Top 10 home remedies for cough to get instant relief

Top 10 home remedies for cough to get instant relief

Be it dry cough or wet cough, here are natural remedies to get rid rid of it.

Written by Anusuya Suresh |Updated : May 27, 2020 10:09 PM IST

Read this in Hindi.

Cough and cold, though not serious in all cases, do disrupt our lives in some way or the other. Some estimates suggest that it is one of the most common causes of doctor visit all over the world. Cough is your body's protective mechanism against any alien presence in your lungs or windpipe. A bout of cough gets it out of your system. Cold and flu viruses are the most common culprit behind this condition while the other causes could be allergies, asthma, irritants, etc. Your treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

While in some cases it may be necessary to take cough suppressing medicines, simple substances in your kitchen and OTC medications might also help you deal with this condition. Here are some quick and effective home remedies for cough you can try!

Also Read

More News

1. Gargles


As soon as you feel soreness in your throat, make it a point to gargle with salt dissolved in warm water. The salt in the water can help drain excess fluid from inflamed areas in the throat reducing the symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic book of home remedies, the gargling also removes irritants in the throat and thins the mucus.

2. Use Vaporubs

According to a study at the Penn State College of Medicine, children above 2 years of age had symptomatic relief and could sleep better after applying vaporubs. While the exact reason how vaporubs work remains a mystery, the ingredients such as menthol, camphor and eucalyptus may have a role in relieving congestion.

3. Drink Warm Liquids

Warm tea

A cough is best not neglected because it can lead to certain complications at times. Drinking warm water is a good way of soothing the inflammation in the throat {1}; but this does not have any taste and may be unappetizing for most people. A warm soup is a much better solution as is a glass of hot herbal tea.

4. Sleep With the Head Elevated

In some persons, a productive cough results when mucus drips from the back of the nose into the throat. This tends to grow worse at night when the body posture is conducive for such dripping. Sleeping with the head at a higher position helps to reduce such drainage and many people find this position helps reduce coughing at night and improves sleep.

3. Throat LozengeslozengeA study conducted at Wayne State University, in Detroit, showed that patients who took zinc lozenges every two to three waking hours cut the duration of a cold by almost half. The irritation caused by constant coughing can also be overcome by using throat lozenges. They are also known to prevent the progression of a sore throat to a cough. While some lozenges are medicated and contain ingredients such as dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) or benzocaine (an anesthetic), others contain natural soothing ingredients such as honey, menthol, peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil. In many homes, it is also quite common to make small children suck on the red-colored variety of rock candy (Mishri in Hindi) to stop cough.

6. Turmeric Remedies

Haldi doodh: A traditional remedy that most people swear by is the use of hot milk with turmeric. According to a study {2}, it is shown to even have antibacterial properties. Heat a glass of milk, mix in half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and drink warm to get relief from cough.

haldi-doodhTurmeric gargle: A turmeric gargle also gives good results. To one cup of hot water, add in half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and half a teaspoon table salt. Use this liquid as a throat gargle and you are sure to experience relief from cough.

Turmeric and honey mixture: For a dry cough, turmeric powder mixed with a teaspoon of honey taken three to four times a day is effective. You could also try preparing turmeric tea by adding one tablespoon of turmeric powder into 4 cups of boiling water. Keep for a few minutes, strain and mix in some lemon and honey to the liquid and drink.

Dhooma paan: According to Dr. Soumya Bhat,Ayurvedic doctor, inhaling the smoke of burning turmeric called the dhooma paan is also considered to be an effective remedy for cough and cold. Take a dried turmeric root, burn it and inhale the smoke.

Another way out is to place a few pieces of red hot charcoal in a small mud pot that has been placed in a cup of water. Add a few dried leaves of turmeric over the charcoal and a spoonful of turmeric powder over the leaves. Gently blow to ignite the turmeric powder and inhale the smoke emitted. Read more about how turmeric can help improve your health.

7. Honey Remedies

honeyHoney has been known to soothe the irritated throat linings and thus, has been used as an ayurvedic remedy for cough since ages. A study conducted at the Penn State School of Medicine on children above the age of 2 years showed that honey helped them cough less and sleep better.

There are different ways of using honey besides the one mentioned in combination with turmeric. A dry cough responds to a mixture of honey with juice from grapes. A glass of hot milk with some honey added just before going to bed is effective at relieving night-time cough. Mix in honey and lemon juice to a glass of warm water and drink this three times per day for relief from cough.

If you have a particularly nasty cough, try this remedy. Take about 3 tablespoons of get rid of a sore throat with natural honey.

8. Ginger Remedies

Known to be one of the best home remedies for cough, ginger has a number of amazing benefits .


Fresh ginger: For a dry cough, one of the easiest ways of finding relief is to cut a piece of fresh ginger, sprinkle some salt on it and chew on it for a few minutes. However, not everyone likes the strongly aromatic taste of ginger and in such cases, a tea made with ginger is equally good.

Ginger tea: Chop ginger into fine pieces, add into a vessel containing one cup of water. Keep boiling the liquid till the volume reduces to half the original quantity. Strain the liquid, add one teaspoon of honey and drink when warm to give a soothing effect against cough. How does it work? Dr Eccles, Director of Common Cold Centre at the Cardiff University, told netdoctor.co.uk that ginger seems to work by promoting salivation and mucus secretion and will help relieve cough symptoms .

Ginger and tulsi: Ginger in combination with tulsi is also an effective remedy for cough. Crush about 10 leaves of tulsi, mix with juice extracted from a small ginger piece. Add in an equal quantity of honey and mix; swallow about a single teaspoon of this about thrice a day to get relief from cough. Read more about the medicinal properties of tulsi or holy basil.

People who don t mind the strong spicy flavour of pepper can also add some black pepper powder and turmeric into a mixture of ginger juice with honey. When this paste is slowly licked for 10 to 15 minutes thrice a day, it helps reduce congestion in the throat and reduces cough. A simple ginger tea is easy to prepare by boiling ginger with water; then add tea leaves or tea powder, drop in some tulsi leaves and pepper powder, strain and drink for relief from cough.

9. Garlic Remedies

garlicGarlic is an effective antimicrobial and expectorant and this makes it a valuable home remedy to fight cough. The University of Maryland Medical Center cites one study that suggested that garlic might help prevent colds and lessen their symptoms. People who took a garlic supplement for 12 weeks caught 63 percent fewer colds than people who took a placebo.

Lightly crush about 5 cloves of peeled garlic and saut in a teaspoon of ghee; consume when still warm for relief from cough and cold. Include crushed garlic saut ed in ghee in other dishes where possible. Do this with rasam and you have a medicinal soup that soothes your throat and also helps liquefy the thick mucus, making it easier to cough out the phlegm. Read more about a clove of garlic a day keeps the doctor at bay.

10. Jaggery Remedies to Get Rid of Sputum

GurSputum buildup can lead to a feeling of congestion in the chest and the entire respiratory tract; expelling this sputum therefore provides relief from cough and congestion. Dr. Soumya Bhat, Ayurvedic doctor, recommends the following remedies for such relief. Make a decoction by boiling a few corns of pepper with water for about 20 minutes; mix in a little cumin and jaggery and drink. Cut a quarter part of an onion, keep a small bit of jaggery in the middle of it and chew on this for expelling sputum.

Over the Counter Medications

Relief from cough is even faster if you use over the counter (OTC) cough medications along with home remedies. Besides medicated lozenges, you could also try cough suppressants that contain ingredients like dextromethorphan. These are particularly useful if you have a hacking or dry cough. If you have productive cough, an OTC product with ingredients that have expectorant properties can help to clear out the mucus in the airways. Often, OTC products of both types suppressants as well as expectorants contain an antihistamine and this can help you sleep better at night.

Coughs are of different types, so are their solutions. Using home remedies or OTC products can help provide relief from cough. However, it is equally important to remember that if you find the cough persisting for an extended period of time, it is best to see a doctor to identify if there is any underlying serious problem that is causing the cough.

Have any doubts about how to get instant cough relief, click here.

This section is brought to you by Benadryl cough syrup

Also read blocked nose causes and remedies.


  1. Huang Y, Wu T, Zeng L, Li S. Chinese medicinal herbs for sore throat. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;3;CD004877.
  2. Bhavani Shankar, T. N. and Sreenivasa Murthy, V., Effect of turmeric (Curcuma longa) fractions on the growth of some intestinal and pathogenic bacteria in vitro. Indian J. Exp Biol., 1979, 17, 1363 1366.
  3. Simasek M, Blandino DA. Treatment of the common cold. Am Fam Physician. 2007 Feb 15;75(4):515-20. Review

Photo source: Getty images