Natural remedies for a cough include many items you may already have in your kitchen, including apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, and flax seed. These home treatments are not only inexpensive they work very well!
Other great home remedies for a cough include supplements like vitamin C and D.
What Causes a Cough?
A cough can have many different causes. Coughing may be a symptom of a cold or flu virus. It may be a secondary bacterial infection. It can be cause by allergies or asthma. It can be caused by a very serious disease like whooping cough or tuberculosis. Mold in the home or a systemic fungal infection can cause a cough.
Fortunately, with natural cough remedies, you do not necessarily need to know the exact cause of your cough. Many of these remedies work very well for a variety of different types of cough. However, if your cough has lasted a long time or is getting worse instead of better in spite of treatment, it would be very wise to seek a medical opinion.
Natural Remedies for Coughs
One of the most important things to do when you have a cough is to stay will hydrated. This will help keep any mucous thin.
Dairy products are not a good source of hydration when you have a cough. In fact, dairy products and milk tend to make mucous production worse. Consider a milk substitute during a cold or flu if you need “milk.” Almond milk is a delicious alternative and can even be used in coffee instead of cream.
Hot tea is an excellent way to stay hydrated when you have a cough. Not only is hot tea soothing, many types of hot tea also have healing properties for a cough.
A teaspoon of coconut oil taken can alleviate a cough fit fast. Coconut oil soothes irritated bronchial passages and is anti-bacterial.
What Tea is Good for Cough and Congestion?
5 teas that help loosen phlegm and soothe an irritating cough are:
Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Tea
Apple cider vinegar or honey alone make great cough remedies. Putting them together in a tea will give you a delicious and powerful cough remedy.
Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of raw honey to a mug and add hot water. A pinch of cayenne or dash or hot sauce will add a bit of kick to the tea and may even kick your cough out!
Regular black tea, sweetened with honey is another great cough tea. If you prefer this tea iced, that is fine, too. Do not sweeten with artificial sweetener though as it has been linked to coughing for some!
Mullein tea bags, found at your health food store or large grocery stores, is an excellent remedy for a cough. This mild tea is easy to drink. If you desire a sweetener, again, use honey. Peppermint is also a lovely addition to this tea.
Ginger – Lemon Tea
Fresh lemon and fresh ginger make an excellent and tasty (albeit a bit spicy!) tea. Add 1 teaspooon of grated fresh ginger to a mug. Pour hot water over your ginger. After 10 minutes remove the ginger (or leave it in if you don’t mind it!) Add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Add honey or raw sugar to sweeten your tea. If you do not have fresh lemon and ginger, by all means, try dry ginger and bottled lemon juice. They may not be quite as effective but will still be helpful.
Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 tablespoon of flaxseed. After 15 minutes, strain out the flaxseed. Sweeten if desired. You can also add a bit of vanilla, cinnamon or lemon juice for flavor.
Home Remedies for a Cough
Garlic and Onion
Let food be thy cough medicine. Garlic and onions are two potent foods that have helped people with coughs around the world for centuries. Consuming garlic or onion raw will give the most benefit, although adding them to a soup will bring healing as well.
Make up a fresh green salad and add some raw onion and garlic. Use olive oil and apple cider vinegar seasoned with sea salt and cayenne pepper to dress your salad. This salad includes four great foods that help a cough, all in one meal!
Chicken Soup Recipe for a Cough
- 1 quart homemade (or organic store bought) chicken broth
- 3 cloves garlic minced (or ¾ teaspoon garlic powder)
- ¼ cup minced onion (or 1 teaspoon dried onion)
- 1 teaspooon sage
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt (unless your broth already has salt)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes. Eat this healing broth with crackers as a soup or enjoy it in a mug as a savory warm drink. For a heartier soup, add 1/2 cup cooked chicken pieces and 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta. (You can cook the rice or pasta in the soup while it is simmering; it will just take longer.)
You can also make use of onions and garlic for a cough without even consuming them. (Though you will have to smell them and your housemates will smell them too!)
Raw Chopped Onion
If you are plagued by a non-stop cough that will not let you sleep, cut up one onion and place it in a bowl by your bedside. Usually this will stop a very stubborn cough. You can even nibble on a bite or two of onion during the night as needed.
Mince up 4 garlic cloves and put them in a small sauce pan. Add ¼ cup olive oil. Heat the oil very lightly, just enough to thoroughly warm but not saute the garlic. Maintain the light heat for 30 minutes. Strain out the garlic. Use the resulting garlic oil to massage into your back and/or chest. Repeat as needed.
Chocolate can actually help a cough! For best results, use dark chocolate instead of a regular candy bar. Or try this hot chocolate drink with multiple remedies blended into one to sooth away your cough.
- 1 cup warm almond milk
- 2 teaspoons raw cacao powder
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon butter
- pinch of cinnamon
Blend together in a blender and enjoy!
Healing Baths for a Cough
Add ½ cup of baking soda, ½ cup of Epsom salt and 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to tub of warm water. Soak for 20-30 minutes. If you only have one or two of the ingredients, try the bath anyway. Each has potential to relieve your cough and make you feel better for a while.
Supplements for a Cough
The above remedies have the potential to bring relief to an acute cough. Used faithfully they can heal many coughs as well. However, if your cough is a result of an infection, you can add other supplements that will help to get you back to yourself more quickly:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Oregano Oil
Have you tried a natural cough remedy? Please send us some feedback!
Continue reading below for feedback from Earth Clinic readers who have tried various remedies and supplements to treat a cough.