The 6 Best Home Remedies for a Cough That Just Won’t Quit

Woman sitting on sofa at home, frowning and pressing on chest, coughing into palm

Coughing is a common reflex action that clears your throat of mucus or foreign irritants. While a cough isn’t always a sign of a serious problem, persistent coughing can be annoying and may affect your sleep, work, and social life. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore six of the best home remedies for a cough that just won’t quit.

1. Honey

Honey is a time-tested remedy for a cough that has been used across cultures for centuries. It is known for its soothing properties that can provide instant relief from a persistent cough.

According to the World Health Organization, honey can be a demulcent, which means it can relieve the irritation in your throat by forming a protective film. This can help reduce the cough reflex and give you some much-needed respite.

It’s easy to use honey as a cough remedy. Simply mix two tablespoons of honey with warm water or herbal tea and drink this mixture once or twice a day. Remember, honey is not suitable for children under the age of one due to the risk of botulism.

2. Ginger

Ginger is another powerful natural remedy that can help with a persistent cough. It is packed with anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe your irritated respiratory tract.

Studies have shown that ginger can also relax membranes in the airways, which could reduce coughing. The warming effect of ginger can help clear up congestion and provide relief from a dry or asthmatic cough.

To use ginger for your cough, you can make a soothing ginger tea. Boil 20-40g of fresh ginger slices in a cup of hot water, strain the water, add a teaspoon of honey for taste, and drink this herbal tea two to three times a day.

3. Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation is a simple and effective home remedy for a cough, especially a dry cough. The warm moisture can help soothe your irritated airways and loosen up any mucus or congestion, providing immediate relief.

For steam inhalation, you can simply take a hot shower or bath and allow the bathroom to fill with steam. Alternatively, you can fill a large bowl with hot water, add a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil for added benefits, cover your head with a towel, and breathe in the steam for a few minutes.

Remember to be careful to avoid burns. The water should be hot, but not boiling, and you should keep your face at a safe distance from the water.

4. Hydration

Staying hydrated is crucial when you’re dealing with a persistent cough. Fluids can help thin out the mucus in your throat, making it easier to cough up and clearing your airways.

Water is the best choice for staying hydrated, but other fluids like herbal teas, broths, and even fruit juices can also help. Warm liquids, in particular, can provide soothing relief for a sore throat and cough.

Try to avoid caffeinated drinks as they can dehydrate you, which might make your cough worse. Alcohol should also be avoided as it can cause dehydration and potentially interfere with your body’s ability to fight off infection.

5. Salt Water Gargle

Gargling with salt water is a simple and effective remedy for a cough and sore throat. The salt water can help soothe a sore throat and break down secretions, which can help with a dry or tickly cough.

To make a salt water gargle, simply dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Gargle with this solution for a few seconds and then spit it out. Repeat this process a few times a day for best results.

Remember not to swallow the salt water, as consuming too much salt can have negative effects on your health. Also, this remedy is not suitable for children as they may not be able to gargle properly.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties, which can help with a persistent cough.

The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, can help fight off bacterial and viral infections that may be causing your cough. It can also soothe your throat and reduce inflammation, providing relief from a dry cough.

To use turmeric for your cough, you can make a simple turmeric tea. Boil a cup of water, add one teaspoon of turmeric and a pinch of black pepper (to enhance the absorption of curcumin), and let it simmer for a few minutes. Strain the tea, add a teaspoon of honey for taste, and drink this mixture two to three times a day.

These are some of the best home remedies for a cough that just won’t quit. However, it’s important to remember that while these remedies can provide temporary relief, they are not a substitute for medical advice. If your cough persists for more than a few weeks, or if it’s accompanied by other symptoms like fever, weight loss, or difficulty breathing, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.