Top 11 Completely Natural Remedies to Calm a Cough

Young woman has a flu. Coughing.

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Don’t you hate it when you have a nagging, irritating cough? Next time, instead of reaching for on over the counter expensive bottle of cough syrup that may or may not work, try one of these old-fashioned, all natural cures that your grandmother probably used.

Coughs occur when some substance such as dust, pollen, bacteria, or mucus irritate the nerve endings in the little space between your throat and your lungs. Coughing is your body’s way of trying to remove these irritants and clear the airway. Humans can cough at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and even an average cough can almost fill a two-liter bottle with air. If you don’t cover your mouth, that cough can spray several feet and have as much as 3,000 miniscule droplets of saliva. Yuck.

Although some chronic, ongoing coughs can be a sign of a serious illness, such as lung cancer, most people think of a typical cough as nothing more than an annoyance. Perhaps the most irritating thing about a cough’s ability to interrupt your sleep (and your family’s sleep) as well as annoying in what would be otherwise quiet places such as churches or hospitals. When you also consider that you could be spreading those germs everywhere, it seems like a kindness to all to quiet that cough ASAP.

Although many people are quick to reach for an over the counter cough syrup, these are often a waste of money as many of the ingredients in them won’t actually do much for you cough.

Check out these top 11 all natural cough quieting remedies that will allow everyone to get a good night’s sleep.


1. All natural honey “cough syrup”

There is actually scientific evidence to back up the belief that honey can work extremely well in treating coughs and even sore throats. Try swallowing a tablespoon of raw, organic honey directly, or mix it with a bit of coconut oil and lemon juice for a bit of added health benefits. Grandma also had a great standby to quell a cough before bedtime; a shot of bourbon with a tablespoon of honey! Read also about honey benefits for super “bugs”. 

Fresh strawberries on summer with green background, strawberries

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2. Strawberry jam

This is another old fashioned remedy your grandmother might have used is strawberry jam.

Just swallow a tablespoon of jam, and watch that cough disappear like magic.

Probably any flavor will work, just be sure it’s jam, and not jelly.

washing hair

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3. A hot shower

Turn up the volume on the hot water faucet! Close the bathroom windows and turn off the fan.

The steam from a hot bath can be a great cough fighter! Steam soothes the airways in your body while loosening the mucus and sinus congestion that can clog your throat and lungs.

Avoid hot showers, however, if your cough is due to asthma.

Fresh Lemon Thyme Herb

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4. Thyme tea

Thyme tea is an officially approved treatment for upper respiratory infections, coughs, and bronchitis in Germany. This herb has small leaves but they pack a big punch when it comes to the cough quieting compounds.

Thyme relaxes the tracheal and ileal muscles while reducing inflammation. You can make thyme tea yourself at home by steeping two teaspoons of crumpled thyme leaves in one cup of boiling water. Wait 10 minutes, strain and drink.

You can add some honey and lemon to round out that flavor and add some extra cough quieting power to your tea.


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5. Black pepper and honey tea

For a wet cough, try a home remedy of black pepper and honey.

This remedy is said to work due to the stimulating effects of pepper on your circulation and flow of mucus, while the honey is a natural cough reliever.


SEE ALSO: How to Naturally Quiet a Cough: 7 Easy Tips


Make this at home by adding one teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and two tablespoons of honey with one cup of boiling water. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes, then strain into a cup and drink up!

Ripe lemon hangs on tree branch in sunshine.

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6. Lemons

Pucker up folks and suck on a lemon. One popular remedy has you sprinkle a cut lemon with salt and pepper and then sucking on it.

You might be so shocked by that lemon that you actually forget to cough! If you can’t stomach the thought of sucking on a lemon, then try making a hot- buttered lemonade, and replace the sugar with honey.

Another old home remedy is to cut a lemon in half, add one or two drops of bitters, and suck on the lemon.

Herbal Tea From Dry Linden Flowers On A Spoon

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7. Herbal tea

Almost all healthy food stores stock a wide variety of teas to quiet a cough.

One brand called Traditional Medicinals offers one tea named Gypsy Cold Care Tea, an effective blend made from 92 percent organic herbs such as yarrow, peppermint leaf, hyssop, and elder flower.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

8. Licorice

If you think licorice has a medicinal rather than sweet taste, you are right.

Licorice root is where the candy gets its flavor, but it’s the plant that has been used for years to treat coughs. Real licorice, or even candy that’s made from real licorice, can help to soothe and irritated throat and stop coughing.

Slice once ounce of candied licorice (be sure it contains real licorice) and let steep overnight in a quart of boiling water.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

9. Ginger

Ginger has been used for its medicinal properties since the beginning of man. Eastern Medicine practitioners often prescribe ginger to treat the symptoms of colds due to its decongestant and antihistamine properties.

Make your own ginger tea at home by putting about 12 slices of fresh, organic ginger in a pot with 3 to 4 cups of water. Let simmer for 20 minutes then strain.

Add a tablespoon of honey and a squeeze of lemon to your cup, and then fill with the tea. If you find the ginger too strong for your taste, add a bit more water.

water from filter

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10. Drink, drink, and drink some more

Drinking lots and lots of liquids, whether it be water, or any of the teas listed here, can be extremely important when trying to quiet a cough.

Drinking plenty of fluids help to thin out the mucus in the body and can help eliminate postnasal drip.

Drinking lots of water or other types of fluids can help keep your membranes moist and reduce your need to cough.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

11. Garlic

Ok, so maybe no one will want to kiss you, but it beats annoying them with your cough. Garlic is loaded with antibiotic and antiviral compounds as well as being a terrific expectorant.

This works best when you eat it raw. Crush up about 2 good sized garlic cloves and swallow it down about three times a day. If you just cannot stomach that, make a garlic soup broth instead. Smash about 3 cloves in two quarts of water and boil on low for about an hour.

You can add some chicken or veggies, too, and have a nice, hot cup of soup to soothe that cough.

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