How To Stop Coughing: 12 Natural Remedies

The best homemade remedies against a cough include honey and lemon, water and salt, and eucalyptus

If you want to know how to stop coughing and get rid of throat irritants, you've come to the right place as we're about to examine the twelve most effective homemade natural remedies for dry and productive coughs.  

Coughing is a natural protective reflex of our bodies which helps to clear the large breathing passages  from fluids, irritants, and foreign particles. A cough can be triggered by multiple factors such as bacteria, smoking, air pollution, or allergies, among others.

12 natural remedies for dry and productive coughs 

To calm and reduce the frequency of coughing attacks, either dry or productive, we can turn to a series of homemade concoctions that are easy to make and extremely effective.  

1. Honey and lemon

Honey and lemon infusions have been used for centuries as an excellent treatment for stubborn dry cough and any other problems of the respiratory system.

The infusion is prepared by heating water in a pan and then adding one squeezed lemon and a tablespoon of honey. The resulting liquid must be served warm, although, it can also be made without water. 

We recommend having the honey and lemon drink before going to bed, and remember that you must use good quality honey if you want to have a speedy recovery. 

2. Water and salt 

Another homemade remedy for coughing is gargling with salt water. Similarly to honey and lemon drinks, this is an ancient mixture that helps alleviate throat pain. 

The salt functions as a magnet for water so by gargling you’re washing the virus out along with reducing the inflammation. This is also the reason why you have clear airways after taking a dip in the sea. 

3. Ginger

Ginger has been known for its health benefits for millennia. The root of this flowering plant has been widely used as a spice and in folk medicine, because it contains vitamins and antioxidants, and it has a potent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effect.

An excellent home remedy against coughing, ginger also acts as a decongestant and energizer that helps alleviate the effects of throat irritation and other ailments related to the respiratory system. 

To prepare a ginger drink you must boil the root in water, usually cut into rolls, and then add honey and lemon to taste. 

4. Warm baths

It may not seem like it, but warm baths are an excellent remedy for a cough. The relaxing effect of the warm water alleviates muscle pain as well as any respiratory issues. 

Vapor is also very useful in clearing the airways, and the generalized calming effect on the body facilitates bringing up mucus. 

Due to their calming effect, warm baths are an excellent treatment for dry cough
Due to their calming effect, warm baths are an excellent treatment for a dry cough

5. Tea

There is a wide array of teas available which can be used as homemade remedies for frogs in the throat. The most recommended one is black pepper tea, that helps with productive coughs. 

This herbal tea can be served warm and sweetened with honey for a maximum phlegm-purging effect as well as for clearing out the airways 

Other infusions meant to calm a cough are mint and thyme teas. 

6. Onions

As strange as it sounds, onion is a fantastic remedy against coughs. Mixing onion broth and honey is an essential medicine for treating all types of coughs. 

Allium cepa (the Latin name of this vegetable) has antibacterial properties that when mixed with honey becomes more potent in alleviating coughs. 

To prepare this drink, you need to place a pot with cut onions and lemon bits over a bain-marie and boil it for two hours. The mixture must be then strained before serving; the recommended amount is one glass every two or three hours. 

7. Eucalyptus steam 

Steam inhalation is a successful remedy for managing all types of coughs, opening and clearing the airways and reducing inflammation and congestion. For this reason, Eucalyptus steam baths are ideal for dealing with a dry cough. 

Similarly to warm baths, Eucalyptus steam facilitates opening and clearing the respiratory system, relaxes and reduces any possible inflammation. 

To prepare for the steam bath, you must put Eucalyptus leaves in a big pot (lemon slices can be added too) and bring to a boil. Turn off the stove, place a towel over your head so that you don't lose any vapor and inhale deeply for 10 minutes. 

8. Staying hydrated 

People who suffer from colds must remain hydrated at all times. An easy to use, a natural remedy against a dry cough would be drinking room temperature water. This can reduce discomfort, mucus production, and sneezing. 

On the other hand, people who have more symptoms can also heat the water before drinking it. Warm beverages help with sore throats, shivers, and exhaustion. 

9. Marsh mallow (Althaea Officinalis) root 

The root of the marsh mallow plant has been used traditionally as a natural remedy against coughing and sore throats.  This plant contains a viscous substance called mucilage which coats the throat and alleviates the effects of irritation due to a dry cough. 

Althaea Officinalis can be bought in loose tea format or teabags. The more we leave the herb in warm water, the bigger the mucilage concentration we will get. 

10. Bromelain 

Bromelain is a naturally occurring enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties, especially for the nose and sinuses. Pineapple, out of all the fruits containing it, is famous for having the highest concentration of this natural chemical. 

Some people resort to drinking pineapple juice daily in hopes of reducing their coughing; however, we're all different, and there might not be enough bromelain present in the drink to actually make a difference in their bodies. 

Should this happen to you as well, you can always get a bromelain supplement from your local health store which could be more effective. 

Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which helps with persistent coughs and has anti-inflammatory properties
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which helps with persistent coughs and has anti-inflammatory properties

11. Elm tree

The bark of elm trees is a natural remedy, that similarly to the marsh mallow plant, contains elevated amounts of mucilage. This tree has been used for centuries in treating digestive problems. 

Elm tree bark can be consummed as a dry loose herb, infussed, in powder or capsule format. 

12. Thyme 

The last item on our list of homemade natural remedies against coughs is thyme. Aside from its many gastronomical uses, this plant is one of the most common treatments for cough, throat pain, bronchitis, and digestive problems. 


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