How to stop coughing? Admit it. Each time you have a cough, you head straight to your local pharmacy and purchase over-the-counter products. But did you know that there are other effective treatments to OTC products.
The American College of Chest Physicians at Harvard University noted that the active ingredients of many over-the-counter products for cough are ineffective.
You start to cough when there’s virus, bacteria, pollen and other substances that irritate the nerve endings in the airways. Coughing isn’t usually a health issue, unless it’s a chronic cough that can be a sign of a more serious condition.
You may wonder what are the natural ways on how to stop coughing fast? Here we have listed 15 natural remedies that are tried and tested to relieve a nagging cough.
- 1 How to stop coughing naturally and fast
- 1.1 Honey
- 1.2 Thyme tea
- 1.3 Turmeric
- 1.4 Ginger
- 1.5 Lemon
- 1.6 Garlic
- 1.7 Onion
- 1.8 Black pepper
- 1.9 Almonds
- 1.10 Marshmallow
- 1.11 Licorice
- 1.12 Pineapple
- 1.13 Peppermint
- 1.14 Eucalyptus
- 1.15 Slippery elm
- 1.16 How to prevent coughing
- 1.17 When to call a doctor?
How to stop coughing naturally and fast
Your grandma was right. Honey is great natural cough suppressant. It has components that can help you stop coughing.For better results make sure that you’ll get enough sleep as well.
This natural remedy is also beneficial for kids. Bear in mind that most OTC medicines for cough don’t work for children who are under 6 years of age as they pose health risks.
One of the studies published by the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine noted that this natural remedy could work the same way as a cough syrup.
How to stop coughing at night?
- Choose a darker variety of honey. It’s more effective than its lighter counterpart because it contains more antioxidants.
- Take 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey before bedtime. If you’re administering it to a child, the dose must be ½ teaspoon.
- Avoid diluting honey with water. It must remain viscous when it reaches your throat to coat it properly, thereby, relieving the cough.
Although honey is an effective natural remedy for cough, you must not give it to a child under 1 year old. The reason for this is that this remedy contains botulism’s spores. The child’s digestive system might not be able to handle that.
It might be your first time to hear that thyme tea is great for coughing. But in Germany, this natural remedy has been approved as treatment for upper respiratory infections, whooping cough, common coughs, and bronchitis.
It turned out that this herb contains cough-relieving compounds. The flavonoids in this herb relax the ileal and tracheal muscles, thereby, reducing inflammation. These muscles mentioned are involved in coughing.
How to prepare thyme tea to stop coughing?
- Boil a cup of water for 10 minutes
- Add 2 tablespoons of fresh crushed thyme leaves. You may also use dried thyme but you’ll only need to add 1 teaspoon of this form.
- Steep for 10 minutes.
- Remove it from heat
- Add honey, lemon juice and ginger (optional)
- Drink it 3 times a day
This concoction might be strong for you but it’d work in stopping you from coughing. You’ll be fine the next day. The honey, lemon and ginger are there to provide you with extra soothing power.
Widely used in India, this herb is also utilized in traditional Chinese medicine as an effective natural remedy for you to stop coughing. It contains anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that make it one of the best remedies for treating cough and cold.
The curcumin in turmeric serves as an anti-inflammatory agent allowing you to breathe easily as it relieves congestion in your chest. The volatile oil extracted from this herb is also useful in relieving cough by eliminating phlegm.
How to cure a cough with turmeric?
- Obtain turmeric powder
- Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of pure turmeric powder with milk, coffee or tea.
- Drink this concoction 2 to 3 times a day to effectively treat your cough within 2 days.
You may also boil water and add turmeric powder to it. Then, inhale its vapors. This will relieve sinus congestion.
Although curry powder contains turmeric, it doesn’t have enough turmeric to treat cough.
Make sure that you only opt for organic turmeric.
There are many health benefits of ginger and one of them is to relieve a cough. Ginger has analgesic properties that can soothe irritation in your throat. The inflammation is what makes you cough.
This spice or herb works on your upper respiratory system by cleaning it to eliminate extra mucus from your lungs. That extra mucus is what caused you to cough with a phlegm.
How to treat a cough with ginger
- Chew fresh ginger root to suppress cough. It treats irritation in your throat.
- Drink ginger tea to relieve coughing. When you cough intensely, ginger can relieve spasms associated with your coughing action as it relaxes your muscles.
- Boil cups of water and add fresh ginger root to it. Remove from heat before inhaling its vapors. It soothes the inflammation while removing extra mucus from your lungs. Do this every night before bedtime.
You may also massage ginger oil over your chest to help you breathe easily. The aroma of the oil assists in purging extra mucus from your body.
Lemon is rich in ascorbic acid or vitamin C. This type of vitamin is known to support healthy immune function. This is especially beneficial if your cough is caused by a certain virus or bacterium. The acidity of lemon is what makes it effective in relieving cough.
There are many ways to use lemon juice as a natural remedy to stop coughing. One of the many advantages of lemon over OTC medicines is that you can take it as often as you want without having to worry about side effects.
How to stop a cough fast with lemon
- Add a few drops of lemon juice to a glass of lukewarm water
- Add honey to taste
- Drink it as often as needed.
You may also add honey to a cup of boiling water. Then, inhale its vapors. This will help in clearing congestion in your chest and sinuses.
Another way to drink lemon juice as a remedy for coughing is to add it to your tea, be it green tea or black tea.
This may leave you having obnoxious smell but this, too, offers medicinal properties that can help you stop coughing. This spice is way better than synthetic drugs for a cough as it doesn’t cause negative side effects.
How to use it?
- Consume a raw garlic. You may want to chew a clove of garlic or mince it first before swallowing it.
- Take a garlic supplement, if you don’t want to chew or swallow a fresh garlic. You’ll find this supplement in various health food shops. It’s usually combined with other useful herbs, like Echinacea and lysine.
- Boil a cup of water. While waiting for water to boil, mince a clove of garlic and add it to hot water. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain minced garlic. Allow the liquid to cool down before drinking it. It’s best to drink it when it’s still lukewarm.
Garlic’s results can be easily felt, unlike over-the-counter products. It immediately reduces inflammation, thereby, alleviating your cough.
It may cause you to cry when you chop it but this spice is also a great natural remedy that can stop you from coughing. Just like garlic, onion has components that can soothe inflammation in the upper respiratory system. This means that it can effectively treat couching, no matter what the causes are.
How to prepare onion?
- Peel a large onion and dice it.
- Chew or swallow the small pieces of the onion
Another way to use it is to extract its juice by using a blender or a juicer. You may add honey or lemon to the onion juice to have a flavorful home remedy.
The flavonoids of onions and the vitamin C content of honey or lemon can give you a powerful remedy to stop coughing.
Known as the king of spices, black pepper has many therapeutic benefits, including its ability to treat coughing. It relieves chest congestion by loosening or removing extra mucus.
How to use it?
- Chew 2 to 3 seeds of black pepper.
- Or add black pepper powder to a glass of boiled milk or water.
- Or chew black pepper seeds along with dried grapes to make it easier for you to swallow the seeds.
You can also brew black pepper by adding it to boiling water. Allow it to seep for a few minutes. Strain and drink the liquid. For many, the easiest way to take black pepper is to brew it. No matter what method you use, this spice can be another effective natural treatment for cough.
If you couldn’t swallow black pepper, you might want to try almonds. They’re rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants that can effectively stop you from coughing. In addition to these components, almonds are also rich in phenylalanine and L-carnitine, which are also useful in decongesting your upper respiratory tract.
What’s great about almonds is that you can easily eat them. However, make sure that you choose the plain almonds and not the salted or sugary variety.
What’s another way to prepare almonds to stop coughing?
- Soak almonds in the water overnight
- Remove its skin in the morning
- Grind the almonds using a blender
- Add a small amount of water and honey
- Mix them well
- Drink it
This is also useful even if you have a dry cough.
You might be thinking of the white fluffy sweet treat but that’s not the marshmallow you can use to help you stop coughing. Instead, we’re referring to the Althea officinalis, which is an African plant that has plenty of medicinal uses.
This plant is commonly used in France and Egypt for easing sore throats and different types of coughs. It contains anti-bacterial properties that can soothe inflamed membranes in the mouth and throat.
Its antitussive properties can be used to reduce dry coughing while preventing further irritation.
How to get rid of a cough fast with marshmallow root?
The best way to obtain marshmallow is through its tea form. To make an infusion of marshmallow root, here are the steps:
- Prepare marshmallow root and a glass of water
- Boil the water
- Add marshmallow root
- Steep for 10 minutes
- Allow it to cool down
- Strain and drink
You can use this drink as a mouthwash too. This is especially useful if you have a sore throat and canker sores. But you must make sure that the drink is cool before you swish it around your mouth. Preferably, it must be cold.
The root of licorice is another useful way on how to stop coughing. It soothes your cough and treats infection in the respiratory tract. When it’s used as a tea, it can relieve itchy throat that triggers coughing.
The compounds present in this plant make licorice root 50 times sweeter than natural sweeteners, like sugar and honey. It can act as a demulcent that can form a thin film of mucus and coat your throat to provide soothing effects.
It can also help in clearing congestion from the lungs by bringing up phlegm.
How to use it to stop coughing?
- Gather dried licorice root
- Place 1 teaspoon of it in 2 cups of water
- Boil the mixture for 5 minutes
- Remove it from heat
- Allow to steep and cool down for 5 minutes
- Strain and drink the liquid
Because of its natural sweetness, there’s no need for you to add honey or sugar to taste. Each time you feel that your throat is in pain, drink this mixture.
To make your life a lot easier, you can just buy licorice root teabags and drink it the same way you drink green tea.
But don’t over consume this herb as this may cause a high blood pressure, heart attack and swelling of the legs. This isn’t advisable to be given to children. If you’re taking medications for your heart, you should consult your doctor first before starting to use this home remedy for cough.
Who says pineapple can’t stop coughing? Although it’s not the first choice of some, pineapple is actually a great natural alternative for cough.
What’s in it that makes it effective? Bromelain. It’s an enzyme that has anti-inflammatory properties making it a valuable remedy to suppress cough. In fact, it’s been considered as 5 times more effective than the cough syrup at your local pharmacy.
How to get rid of a cough quickly with pineapple
You may opt to eat the fruit. Slice it into pieces and eat it. Or you can just drink its juice by blending it. Avoid drinking pineapple juice that’s in a can as you don’t know where it came from or if it really contains 100% pineapple without the added sugar.
Raw extracts from this fruit could decrease extra mucus 5 times faster than over-the-counter medicines.
In addition to blending a pineapple to drink its juice, you may opt for this pineapple recipe as a natural cough suppressant.
- Obtain a cup of 100% pineapple juice either through the use of a blender or a juicer
- Add a fresh lemon juice to it
- Add ginger and honey (optional)
- Drink it 2-3 times a day
On the other hand, if you don’t like drinking or eating a pineapple, you may opt for bromelain supplements. They’re safe for adults but don’t take it when you’re taking blood thinning medications.
This plant has plenty of medicinal properties. Producing sweet, scented leaves, peppermint has active compounds used by many cough drops available at your local pharmacy.
The soothing effects of this plant makes it an effective way to cure coughing. This is one of the reasons it’s always added to a green tea.
In addition to its soothing effects, peppermint’s components can also hinder coughs by acting as a decongestant. They can also be used to eliminate the extra mucus from the lungs.
How to use peppermint to stop a cough?
- Prepare dried peppermint leaves and a cup of water
- Place the water to a pot and boil it
- Add 1 teaspoon of peppermint leaves. If you have a tea bag, much better as you can simply insert the leaves into the bag.
- Allow the leaves to sit in the boiling water for several minutes.
- Strain and drink the liquid
- Make sure that you let it cool down a bit before drinking it to avoid burning your tongue
If you have an extra dried peppermint leaves, you should store them in an airtight container and place it in a cool, dark place. You can still use them each time you have a cough.
For centuries, eucalyptus has been used as a home remedy for several ailments, including respiratory issues. Just like peppermint, this herb has properties that can treat and help you stop from coughing.
According to herbalists, you must choose the right variety of eucalyptus to obtain its greatest medicinal benefits. Australian fever tree is one of the best options.
How to soothe a cough with eucalyptus
- Obtain a fresh or dried eucalyptus
- Boil a cup of water
- Place the herb and allow it to steep for 5 minutes
- Remove it from the heat
- Allow it to cool down before adding a little amount of honey
- Drink it 2 to 3 times a day. It can provide you great soothing effects when you drink it hot.
Kids may also drink this tea up to 3 times a day. Adults can have it up to 5 cups each day. But 2 to 3 times can already do the trick.
Another way to soothe your cough is to use eucalyptus oil and rub it on your chest. This is especially useful when the cough is making it difficult for you to sleep at night.
From the name itself, slippery elm produces gelatinous substance that can effectively treat a cough and soothe a sore throat. While it coats the throat lining, it calms your throat to stop you from coughing.
The best way to take it is to obtain its liquid or lozenge form. When you opt for its liquid form, you may take 5 ml of it 3 times a day or as indicated on the label.
When you take this herb, make sure that you do it 2 hours before or after taking certain medicines. This is because the herb may interfere with the absorption of medicines in the gastrointestinal lining, thereby, delaying the effects.
How to prevent coughing
In addition to knowing how to stop coughing, it’s also imperative that you know how to prevent yourself from coughing.
Most of the time, a cough is caused by a cold or flu. Here is a great detailed article on how to get rid of a cold fast. Additionally, make sure that you have your annual flu shot. Then, wash your hands as often as needed before and after eating.
If your cough is caused by allergies, you must avoid exposing yourself to allergens that can trigger coughing. Dust mites, mold and insects are common allergens that can be avoided by cleaning your house frequently.
Make sure that your body can fight against infection by eating a well balanced diet. Choose foods that can boost your immune system. Or take multivitamins to strengthen your immune function.
When to call a doctor?
Coughing is, most of the time, harmless. However, if coughing is accompanied with tight feeling in your chest or chest pain, it might be time for you to visit your physician.
You should also consult your doctor when coughing involves difficulty breathing and fever. These are symptoms of another health condition that must be addressed immediately.
If your cough persists for more than a week, then it’s better to visit your health care provider. Your cough may already be caused by a bacterium that may need to undergo antibiotic treatment.
These cough remedies have been tested and proven to be effective in helping you stop coughing. Use one or some of them each time you have a cough to get a faster relief. However, make sure that you’re not allergic to any of these herbs mentioned above. To test whether you’re allergic or not, prepare a small amount of an herb and take it. Watch out for signs or symptoms of allergies. If you don’t find or feel any, then start taking its recommended dose.