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What are Some Home Remedies for a Cough?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Home remedies can help to reduce throat irritation and heal minor coughs. When using treating a cough, people should keep a close eye on the patient: if the symptoms get worse or the patient starts to have difficulty breathing, always go to a medical professinal. In addition to treating the symptoms, most home remedies for a cough also treat the underlying cause, and will help the patient to expectorate mucus trapped in the lungs and breathe more easily.

While you are using home remedies for a cough, try to also improve the patient's environment. Warm, moist air is good for people with coughs, and in extreme coughs, the patient can benefit from taking a hot shower, staying in a humid bathroom, or standing over a sink draped in a towel while running hot water. The warm, moist air helps to break up the mucus, allowing the patient to expectorate it. In addition, fluids are a crucial part of treating a cough; keep the patient drinking lots of water, juice, and herbal tea while avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

Most home remedies take advantage of the natural properties of plants. Ginger, lemon, garlic, cardamom, almonds, and turmeric are all good for cough sufferers, as is honey. Perhaps the most common home remedy is lemon juice and honey mixed with boiling water. This mixture helps to soothe the throat and encourages the expectoration of mucus. This home remedy can be taken at any time, although it is more effective when taken several times a day. Add ginger for extra healing properties, or if the cough sufferer feels nausea.

Another home remedy uses toasted turmeric, which is effective for dry coughs. It can be mixed with honey and taken by the spoonful. Chewing on cardamom pods can help, as can soaking almonds overnight to remove their brown outer skin and grinding them into a paste that can be spread on bread with butter and sugar and eaten to reduce dry, unproductive coughs. Garlic can also help, and is an immune system booster.

In addition to orally taken home remedies for a cough, some patients also use gargles, usually with things like salt and lemon, to clear the throat. A patient can also use a nose teapot, which directs steam up the nose to clear the sinuses, or a saline spray that can be squirted up the nose. Some patients also benefit from spending time in a sauna or using topical warming compounds on the chest to warm the lungs and loosen the mucus they contain.

A balanced assortment of home remedies in combination with warmth, rest, and plenty of fluids can help to put an end to a cough or cold. If symptoms continue, get worse, or are accompanied by bleeding or shortness of breath, the patient should see a healthcare professional or emergency room if the symptoms merit it. Make sure to tell the medical professional how long patient has been sick, what kinds of remedies have been used, and the symptoms that the patient has been experiencing.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By GrumpyGuppy — On Sep 12, 2010

@cmsmith10: Almonds can be highly beneficial for dry cough. Soak about 10 almonds in water for a couple of hours. Remove the skin and mix them with some butter and sugar in a blender. Keep mixing until it is a paste. Eat it twice a day for cough.

On another note, you can also extract the juice from an onion and mix it with honey for cough. Take it about 3 times a day and your cough will go away.

By cmsmith10 — On Sep 12, 2010

The article states that almonds can be used for a cough. Do you just eat the almonds or do you mix them with something?

By OceanSwimmer — On Sep 12, 2010

This is another old time remedy. I don't even know if it works. I've never tried it. I found the recipe written in an old recipe book that was in my pantry.

It says to mix a half a spoon of Cuscus grass in 4 teaspoons of coconut milk. Add one teaspoon of honey and drink it at night before bed. It is supposed to suppress your cough. If anyone has tried it, let me know if it works!

By calabama71 — On Sep 12, 2010

This is an old-fashioned remedy for a cough that my grandmother used. Fill one cut lemon with black pepper powder and salt and suck it. This is supposed to reduce the intensity of the cough.

You can also add a pinch of ground white pepper in one teaspoon of pure honey. Swallow the mixture three times a day. It is supposed to help with the cough.

One more. Mix honey and grape juice together and drink. I hear that is great for cough, as well.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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