Home Remedies for Cough Relief | How to Get Rid of a Cough | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Home Remedies for Cough Relief

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Tea from the mullein flower can be a helpful natural remedy to use against coughs.

Natural Remedies: How to Get Rid of a Cough

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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 lungs’ 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.

2023 Almanac Club