Natural remedies for cough

Unceasing and relentless cough can be quite a bummer. Imagine the embarrassment if a bout of cough would strike you in the middle of a lecture, a seminar, a stage performance or when you are talking, singing or teaching. Persistent coughing can be quite bothersome for you and the others around you. Apart from all the distress it causes, coughing is also exhaustive. It can tire you and the continuous hacking could also result in pain in the chest muscles.

What is a cough?

Cough is a reflex which helps the throat to get rid of the excess accumulation of mucus/phlegm or irritants. Coughing can be a symptom of a simple common cold or some serious lung disease. If you have a sensitive immune system, coughing can be a sign of allergies due to dust, pollen, chemicals or certain food items.

Cough with phlegm, also known as ‘wet cough’ or ‘productive cough’ should not be suppressed with cough suppressants. Such type of cough should be treated with remedies which will loosen the phlegm/mucous and assist the body in bringing it out.

Dry cough, on the other hand needs to be treated with remedies that would soothe the irritated mucous membrane as well as the irritant triggering the cough.

There are many types of syrups available in the market for dry and wet cough. However, they are not as effective as the natural and chemical free ingredients available in your kitchen. Here’s a list of the several home remedies which are excellent medicines for cough:


Honey and Turmeric

Do you know that these two regular household ingredients effectively relieve severe cough? Honey acts as a wonderful balm that soothes an angry irritated throat and is a natural anti-bacterial too. It reduces the duration and intensity of cough. Turmeric has natural healing property. Mixture of honey and turmeric escalates the therapeutic properties of both.

Direction to prepare the mixture:

Pour 1 tablespoon of honey in a small bowl. Add a pinch of turmeric to it. Mix it well till turmeric blends well with the honey. Take it twice daily. Stop it when the cough comes under control.


Tulsi or Holybasil

Holy basil has amazing medicinal powers which relieve not only cough but many other diseases.

It is considered a superlative medicine in Ayurveda and is used to treat asthma, bronchitis, cough and cold. Tulsi increases your immunity and fights against infections. You must have heard about various essential oils available in the market which contain the active ingredients of tulsi or basil but they can be quite heavy on your wallet. Tulsi or holybasil on the other hand is available in your home garden. The essential oils in Tulsi not only ease wet or productive cough and help in expectoration, but also soothe dry cough.

How can you consume Tulsi or Holybasil:

– Pluck 8-10 fresh holy basil leaves and boil them in 300 to 500 ml of water for 5-6 minutes. Let it cool down and drink the water infused with goodness of holy basil. It acts as an excellent cough syrup.

– If you are too pressed for time and even chewing cleaned Tulsi leaves is equally effective.

soothe dry cough



If you have got the most troubling tickle in the back of your throat, ginger is among the great natural remedies for it. The medicinal power of ginger alleviates cough and soothes irritating dry cough.

How can you consume ginger?

– Crush fresh ginger and put it in 250 ml of water. Boil the water for 2-3 minutes and drink it once it cools down. Repeat it 3 times in a day. For additional benefit, you can combine ginger with honey and few drops of lemon juice.

– The easy and effective option is to chew fresh ginger but remember raw ginger is spicy.



No! Not making you cry, but onion too has healing powers to relieve cough. Onion has natural antibiotic and expectorant properties. It builds immunity and throws out accumulated mucus in the throat and lungs, therefore helps in dry as well as wet cough.

How can you consume an onion?

You can cut the fresh onion into slices and eat them. However, most of us avoid doing it because an onion leaves lingering pungent aroma in our breath and mouth.

There is an alternative method, but it requires hard-work.

Chop one large or two small onions into small pieces. Grind it and sieve it through a clean cloth or any sieve to extract the juice. Combine the onion juice with equal part of honey and mix well. Take the thorough solution twice a day for effective results.

list of natural remedies for cough


Black pepper

Pepper, the most common and popular spice while preparing any recipe also ranks high on the list of natural remedies for cough. These highly spiced peppers have to be taken along with a natural sweetener like honey or sugar to reduce its strong flavour.

How can you consume black pepper?

Take 2 cups water and add 4-5 freshly ground black pepper into it. Boil till it reduces to half the quantity. Let it cool down and add honey as required. Drink it at night before sleep.

By morning, you will see a significant improvement in your cough.


Mustard oil

If you can ignore the strong smell of mustard oil and pay attention to its many benefits, you will realize that it is extremely beneficial for cough. It is a great decongestant for both adults and kids.

How to consume mustard oil for cough?

Simply take small quantity of mustard oil and gently massage it on your chest before going to sleep. It will not only relieve the cough but also give you a sound sleep.

carom seeds for cough


Carom seeds

The next in the archive of natural remedies for cough is carom seeds, commonly known as ajwain in India. An ancient ingredient in many recipes, it is extremely useful in relieving dry as well as wet cough.

Directions for using ajwain

Add 1 teaspoon of carom seeds in 300 ml of water. Bring it to a boil and cool it. Drink the water entirely and chew the seeds. It acts as a wonderful refresher.



If you know peppermint only as a mouth fresheners then refresh your knowledge. Peppermint is an important ingredient among the natural remedies for cough.

When there is relentless congestion in the chest, peppermint acts as an expectorant – it loosens the mucus and makes it easy to bring out the phlegm.

How to use peppermint:

Chew few fresh cleaned leaves of peppermint for cool breath as well as for calming hacking cough.

Adding peppermint leaves to your tea will also do the trick.

garlic medicinal benefits



The verdict on garlic’s medicinal benefits has long been out! Garlic ranks high on the list of natural remedies for cough and is hugely beneficial in dry as well as wet cough.

Though garlic adversely affects our breath, it will help you immensely in getting rid of the hacking cough. If you want to increase the speed and effectiveness of garlic, take a handful of chickpeas and 3-4 cloves of garlic. Eat them together, twice a day. Both have potential benefits to relieve cough.



The last one in our checklist for natural remedies for cough is steam. You require nothing but a container with boiling water. Bring your face near the mouth of the container. Bend down closer to it and then cover your head with a towel. Humidity created due to steam is a great cough reliever.  To maximize on its potential you can add eucalyptus leaves or oil to the water.

The next time you or any of your loved ones are down with a bad cough, don’t forget to refer to our list of home remedies – and get safe and natural relief! However, if your cough doesn’t resolve within two weeks, you must see a doctor to rule out an underlying disease condition.

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