Home Remedies for Cough Relief

Natural Remedies: How to Get Rid of a Cough

March 24, 2020

Coughs, while rarely serious, can be really annoying. Some of these natural remedies can provide great relief from a cough, especially when you’re having difficulty sleeping.

Natural Remedies to Relieve Coughs

  • Lemon juice, sweetened with loaf or crushed sugar, will relieve a cough. –The 1852 Old Farmer’s Almanac. Find more household uses for lemons.
  • The root of sweet flag was often powdered or sliced and used as a ginger substitute or throat lozenge.
  • Mullein with his large, soft leaves makes a wonderful flower tea. (As an aside, it’s fluffy, absorbent leaves have also been used for toilet paper in a pinch!)
  • Catnip tea helps reduce mucus. 
  • To suppress a night cough, put 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon sugar into a mug. Pour in boiling water and let steep. The pepper will settle to the bottom. Sip, as needed.
  • Horehound drops, made with the extract of the leaves of the bitter mint Marrubium vulgare, can be combined with honey for a soothing cough drop, or served as a tea with lemon.
  • Hot and spicy foods act as expectorants, loosening up the lung’s secretions.
  • A reader told us that a teaspoon of mustard will relieve a cough for up to four hours. See if it works for you!
  • Some of these natural remedies might also be helpful to relieve anxiety and stress.

Find some recipes on making herbal teas!

Folk Remedies for a Cough: The Dirt Cure

Now here’s a cure for a severe winter cough that comes from The Old Farmer’s Almanac archives: The Dirt Cure! Here’s how it works:

  • Find a piece of land covered with bushes and small stones.
  • When the land has a foot of snow but is not frozen solid, shovel off the snow.
  • Then cut down the bushes and dig out the stones, turning up fresh and pure soil.
  • Bring fistfuls of soil to your face and inhale the scent of fresh earth.
  • Continue until you have cleared half an acre, and you will find yourself strong and hale, and entirely rid of your cough!

Learn how to cure a sore throat and more natural remedies for colds.

Reader Comments

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Easy Cough Remedy

Mix equal parts whiskey and molasses. Keep in a covered container and take 1 teaspoon as needed to relieve cough.

This was passed down from my mother and I still use it to this day. It works like a charm!

Cough and flu remedy - very effective

I add to the comment quote from a reader below:
Submitted by greyeagle on February 9, 2013 - 7:26pm
I use thyme honey lemon tea. 1 tsp dried thyme, honey and lemon to taste. Steep thyme in 1 cup hot water. I use a tea ball like is used for making loose tea in a pot, add honey and lemon and sip away. I do this three times a day. A cold or flu always settles in my chest and this will break it up. I found this about 4 years ago and have yet to buy any kind of OTC remedy for a cough or congestion."

An ancient Iranian recipe includes ginger.
I prepare fresh thyme leaves - 1 good size sprig by rolling the leaved between thumbs and forefingers to release the aromatic oils and put it into a pint sized mason jar. If fresh thyme isn't available, use dried thyme
Then I add 1 teaspoon of ginger juice or a 1" knob of ginger finely chopped. Use 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger if frush ginger is unavailable.
Next add 1/2 organic lemon - (use organic ingredients if possible). First squeeze and add the juice to the jar, then add grated peel, then finely chop and add the entire lemon pith and remaining parts left from juicing.
Place a large metal regular spoon in the jar to prevent it from breaking and fill the jar with boiling water.
Cover and let it steep for five minutes.
Than add a generous tablespoon of honey to to rest. Taking five minutes to add the honey allows the water temperature to reduce enough so the helpful honey enzymes are preserved.
Drink within 15 - 20 minutes.
Repeat to total of four times spaced out out four times through the day for several days or until the flu or cough is finished.
If is persists of course consult your health care provider.

Added note - I use honey medicinally, occasionally in bread making to spare bees. Bees do the work of pollinating our global plant food. They are badly over abused and poisoned by pesticides. We have a responsibility to do everything possible to preserve them and their precious work and produce.

treating a cough

My Mom would soak white onions in vinegar and we'd snack on it.

COPD Emphysema herbal cure

I am not sure of the cause of COPD emphysema in my case. I smoked pack a day for 12 or 13 years, but quit 40 years ago. I have been an outdoor person all my adult life. Coughing started last summer producing thick mucus, greenish tint to clear. I tried prednisone and antibiotics, but no change. X-rays are negative, heart lungs and blood and serum chemistries all are normal. I have lung calcification from childhood bout with histoplasmosis. I am 75 years old and retired.My current doctor directed me to totalcureherbsfoundation .c om which I purchase the COPD herbal remedies from them ,they are located in Johannesburg, the herbal treatment has effectively reduce all my symptoms totally, am waiting to complete the 15 weeks usage because they guaranteed me total cure.

The Croup, known today as Laryngo-tracheo-bronchitis

When I was a child, i was often bed-ridden with The Croup, which has been re-christened Laryngo-tracheo-bronchitis Today's puffers and steroids were not yet invented, so the remedy of choice in that era was the Brown Paper Mustard Plaster wrapped in Red Flannel Cloth and placed on the chest, under one's pyjama-top or bed jacket, This would be in the 1940s and earlier.

It was concocted in the following manner:

1 or 2 tablespoon(s) English Mustard Powder stirred into warm water, then applied as a paste to a double-thick sheet of Brown Paper. This was the Mustard Plaster.
The coated plaster was then folded a couple of times and wrapped in a Red Flannel Cloth.
The red flannel was then placed directly on the skin and left to "heat" the affected chest, neck and bronchial area of the sick child.
In severe cases, the Brown Paper Mustard Plaster was applied directly to the chest (for short intervals) without the flannel. It was not easy to tolerate. But most of the time, the plaster was wrapped in red flannel cloth.
To a degree, this remedy was helpful in "breaking up" the croup in the throat and bronchial passages, but it was always hot and burning to the skin, which invariably became exquisitely tender, raw and inflamed.

Today's meds are in a different league from this old remedy in dealing with such problems, but, without today's meds and methods, it got one through some difficult breathing episodes. The Mustard Plaster remedy came from my great grandmother. But its origins are lost in time.

Remedy for a Raw Sore Throat or a Harsh Cough

Good for Raw Sore Throat and Harsh Coughs

Cut a slice off the wide top end of a Black Radish
Using a paring knife, carve a sloping, 1 inch-deep, hollow bowl in the wide top end of the radish
Cut a small slice from the root end of the radish
Place the radish in a large cup or mug (Root end in the cup)
Pour boiling water into the hollow bowl of the radish
Repeat until the cup is full of filtered radish liquid
This may take some time
Drink the Filtered Black Radish Liquid

This home remedy came from Silesia, Germany

My Grandfather's cold & cough

My Grandfather's cold & cough remedy ( his mother's recipe): Cook 1 cup black strap molasses, 1 small onion (diced) and 4 tablespoons vinegar on moderate heat until syrup coats spoon and forms a firm ball in cold water-
Eat warm if using for cough syrup or allow the taffy to cool and pinch off small teaspoon fulls ( Home made cough drops)

ingredients: 1lt Stone

1lt Stone Ginger
1 packed Med-Lemon
2 Pills of Disprin

Bring Stone to the boiling, add med-lemon and disprin to a bowl... And. In your bed. This works 99%. Try it

Stone Ginger

Could you please tell me what Stone Ginger is? I googled it and it keeps showing me ginger wine, etc.

I use thyme honey lemon tea.

I use thyme honey lemon tea. 1 tsp dried thyme, honey and lemon to taste. Steep thyme in 1 cup hot water. I use a tea ball like is used for making loose tea in a pot, add honey and lemon and sip away. I do this three times a day. A cold or flu always settles in my chest and this will break it up. I found this about 4 years ago and have yet to buy any kind of OTC remedy for a cough or congestion.

add 2 teaspoons each of apple

add 2 teaspoons each of apple cider vinegar and honey to 8 ounces hot/steaming water, stir till well combined. Breathe in the steam (loosens phlem)and take 1-2 Tablespoons full as needed to stop cough. can be used room temp or reheated as desired.

Rub your feet with Vicks

Rub your feet with Vicks Vapor Rub, put on socks and get in the bed and feel the warmth seeping up your body. After a quiet night of sleep,wash your feet first thing in the morning.

An old family tip for nagging

An old family tip for nagging coughs is to make a cup of hot tea and add a tablespoon of honey and the juice of half a fresh lemon. Stir well and enjoy.

I've read that boiling onions

I've read that boiling onions and honey together makes an amazing cough syrup.

Apply Vicks to the bottom of

Apply Vicks to the bottom of your feet and cover with socks to soothe a cough.

I find that Tiger Balm is

I find that Tiger Balm is better than Vicks as Vicks is petroleum based and tends to clog the pores while balm is absorbed by the skin and brings faster relief. It works well for a sore throat and fever.

This remedy works better than

This remedy works better than most OTC cough syrups!