15 Best Natural Remedies For Cough

Shalu Bhati

Updated At  16 Sep 22

Has constant coughing left you uncomfortable and miserable? Looking for natural remedies for cough? Then, keep reading.

Coughing is a reflex action that aims at removing foreign particles or irritants out of the throat.  It is common to cough to clear your throat but sometimes frequent coughing is caused due to several factors. Even though mostly harmless, such frequent coughing is uncomfortable, annoying and can leave you feeling miserable. But don’t worry. We have got your backs. We have come up with this list of 15 best natural remedies for cough so that you can say goodbye to your annoying cough and go back to living your life.

We have specifically covered:

  • What Is Cough And Why It Happens
  • Types Of Cough
  • Natural Remedies For Cough
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Cough


What Is Cough And Why It Happens?

Also known as tussis, a cough is a voluntary or involuntary act done for the removal of foreign particles, microbes, irritants, fluids, and mucus among other things from the throat and airways. It is a defense mechanism to protect the throat, airways, and lungs from foreign particles. It mostly has a protective function but in certain cases it gets excessive and non-productive which can also prove to be harmful.

A cough can be caused by a plethora of reasons. Following are some of the most common causes of cough:

  • Clearing of throat
  • Infections such as flu, common cold, laryngitis
  • A lower respiratory infection such as bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Smoking
  • Asthma
  • Certain medications
  • Damage to vocal cords
  • Postnasal drip
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Serious underlying conditions such as heart failure

It is time to see a doctor if coughing persists for 3 weeks without any improvement. You must also visit the doctor if coughing is accompanied by other symptoms including fever, chest pains, headaches, drowsiness and confusion among others. Coughing up blood, difficulty in breathing, or coughing with a barking sound are also some cases where you must seek immediate medical attention.


types of cough


Types Of Cough

Coughing is the body’s way of getting rid of a foreign particle or irritant that might have entered your throat or airways. It is often observed to be of the following types:

1. Wet Cough

Any cough that produces mucus or phlegm is known as a wet cough. It is also known as a productive cough and is caused due to infections such as cold and flu. When the body is facing an infection, it produces more mucus than it normally does as part of its defense mechanism. This mucus lines the throat and airways and prevents any foreign particle from entering the lungs.

2. Dry Cough

This is a non-productive cough and does not produce any mucus or phlegm. It is caused due to a variety of reasons including environmental irritants, allergies, acid reflux, asthma, and postnasal drip among others. You can also face dry cough as an aftermath of your viral illness.

3. Whooping Cough

Also called pertussis, whooping cough is a severe respiratory infection that bears symptoms similar to that of a common cold. It causes uncontrollable coughing which then results in difficulty in breathing. It is caused by a kind of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis and is highly contagious.

4. Croup Cough

Croup cough is the cough caused by a viral infection named croup. Due to this infection, upper airways get swelled up and become narrower causing difficulty in breathing. It is characterized by a barking sound as made by seals.



15 Best Home Remedies For Cough

The cough usually goes away on its own after 1 to 2 weeks. Its treatment depends on what has caused it. It can be treated by using cough medications and cough suppressants. Home remedies are also known to soothe the majority of coughs and can make you feel better.

Following are the 15 best natural remedies for cough:


2 spiced tea


1. Spiced Tea With Ginger, Black Pepper, Cardamom and Honey

Ingredients: 2 cloves, 2 black pepper kernels, 1 tablespoon sliced ginger, 2 cardamoms, 1 ½ teaspoon tea, 1 tablespoon honey, 3 cups water

How to: Put water in a pot and add cloves, black pepper, ginger and cardamom to it. Turn on the heat and let the spices steep into the water. Once the spices have let off their color into the water add tea. Let it boil for another 5 minutes. Strain into a cup. Add honey and drink.

Frequency: Twice a day

Why it works: This is one of the popular Indian home remedies for cough and cold. The popularity of spiced tea has transcended borders and has become a favorite of many across the world. It is a perfect way of soothing the throat. Cloves, ginger, black pepper, cardamom - all of these spices have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. They help with decongestion and soothe the itchy throat. They also generate heat in the body and bring relief in cold and cough.


4 garlic and honey


2. Garlic, Honey And Clove Oil Syrup

Ingredients: 1 teaspoon clove oil, 1 teaspoon chopped ginger, 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, 1 cup raw honey

How to: Put cloves, ginger, and garlic in a small pan and cover it up with honey. Turn on the heat at a low flame. Let the herbs steep into the honey as it softens. Cover with a liquid and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the honey.  Store in a glass jar.

Frequency: Three times a day

Why it works: This is one of the most effective natural remedies for cough. Honey is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and a rich source of antioxidants. It brings down swelling and forms a layer on the throat to reduce irritation. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It contains bioactive compounds that aid in soothing a sore throat, help in building immunity, and reduces irritation in the throat. Clove oil cools down an aggrevated nasal passage and throat and controls coughing. This is the best remedy for dry cough.




3. Warm Milk With Turmeric And Honey

Ingredients: 1 glass of warm milk, 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric, 1 tablespoon honey

How to: Mix the turmeric and honey in a warm glass of milk. Or you can also add turmeric to milk while it is on heat. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Take the milk down from the stove and add honey. Drink while it is still warm.

Frequency: Daily

Why it works: Here is another one of the traditional natural remedies for cough. The combination of turmeric, milk, and honey is known as golden milk. Loaded with anti-oxidants, turmeric helps in fighting off infections and reduces inflammation. Due to its multiple health-benefits especially in cold and cough, turmeric milk has become a popular and effective remedy for relieving an irritated throat.




4. Licorice And Cinnamon With Honey

Ingredients: 1 licorice root, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon sliced ginger, 3 cups water

How to: Add water, licorice root, cinnamon stick, and ginger in a small pot. Turn on the heat and let the herbs steep in the water for about 7 minutes. strain into a cup and add honey before drinking.

Frequency: Three to four times a day

Why it works: Licorice brings down the inflammation in airways and throat. It brings relief to cough by loosening the mucus. Cinnamon is another spice that has proven to be extremely effective in treating cough instantly. When mixed with honey, cinnamon works wonders in bringing relief to a sore, itchy and irritated throat. This licorice, cinnamon and honey drink is the best home remedy for cough with phlegm.


6 Pomegranate Juice


5. Pomegranate Juice With Black Pepper And Ginger Powder

Ingredients: ½ cup fresh pomegranate juice, ½ teaspoon ginger powder, ½ teaspoon black pepper

How to: Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Drink.

Frequency: Daily

Why it works: Pomegranate juice is the best cure for cough, especially in kids. It is tasty, nutritious, and brings great relief in coughing. It comes packed with vitamins A and C which are known to boost immunity. It is very effective in fighting infection and reducing inflammation. Adding pepper and ginger powder makes this juice even more effective. 


7 black pepper


6. Black Pepper And Honey

Ingredients: ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon dried ginger powder, 1 tablespoon of honey

How to: Mix the ingredients thoroughly to consume as and when required.

Frequency: One spoon three to four times a day

Why it works: Here is one of the most popular natural remedies for cough. Black pepper has been a trusted method for cough relief for many years. It reduces coughing, and cold while also giving a boost of immunity. It also acts as a decongestant. It is often used in combination with honey which is known to soothe an itchy throat and suppress a cough. This is one of the best wet cough remedies and must not be taken for a dry cough.




7. Pineapple Juice

Ingredients: 1 cup pineapple juice, 1 teaspoon chopped ginger, 1 teaspoon honey, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt

How to: Blend all the ingredients and drink.

Frequency: Drink ¼ cup three times a day

Why it works: Nobody thinks of pineapple as an effective cough remedy because they don’t know about its benefits. Pineapple is an extremely rich source of an enzyme called bromelain which has anti-inflammatory properties. It not only calms down the aggravated throat and sinuses but also helps in breaking down the mucus. When mixed with ginger, honey, and cayenne pepper, its benefits increase by a multi-fold. Believe it or not, but pineapple juice is the best cure for cough.


8 peppermint and ginger tea


8. Peppermint And Ginger Tea

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon chopped peppermint, 3 tablespoons chopped ginger, 1 cup honey, 4 cups water

How to: Put water into a pot and turn on the heat. Add ginger and peppermint. Let it boil for 5 to 7 minutes. Strain into a cup and add honey. Drink while still warm.

Frequency: Two to three times a day

Why it works: This ginger peppermint and honey tea is an anti-viral concoction and will treat your cough better than any cough syrup. Peppermint adds taste and flavor while also soothing a sore throat. It is also known for reducing congestion and effectively clears the breathing passage. Ginger calms down inflammation and brings relief to a scratchy throat. Honey increases the benefits of both peppermint and ginger and has a soothing effect on its own.


10 marshmallow root


9. Marshmallow Root With Honey & Peppermint

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon marshmallow root, 1 teaspoon peppermint leaf, 1 teaspoon honey, 3 cups water

How to: Add water, marshmallow root and peppermint leaf to a small pot. Bring it to a boil. Let the herbs steep in for 8 to 10 minutes. Strain into a cup and add honey. Drink while still warm

Frequency: Twice a day

Why it works: Marshmallow root treats coughs and colds very effectively. It is known for loosening up mucus and fighting off bacteria. It also soothes the itchy throat and is the best remedy for dry cough. Peppermint is a well-known decongestant and honey brings further relief to coughing with its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.


11 thyme


10. Thyme And Honey

Ingredients: 2 cups water, 3 tablespoon thyme leaves, 1 cup raw honey

How to: Add the water and thyme leaves in a pot. Put it on a simmer and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool down. Once it has cooled down, mix honey thoroughly.

Frequency: One spoon whenever needed

Why it works: This is another one of the best natural remedies for cough. It alleviates coughing, reduces pain, and calms down inflammation. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which aid in fighting off the infection. It is preferred by many as a natural cure for cough.


12 Honey and lemon


11. Honey And Lemon

Ingredients: 1 ½ cup raw honey, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil,1 cup lemon juice

How to: Add honey, olive oil and lemon juice to a small pot. Put it on medium heat and stir. Cook until steam rises. Take it down from heat and let it cool down. Pour in a glass jar.

Frequency: One spoon (warmed) thrice a day

Why it works: This honey and lemon concoction is the best home remedy for cough with phlegm. Honey is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It effectively aids in fighting off the infection. It soothes an itchy and scratchy throat by forming a layer on the throat. Lemon juice is a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants. It helps in fighting infections as well and boosts immunity.




12. Kimchi - The Popular Korean Dish

Ingredients: 1 large cabbage, 1 radish, 2 tablespoons sliced scallions, 2 tablespoons sliced ginger, 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, 1 chopped onion,  2 tablespoon chili flakes, ¼ cup sea salt

How to: Cut the cabbage into 1-inch cubes. Put it into a bowl and add sea salt. Soak it in warm water for 6 to 8 hours. Drain the water and keep it aside. Make a paste of ginger, garlic, chili flakes, and onion. Cut the radish in 2 to 3 inches long match stick like pieces. Mix the cabbage with radish, scallion, and the paste you had just prepared. After mixing it thoroughly, place it in a glass jar. Make sure you leave some space at the top. Add a little of the brine solution you had saved. Place a cabbage leaf at the top and close the lid. Let it sit for 3 days and then refrigerate.

Frequency: Daily

Why it works: Kimchi is a Korean dish with ingredients such as garlic, ginger, and pepper which are well known for their health benefits especially in the flu season. It is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Kimchi is also a good source of probiotics. This dish is a great way of building immunity without compromising on taste. It is well-equipped to treat your cough and will not make you feel drowsy like cough syrup.


13 Korean Ginseng Tea


13. Korean Ginseng Tea

Ingredients: 1 ginseng root, 3 cups water, 1 ½ teaspoon of honey

How to: Slice the ginseng root into 7 to 8 thin slices and put it into a bowl. Cat the slices with honey and let it sit for 10 minutes. Pour hot water on it and let it steep for another 5 to 8 minutes. Strain into a cup. Drink while warm.

Frequency: Twice a day

Why it works: Korean ginseng tea is amazing when it comes to combating cough, cold and flu. It is quite a popular home remedy for cough thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have also shown that ginseng is effective in treating infections of the upper respiratory tract.

14 Onion


14. Onions

Ingredients: 1 large onion

How to: Cut an onion in large chunks and put it on a plate. Place this plate near your bedside at night. Sleep as usual.

Frequency: Daily

Why it works: This home remedy comes from the old wives’ tales. Onion has a strong smell and it is believed that this strong odour helps in alleviating and inhibiting cough. You just have to place a plate full of chopped onions next to your bedside. It will work while you sleep. This is one of the best home remedies for dry cough at night and is safe to be used for babies as well.


15 Eucalyptus Oil


15. Eucalyptus Oil & Peppermint Oil

Ingredients: 4 to 5 drops of eucalyptus oil, 2 to 3 drops of peppermint oil

How to: Mix the oils and rub on chest and throat for relief.

Frequency: Daily

Why it works: This is one of the best chesty cough home remedies. Eucalyptus oil is known for its qualities of curbing a cough and of being a decongestant. This is why it is also used as one of the major ingredients in cough medications.




Frequently Asked Questions



Q. Which are the most effective natural remedies for cough?

Thyme tea, spiced tea, ginger honey tea, eucalyptus oil, miso soup, kimchi, and chicken soup are some of the most effective natural remedies for cough.


Q. Which is the best herbal medicine for cough?

 Licorice and cinnamon with honey is the best herbal medicine for cough.


Q. Which is the best herbal tea for cough?

Marshmallow root tea is the best herbal tea for cough. You can also go for spiced tea.


Q. Does garlic for cough work?

Yes, garlic works very effectively for cough owing to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.


Q. Which are the best home remedies for cough and cold?

Eucalyptus oil, peppermint tea, black pepper with honey, spiced tea, and turmeric milk are some of the best home remedies for cough and cold. 


Q. Which are the effective wet cough remedies?

Thyme and clove tea, ginger tea, honey, lemon, and eucalyptus oil are some of the effective wet cough remedies.


Q. What is a natural cure for cough?

For a natural cure for cough mix a teaspoon each of ginger juice and honey. Take three times a day for effective results.


Q. Does tea for cough work?

Yes, teas like peppermint tea, thyme tea, and masala tea are very effective for soothing cough. Ginger honey tea also works wonders.


Q. Which are the best home remedies for dry cough?

Soup, broth, hot tea, and honey are some of the best home remedies for dry cough.




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