7 DIY Remedies to Fight A Cough

Skip the drugstore meds and try these DIY cough remedies!

Persistent coughs aren’t just bothersome. They can be downright obnoxious if you cough loudly during class, work, or in an otherwise quiet room. You don’t want to be non-stop hacking during a movie or meeting. Even when you’re at home, a cought can be quite uncomfortable if it’s keeping you up at night!

A cough can have one of two causes. It can be caused by mucus buildup in your chest. These are “wet coughs” that shouldn’t be suppressed, but can be relieved with expectorants that clear your lungs. Coughs can also be “dry coughs.” Dry coughs do not bring up any phlegm, and they can be caused by allergies or dry air that triggers irritation, giving you that itchy throat feeling.

These 7 DIY cough remedies can be used to treat either wet or dry coughs. While it’s always a good idea to see your doctor about persistent symptoms, some of these home remedies can help relieve your cough without the need for harsh or costly medicines. The best part is that these DIY cough remedies have no scary ingredients and no harmful side effects!

7 DIY Remedies to Fight A Cough

1. Local Honey
A spoonful of honey can help soothe a dry cough. Honey is highly viscous. It can coat your throat to relieve dryness and itchiness. Local honey is also used by many to help treat allergies because it introduces your body to pollen and flowers found in your area. This is especially useful if you have a dry throat caused by seasonal allergies.

Read more about the health benefits of raw honey.

2. Steam
It sounds too simple to be true, but something as basic as steam can go a long way in soothing your throat. It will help moisten your nasal passages and throat, keeping away any dry hacking. It can also loosen thick mucus that is trying to make its way out of your system.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil to the water. These will provide some additional benefits in reducing irritation. Cover your head with a towel and lean over the pot. Take deep breaths to bring the steam as far into your system as possible.

3. Thyme Tea
Thyme is a natural expectorant, meaning it can help relieve a wet cough. You can find thyme tea in your local grocery store, or you can make your own by boiling 2-3 tablespoons of fresh thyme in a cup of water. Stir in some honey for some natural sweetness and added cough relief.

4. Ginger
Like thyme, ginger is a natural expectorant. It can help a wet cough by expelling built up mucus. Ginger also has soothing qualities that can help ease irritation causing a dry cough.

You can make ginger tea by boiling fresh slices of ginger root. Because ginger can be quite zingy, 1 to 2 teaspoons of ginger per cup of water should be more than enough. Add fresh lemon and honey to your ginger tea to boost its effects. Recipes such as this homemade ginger ale (without the bitters) or this lemon & ginger sparkling water can also provide some help for your dry cough.

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5. Lemon
Lemons can help suppress a dry throat. You can try sucking on a lemon wedge when you feel the itchy feeling coming on, or you can use lemon in a homemade cough syrup. For this option, simply mix fresh lemon juice with honey. Vary the ratio until you find something that works for you. Warm lemon tea with a tablespoon of honey can also help.

6. Black Pepper
That’s right, regular black pepper, the kind that you sprinkle on your morning eggs, can also help your cough. Black pepper clears your chest of excess phlegm.

Add a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper to a cup of water and bring to a boil. Dissolve 1 -2 tablespoons of honey and drink up!

7. Salt Water Gargle
This famous throat soothing technique can also be used to relieve a dry cough. Gargling salt water can help decrease irritation in your throat and combat any lingering bacteria. If there is mucus built up in your throat or nasal passages, this gargle can also help clear it.

Dissolve 1 -2 teaspoons of salt in a cup of water and, head tilted back, gargle in the back of your throat for 15-20 seconds. Spit it out and repeat until you use up the cup of salt water.

Learn more about DIY remedies with our post on superfoods to fight the common cold, and prevent common ailments with this immune system boosting tea.

Have some more home remedies to share with the SkinnyMs. community? We’d love to hear them! Leave a comment in the section below.