Natural cough remedies made with herbs and honey

pexels-photo-811106.jpegBy Ishtar Babilu Dingir

If like me, you’ve been the victim of a nasty virus, you’ll know that once all the streaming, sneezing and sniffles are over, you’re often left with the legacy of a nasty cough which won’t seem to shift. My ex-husband had a similar virus and, he told me, his cough went on for weeks afterwards. Mine, in the end, would dive underground during the day – only to rise up at four in the morning and wake me up with a persistent hacking cough. I also found that the coughing put enormous strain on my back muscles which ached like mad the next day.

I tried sucking boiled sweets and even a big slug of Scotch before going to bed, but none of those solutions worked. Then I realised that I had a garden full of herbs and Manuka honey in the kitchen cupboard, so I got my Google finger going to search for a natural cough remedy, and managed to find some great recipes which I’d like to share with you here.

In the end, I picked some mint, mallow and thyme from the garden and then boiled them up, and then simmered for five minutes. After that, I left it for a few hours to steep, then added honey, cinnamon and ginger, and sipped whenever I felt the need to.

Here are some more natural cough medicine recipes:


Grated Onions

Onions have a strong vapor that is effective in stopping coughs. You can use onions to make your own cough syrup, use either honey and comfrey tea or baked onion juice. It is effective if taken on a daily basis.

To make an onion cough syrup: Mix lemon juice, honey, grated onion and boil in a pan over a pot of boiling water. Cover and let simmer for 2 hours. Strain the juice and consume 1 tbsp every alternate hour.


chopped gingers

Ginger is known to have antiviral properties. You can crush fresh ginger or chop it into small pieces, add a pinch of clove, cinnamon powder and put them in a cup of hot water, this ends up forming a herbal solution. This herbal solution reduces congestion, sore throat and non-stop coughing. It is good practice to drink the herbal solution about 4 times daily. Ginger can also be chewed to subsidize any cough symptoms.



Garlic has been known to have both antimicrobial and antibacterial components that are efficient in treating coughs.

To prepare a garlic solution, take at least two cloves, boil in water, add one spoonful of oregano. When the solution is at room temperature, add a small quantity of honey. You can now drink it.

The solution aids in alleviating cough symptoms and improves breathing. Another way of consuming garlic is by crushing one clove of garlic and mixing it with one or two drops of honey and clove oil. You can then eat it to relief any throat complications you may experiencing. For those who love garlic, you can also add it as part of your food ingredients when cooking.

4. Turmeric

Turmeric is one of those herbs that’s used by a lot of people. It is essential in getting rid of dry coughs as it has therapeutic effect. One of the easy and simple ways of using turmeric to treat coughs is to mix carom seeds and turmeric.

Take a single teaspoon of each and add in one cup of water. Boil the mixture until the water level reduces to half. Add several teaspoons of honey to the solution and take it at least two times daily.

You can also make turmeric powder by roasting turmeric root then grinding it. It forms a smooth powder that can be taken twice daily after adding honey and water to the powder.

5. Cloves:

Mix cloves with honey and store in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the cloves in the morning and consume 1 tbsp of the honey. This soothes the throat pain and reduces inflammation.

6. Mustard Plaster:
Mustard Plaster

Mix mustard powder (1 part), flour (2 parts) with water or egg and spread the paste on a dish towel, fold the towel and press it against the skin. This is a natural chest rub that loosens up the chest congestion.

7. Gargling with hot Water & Salt
gargling with hot water and salt

Gargle saltwater to ease your cough. Take some luke warm water, add a pinch of salt. The best way to get results from this is by doing this a number of repeated times during the day. Saltwater eases inflamed and irritated throat complications and helps in loosening mucus.

9. Thyme

Peppermint and thyme are effective in clearing congestion in air passages. They also have antispasmodic and antimicrobial properties. Licorice and mullein help in soothing irritated membranes and lessen any possible inflammation. It is possible for you to make your own herbal syrup that contains peppermint, licorice, thyme and mullein.

Simply take two teaspoons of each and add in one cup of boiling water. Steep and cover for about 30 minutes. Afterwards strain and mix with honey, about half a cup. In case the honey does not dissolve, heat the syrup gently while stirring. Refrigerate the syrup for a maximum of 3 months. Take a teaspoon of the syrup when needed.

10. Cayenne

Persistent coughing can result to painful chest pains; cayenne is effective in reducing this pain. Cayenne pepper increases blood circulation to the area which hastens the healing process. It is also stimulating and warming which is a pleasant remedy when one is suffering from cough and cold.

To make a healthy cayenne syrup, mix together cayenne pepper- ¼ teaspoon, honey-a single tablespoon, water-2 tablespoon, apple cider vinegar- a single tablespoon, ground ginger- ¼ teaspoon. You can take the syrup at least 2 times daily.

11. Lemon
lemon juice with honey

Lemons are high in Vitamin C which helps in fighting infections. It also helps in curing coughs by reducing throat inflammations.

You can boil lemons with honey to make simple syrup to treat coughs. The syrup can be taken daily at intervals depending on the severity of the cough.

Another effective way of using lemons as cough treatment is to make lemon juice mixed with cayenne pepper and honey.

Mix honey, lemon juice and cayenne pepper and consume orally. The honey has antiseptic properties and also acts as a gel and coats the throat, soothing the irritated tissues.

12. Almonds
almonds paste

Almonds have nutritional properties that help in the treatment of coughs. You can make an almond paste by soaking at least 5 almonds for a minimum of 8 hours. A smooth almond paste is formed. Add one teaspoon of butter to the paste. You can eat it about three times daily to relief some of the cough symptoms.

13. Carrot juice
carrot juice

Carrot is rich with nutrients and vitamins that are efficient in alleviating cough symptoms. You can make fresh carrot juice by using at least four carrots, dilute the fresh juice with water. To get fast relief from your cough, drink this carrot juice about four times daily. For those who are not allergic to honey, you mix the juice with one teaspoon of honey.

14. Poached Pears with Cinnamon:
Poached Pears with Cinnamon

Wash pears, cut them length wise and make them into 2 halves, sprinkle cinnamon powder, put a pyrex glass baking dish with the fleshy part, add ½ water to the pan and bake till the pears are soft and peels easily come out. Store it in the fridge for 4 days and consume. This is good for curing tickly, constant dry coughs.

15. Licorice:

Licorice is good for cough as it loosens phlegm and relaxes bronchial spasms. Add licorice tincture (50 drops) to a cup of hot water and sip.

16. Saffron and Betel Leaf:
saffron strands and betel leaf

Make a paste out of the saffron strands and betel leaves. Apply on the soles of the feet and forehead. This is the best relieving home remedy for infants.

17. Herbal Tea:
herbal tea

Boil herbs like mullein, wild cherry bark, licorice root, sage leaves and slippery elm in water for 20 minutes and make an herbal tea. Mix 1 tbsp of honey to it and drink as often as possible to get rid of cough naturally.

18. Horehound leaves tea:
horehound tea

Boil horehound leaves or flowers in 1 cup of water and boil for 15 minutes, strain and drink thrice daily.

19. Marshmallow tea:
Marshmallow tea

Steep the dried herb in a cup of hot water and consume thrice daily. When combined with water, it yields a mucilage that coats the throat and thinks the mucus in the lungs making it easier to expel out.

20. Milk with honey
milk & honey

Honey added in hot milk aids in reducing dry cough. The combination of honey and milk reduces chest pains that are experienced during prolonged coughing. Hot milk offers better results. You can take the combination every night before retiring to bed. Honey has analgesic properties that help in soothing your throat and clearing mucus in the throat.

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Thanks to Cough Remedies for extracts from their article on the same subject.

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