digestion.

Ingredients

  • 500 mL of water (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey

How to prepare

Boil the water in a covered pan for about 10 minutes and then add the lemon juice and honey. When it has cooled down, you can offer it to the baby in small quantities. 

Another tip for relieving your baby’s cough is to put a few drops of a saline solution in your baby’s nose before feeding and then clean any discharge with a baby-safe cotton swab.

3. Productive cough

Carrot and guaco juice are excellent home remedies for productive or wet coughs, as these contain bronchodilating and expectorant properties, which helps to eliminate excess phlegm and breathe better. Additionally, if you add mint, the juice also becomes anti-inflammatory, which reduces coughing fits, especially when you have the flu, bronchitis, or asthma. 

Ingredients

  • 5  guaco leaves
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 sprigs of mint
  • 1 teaspoon of honey.

How to prepare

To make the juice, mix the guaco leaves in a blender with the carrot and mint sprigs. Then strain and add a teaspoon of honey. Drink 20 ml of this juice several times a day. 

Another great home remedy for a productive cough is thyme tea as this herb has expectorant properties, which means that it helps in releasing phlegm and strengthening the immune system. Learn more about how you can also treat a cough during pregnancy.

4. Allergy-related cough

While there are medications you can use to treat your allergy-related cough, you can also treat it naturally with medicinal plants such as nettle, Drosera rotundifolia and broadleaf plantain. These plants contain calming properties, which relieve coughing and throat discomfort.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon nettle leaves
  • 200 ml water (about 1 cup)

How to prepare

To make the tea, place the nettle leaves in a pot with the water and let the mixture boil for 5 minutes. Then strain the tea and let it cool. Drink two cups of this tea a day. If you wish, you can add 1 spoon of honey to sweeten it.

The use of natural cough remedies should not replace the treatment prescribed by a doctor, especially in the case of an allergy-related cough, which is usually treated with anti-histamines. It is important to identify the cause of the cough for appropriate treatment to be indicated.

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Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em April de 2022. Clinical review por Manuel Reis - Registered Nurse, em April de 2022.

References

  • VIEIRA, Nichelle A. et al. Efeito anti-inflamatório do gengibre e possível via de sinalização. Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Londrina. Vol.35, n.1. 149-162, 2014
  • CZELUSNIAK, K.E.; BROCCO, A.; PEREIRA, D.F.; FREITAS, G.B.L. Farmacobotânica, fitoquímica e farmacologia do Guaco: revisão considerando Mikania glomerata Sprengel e Mikania laevigata Schulyz Bip. ex Baker. Rev. Bras. Pl. Med. Vol.14, n.2. 400-409, 2012
Show more references
  • PAUL, Ian M.; BEILER, Jessica; MCMONAGLE, Amyee. Effect of Honey, Dextromethorphan, and No Treatment on Nocturnal Cough and Sleep Quality for Coughing Children and Their Parents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. Vol, 161, n.12. 1140-1146, 2007
  • KEMMERICH, Bernd; EBERHARDT, Reinhild; STAMMER, Holger. Efficacy and Tolerability of a Fluid Extract Combination of Thyme Herb and Ivy Leaves and Matched Placebo in Adults Suffering from Acute Bronchitis with Productive Cough. Arzneimittelforschung. Vol. 56, n.9. 652-660, 2006
Clinical review:
Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse
Manuel graduated in 2013 and is licensed to practice under the Ordem dos Enfermeiros de Portugal, with license #79026. He specializes in Advanced Clinical Phytotherapy.