9 Natural Cough Remedies that Work

9 Natural Cough Remedies that Work

As the winter season switches into full gear, no matter what climate you live in there is always the potential of developing a lingering cough. A hacking discomfort that seems to hang on forever with a variety of responses that could even have your friends, family and co-workers noticing. These coughs are usually the result of seasonal allergens creating post nasal drip which relentlessly irritates your sinuses and throat. Other coughs may indicate an immune system weakness unable to fight pathogens or are the result of environmental causes such as pollutants.

Conventional medicine approaches these coughs by targeting the symptoms rather than the root cause. Strong pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter (OTC) sugar coated remedies may temporarily relieve symptoms, yet they often do not affect duration or re-occurrence and often include side effects.

As an alternative, try 9 natural cough remedies that work which can be used alone or in combination for relief that goes deep. These are remedies time tested through centuries of ancient healing with many backed by scientific data. They are inexpensive, non-invasive, side effect free ways you can finally deal with your own cough symptoms on your own terms. If your cough lingers for more than two weeks do see a doctor as it could indicate something more serious.

The Golden Nugget

Adjusting the words to an old song; a spoonful of honey is the medicine that goes down. Raw, unfiltered honey for a child or adult cough has been shown to be just as effective or even better than synthetic cough medicine.

According to Dr. James M. Steckelberg, as reported by The Mayo Clinic,

“In one study, children age 2 and older with upper respiratory tract infections were given up to 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) of honey at bedtime. The honey seemed to reduce nighttime coughing and improve sleep. In fact, in the study, honey appeared to be as effective as a common cough suppressant ingredient, dextromethorphan, in typical over-the-counter doses.”

Never give honey to babies or toddlers due to undeveloped immune systems that cannot fight honey bacteria properly until older.


Science cannot wrap its head around healing reports of the otherworldly practice of homeopathy.  For centuries, homeopathic remedies have stepped in and worked beyond conventional approaches yet studies cannot confirm the actual curative mechanism. Some cite the placebo effect, others talk of the “vibration” derived from various sources capable of targeting the root cause of illness and yet others cry snake oil scam.

Either way, using these remedies for a winter or allergy cough may do the trick for you.

Here are three examples of remedies from Homeopathy Plus each for specifically described coughs. There are many more that you might research if none here apply.

  • Arsenicum album (Ars.) – An asthmatic cough with wheezing and frothy expectoration. The patient is very chilly, restless, anxious and may be sweaty, with marked exhaustion. The patient feels worse after midnight and is sensitive to cold.
  • Hepar sulphuricum (Hepar.) – Croup from cold, dry winds or cold air. Cough is triggered by any part of the body being exposed. Choking spells of coughing. This is an important croup remedy in children.
  • Lycopodium clavatum (Lyc.) – A tickling cough, with shortness of breath and fan-like motion of nostrils at each intake. Tickling cough accompanied a throbbing headache with each bout of coughing.

Homeopathic remedies are inexpensive, safe and have no side effects. They are found in most good health food stores. Note: Remedies must be taken 20 minutes before or after eating/drinking/brushing teeth/or putting on cologne/perfume. If pellets, they must never touch hands (special caps allow for non-touch delivery).

Easy Peasy

The simplest remedy, most likely found within a stone’s throw of where you are sitting, is salt. Salt is one of the best bacterial killers and when you add a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon to warm water and gargle, your cough could very well recoil.

Gargle 3-5x per day at least 3 gargles each time. Be sure to cover the back of your throat as well as swish around your mouth before spitting.

Nostril Rinse 

More salt. Throughout Asia, particularly India, neti pots have been used for saline nasal irrigation (SNI) for centuries. It looks like a miniature ceramic tea pot and is filled with warm, clean (often distilled) water and salt.

You place the spout at one nostril, tilt your head and slowly pour until it drips out of the other nostril. The water rinses allergens and other debris possibly embedded in your sinus cavity while the salt not only helps drag it out but also is able to neutralize many pathogens in the area as well.

A study published in American Family Physician states,

“Saline nasal irrigation (SNI), a therapy with roots in Ayurvedic medicine that bathes the nasal mucosa with in spray or liquid saline, has been used as adjunctive care for upper respiratory conditions. In liquid form, SNI has been found to be effective adjunctive care by the Cochrane Collaboration for symptoms associated with chronic rhinosinusitis.”

Loosen It

Sometimes your body is trying so hard to dislodge accumulated phlegm an herbal boost may help. Some of the best expectorants can be found in many common products such as vapor rubs and lozenges. These are good starters to see if you can’t get your phlegm up and out.

  • Peppermint – The menthol compound in fresh peppermint is able to thin mucus and loosen phlegm. It acts as a decongestant while soothing the throat at the same time. Use peppermint tea, natural cough drops or take a hot bath, sprinkle in ten drops of peppermint essential oil, place a wet towel over your head and inhale the fumes.
  • Licorice – Pure licorice that hasn’t been made into a candy has been linked to loosening congestion and relieving throat irritation. This is due to the compound called glycyrrhizin which includes anti-inflammatory capability as well as calming an explosive cough. Those with heart conditions should not take licorice.
  • Pineapple Juice – Fresh, unsweetened pineapple juice offers gentle acids that can break down phlegm as well as the anti-inflammatory bromelain to quell an irritated throat. Eat a fresh slice or drink three ounces, three times per day until symptoms subside.


If you have a cough make sure you rest and do not tax your system with heavy food or drink. Stick to using one or more of these 9 natural cough remedies that work and drink plenty of filtered water to flush out your system.