Natural remedies for cough

Coughing is a mechanism through which the body eliminates foreign bodies. It is the body's natural way to ensure health and wellness. However, as important as this process is, it can cause discomfort especially when it happens for a prolonged period 

Sometimes, your cough may disappear on its own and other times, you may need a remedy for it. In this article are some natural remedies to help get rid of your cough.

Let's get to it


Studies show that honey improves symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections more than usual care. This natural therapy works by reducing mucus production. You can take 2 teaspoons of honey or add it to lemon tea as a cough remedy. Note that honey is not suitable for less than 1 year olds as it can cause food poisoning called botulism.


Ginger contains anti inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that destroy pathogens capable of causing cough and sore throat. To use ginger for your cough, you can chew a piece or squeeze out the juice and mix it with lemon tea.

Hot fluids

A study showed that hot fluids caused immediate and sustained relief to patients with cough. Examples of hot fluids that help are hot teas, warm water and chicken broth.


Pineapples contain a substance called Bromelain. This bioactive substance is effective in treating respiratory tract infections as it has anti-inflammatory properties and can break down mucus. If that cough comes again, get yourself a piece of pineapple or a glass of pineapple juice.


Gargling salt water is a remedy for cough. Salt draws out water from the inflamed throat and keeps out pathogens. Simply, add half a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water, gargle and spit it out.


Taking a steamy bath or inhaling steam will help keep the throat humidified or moisturized and ease the cough. It loosens mucus if the cough is a wet one (i.e cough that produces mucus). To do steam inhalation, cover your head with a towel and bend it over a bowl of hot water then inhale the steam for 2-5 minutes, and repeat.

Eucalyptus oil

Using essential oils like eucalyptus oil also helps with cough as it possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into a bowl of hot water and use for steam inhalation.

Mint leaves

Mint leaves contain a bioactive substance called Rosmarinic acid. This substance has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can cure cough. Add mint leaves into hot water and use for steam inhalation. You can also gargle with warm mint water.


 Abuelgasim, H., et al. (2021). Effectiveness of honey for symptomatic relief in upper respiratory tract infections: A systematic review and meta-analysis. [Abstract].

Grzanna, R., Lindmark, L., & Frondoza, C. G. (2005). Ginger- a herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions. Journal of medicinal food, 8(2), 125–132.

Sanu, A., & Eccles, R. (2008). The effects of a hot drink on nasal airflow and symptoms of common cold and flu. Rhinology, 46(4), 271–275.

Maurer H. R. (2001). Bromelain: biochemistry, pharmacology and medical use. Cellular and molecular life sciences: CMLS, 58(9), 1234–1245. 

Silva, J., Abebe, W., Sousa, S. M., Duarte, V. G., Machado, M. I., & Matos, F. J. (2003). Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of essential oils of Eucalyptus. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 89(2-3), 277–283.

 McKay, D. L., & Blumberg, J. B. (2006). A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). Phytotherapy research : PTR, 20(8), 619–633.

Glorious Kate Akpegah

Glorious Kate Akpegah is a medical student at the University of Calabar. She enjoys writing health and wellness articles to help inform the public and promote a healthy lifestyle.

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