Teas for Coughs: 5 Natural Recipes to Try

  1. Cinnamon, clove and lemon tea 
  2. Eucalyptus tea 
  3. Thyme tea
  4. Carrot syrup for child cough
  5. Nettle tea for allergy coughs

Teas for coughs made with eucalyptus, cinnamon or thyme help to thin out secretions to make them easier to cough up. Teas can help to fight respiratory infections and improve coughing, which makes them a great home remedy to treat symptoms of the cold or flu. 

You should also increase your fluid intake to thin out secretions, which makes them easier to cough up. Increasing your fluids also helps to soothe the throat to relieve coughing. Other measures to keep in mind when treating a cough are to avoid windy currents and avoid walking barefoot. 

It is important to see your doctor for assessment and treatment before other symptoms appear or worsen, like fever or difficulty breathing. 

1. Cinnamon, clove and lemon tea 

Cinnamon and cloves contain bactericide properties that help to eliminate the microorganisms responsible for the cough. Cinnamon also contains several health benefits that can help with other issues. The lemon and honey contain expectorant properties as well as vitamin C, which help to strengthen the immune system. 

This cinnamon, clove and lemon tea recipe has soothing properties that help to decrease coughing. It can be prepared as follows: 

Ingredients

  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 3 cloves 
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 1/2 liter of water (about 2 cups)

How to prepare

Place all the ingredients in a small pot and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Then allow it to cool, strain, and sweeten with 1 tablespoon of honey. You can drink 2 cups of this tea per day. 

This home remedy is contraindicated for babies under 1 year, as they are unable to consume honey. You can offer a honey-free version of this tea instead. 

2. Eucalyptus tea 

Eucalyptus tea can be used to treat respiratory illnesses in general, as it contains properties that prevent the spread of microorganisms that cause infections. It also helps to liquefy the mucus and is additionally an anti-inflammatory, which all help to relieve cough.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of eucalyptus leaves 
  • 1 liter (4 cups) of boiling water  

How to prepare

Place the eucalyptus leaves in the previously boiled water, then allow to soak for 10 minutes. Then strain, and drink 3 cups of this tea per day. 

Eucalyptus tea should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women, or by children under the age of 2. Check out other ways to treat coughs in babies. It is also contraindicated for people with hypertension or by people who take anti-epiletics or sedatives, as eucalyptus can interfere with the efficacy of these medications. 

3. Thyme tea

Thyme contains properties that help to combat bacteria, thin out secretions and help to expel them. This tea is a great option for treating respiratory illnesses, like bronchitis and coughing, as it helps to relax muscles in the respiratory airway. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of thyme 
  • 1 liter (4 cups) of boiling water

How to prepare

Place the thyme into the previously boiled water and allow to soak for about 10 minutes. Then strain and drink up to 3 times per day. 

You should consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking this tea. While it is not totally contraindicated in these situations, it can cause effects to both the mother and baby if not taken under medical supervision. If you are pregnant, learn about other ways you can get rid of a cough

4. Carrot syrup for child cough

A great home remedy to stop coughing in children is pure carrot juice, as it contains a high concentration of vitamin C. It is also a natural antitussive and can help reduce coughing flare-ups that can persist for weeks after a flu 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized carrot 
  • Honey 

How to prepare

Grate the carrot and place in a cup in the fridge. After a few minutes, the grated carrot will start to release a juice, which should be strained, then mixed with equal parts of honey. This juice can be taken several times per day. 

Honey should only be used by children over 1 year of age, as honey may cause botulism in young babies. You can offer just the carrot juice instead. 

5. Nettle tea for allergy coughs

Allergy coughs are characterized by a persistent cough that is not associated with cold and flu. In this case, nettle tea is a great option to treat the cough. 

Nettle is a medicinal plant that contains anti-histaminic properties, which help to fight many allergies. It is effective for the treatment of dry coughs, and can be used by children. You should consult the child’s pediatrician before starting treatment with tea, however, to confirm whether the cough is allergy-related. Read more about other common causes of a persistent cough

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of dry nettle leaves 
  • 200 ml (1 cup) of water 

How to prepare

Place the water in a pot and allow to boil. When it starts to bubble, remove from heat and add the nettle. Then cover the pot and allow to cool. Strain and drink up to 2 cups per day. You can sweeten with a teaspoon of honey. 

This home remedy should be avoided by breastfeeding or pregnant women, and by people with a history of heart failure, kidney failure, hypertension or diabetes.

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Edited by Tua Saude editing team in June 2022. Clinical review completed by Manuel Reis - Registered Nurse in June 2022.

References

  • MEDICAMENTOS HERBARIOS TRADICIONALES. Eucalipto / Eucaliptus. Available on: <https://www.minsal.cl/portal/url/item/7d98ad06d32f83d5e04001011f016dbb.pdf>. Access in 11 Jan 2022
  • LÓPOEZ, Tránsito. Plantas medicinales para el tratamiento de las afecciones respiratorias más frecuentes. Ámbito Farmacéutico Fitoterapia. 21. 10; 132-136, 2002
Show more references
  • MEDICAMENTOS HERBARIOS TRADICIONALES. Tomillo . Available on: <https://www.minsal.cl/portal/url/item/7d9a8480e0871613e04001011e01021b.pdf>. Access in 11 Jan 2022
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.