Coughing is a common medical complaint that can happen to anyone. This condition can usually be treated with antitussive and expectorant medications available in pharmacies. But did you know that there are various natural cough remedies that are safe to try?
Coughing is a natural reflex as well as the body’s way of removing foreign objects in the airways, including mucus or phlegm.
f you haven’t been able to see a doctor to find out the cause of your cough, you can try the following natural herbal cough remedies.
These are the list of natural cough remedies that are safe to consume:
Ginger is considered to be a natural cough remedy because it has anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, the use of ginger is also considered to be able to relieve nausea.
A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Molecular Biology revealed that some anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger can relax the membranes in the airways, helping to reduce coughing.
However, further research is needed to prove the efficacy of ginger as a traditional cough medicine.
To try it, you can consume ginger boiled water or mix ginger slices with tea.
One way to treat cough with phlegm naturally and quickly is to consume honey.
Honey is one of the natural ingredients that has long been used to relieve coughs.
According to a study, honey is more effective in relieving coughs than drugs containing dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant.
To use this natural cough remedy, you can mix two teaspoons of honey with warm water or tea. You can also add lemon juice if your cough is accompanied by nasal congestion.
Although considered effective, honey for coughs should not be given to infants under one year old as it increases the risk of botulism.
Peppermint leaves are known to be effective in relieving coughs.
This is because the menthol content in them can act as an herbal cough medicine that helps soothe the throat and relieve breathing.
You can try drinking peppermint tea without sugar or inhaling steam mixed with peppermint essential oil.
• Drink lots of water
One way to relieve cough naturally without using drugs is to drink lots of water.
Water is believed to be a natural cough medicine for adults and children because it is considered to help thin the mucus that causes phlegm cough and moisturise a dry throat.
Thus, the cough is expected to subside. Not only that, studies have also shown that drinking warm liquids helps relieve colds and sneezing.
Apart from plain water, you can consume broth, warm tea, and warm fruit juice.
Pineapple is considered a natural cough remedy because it contains bromelain.
This ingredient found in pineapple stems is believed to help thin mucus.
Bromelain is also available in supplement form. However, you should consult your doctor before taking this supplement.
• Salt water
Gargling with salt water is one of the traditional ways to treat cough without medication.
Salt water is known to help thin cough-causing phlegm and relieve sore throat.
In fact, a study published in Scientific Reports in 2023/2024 revealed that gargling with salt, along with nasal irrigation procedures, can relieve cold symptoms and reduce cough duration.
To try, stir 1/2 teaspoon of salt into one glass of warm water until dissolved. Allow it to cool, then you can use it to gargle.
Make sure to gargle for a while and try to feel the saline solution down your throat. However, do not swallow it.
Also, this method is not recommended for children who cannot gargle well.