Coughing is your body’s natural response to entry of irritants or the presence of phlegm. Persistent cough, however, can be a symptom of many other conditions, such as allergies or infections.
Coughs are usually prescribed with OTC cough medicines, or sometimes antibiotics. However, there are also safe natural cough remedies you can try at home.
Healthline recommends these 7 natural cough remedies:
This is the holy grail of natural cough remedies. One study found that honey relieves cough more effectively than OTC cough medicines.
Whip up your own natural cough remedy at home by mixing 2 tsps of honey with warm water or herbal tea and a squeeze of lemon juice. The honey soothes your throat while the lemon juice helps relieve congestion.
A research study suggests that thyme essence combined with ivy can be a potent natural remedy for cough and short-term bronchitis. Thyme leaves contain flavonoids that relax the throat muscles and lessen inflammation.
Make thyme tea by using 2 tsps of crushed thyme leaves and 1 cup of boiling water. Cover the cup, steep for 10 minutes, strain, and drink.
Peppermint contains menthol that soothes your throat and functions as a decongestant, helping break down mucus buildup.
Use peppermint to cure cough naturally by either of these two methods:
- Steep peppermint leaves in hot water for 10 minutes and drink as tea
- Add 3-4 drops of peppermint oil in 150 ml hot water to make a steam bath. Drape a towel over your head, and take deep breaths directly above the water.
You’ve probably never heard of bromelain before, but it’s an enzyme found in the fruit and stem of pineapples, that may help suppress coughs and loosen the mucus in your throat. Eat a slice of pineapple or drink 3.5 oz of fresh pineapple juice three times a day to chase your cough away.
Before marshmallows become the squishy treats we know, they are actually perennial flowers whose roots and leaves have been used in traditional medicine to treat sore throats and remedy coughs.
The marshmallow herb also contains mucilage, which coats the throat and relieves irritation.
Nowadays, you can purchase marshmallow root in capsules or as tea.
Probiotics don’t relieve a cough directly, but will help bring back your normal gut bacteria levels. This balance will boost your body’s immune system, lowering your susceptibility to colds, flu, or certain allergens.
Get your probiotics from yogurts or supplements at most health or drug stores.
7. Salt and water gargle
The simplest and most readily accessible natural cough remedy is a salt and water gargle. This will help soothe scratchy throat.
Simply mix ¼ to ½ tsp of salt with 8 oz of warm water and gargle.