Best home remedies for cough in adults and toddlers

Soothe your family’s pain and discomfort with these natural remedies

home remedies for cough

Coughing is both natural and, in many cases, beneficial because it helps to keep your throat clear from irritants and phlegm. It becomes a problem when you start to cough persistently in which case it could be a sign that you are suffering from a malady such as an allergy or viral infection. Home remedies for cough can be of great help in these cases to soothe the discomfort and pain.

Effective home remedies for a cough

There are seven top home remedies that can help you deal with your coughing problem. Here is a look at these 7 most effective home remedies for cough.


honey home remedies for cough

For centuries, people suffering from cough have used honey to treat their coughing. It is well known that honey is able to provide relief from coughs in a more effective manner than any OTC medication. The good news is you can create your own homemade honey remedy to treat your cough.

All you need is to mix two teaspoons of honey with some herbal tea or with warm water and then you need to add some lemon juice. This mixture will not only soothe your throat, but it will also provide relief from congestion. Even eating a teaspoon of honey will do wonders for your cough.


These are microorganisms that are very beneficial and though they won’t directly help you get relief from your cough, they do provide another useful function. They balance the gastrointestinal flora which in turn will reduce the likelihood of you developing a cold or flu. They will also provide relief from sensitivity to allergens like pollen.

You can get your required intake of probiotics from drinking fortified milk. Make sure you do not consume too much of the milk, though, because that can cause thickening of the phlegm.


Not many people would associate pineapples with a home cough remedy, but the truth is that pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain that helps by suppressing your cough. At the same time, this bromelain also loosens the muscles in your throat. Eating a slice of pineapple or drinking about three and a half ounces of pineapple juice thrice a day can do wonders for your cough.


peppermint home remedies for cough

Peppermint leaves contain many healing properties. In particular, peppermint leaves contain menthol which helps to soothe the throat and at the same time it also functions like a decongestant that breaks down the mucous.

You can obtain cough relief by drinking peppermint tea or by inhaling the vapor of peppermint in a steam bath. When making your steam bath, remember to add three to four drops of peppermint oil for every one hundred and fifty mm of water. Next, put a towel over your head and start inhaling deeply directly over the water.


Marshmallows are obtained from the Althaea officinalis which is a flower that grows in the summer months. It has leaves and roots that have been used for a very long time to help treat a sore throat and to suppress coughing.

Though there is no scientific reason why marshmallows help provide relief from cough, the truth is it is a safe home cough remedy. Marshmallows contain mucilage which, when it enters the throat, helps to coat it and soothe the irritation. Do not give marshmallow root to your child as it is not considered safe for them.


If you are suffering from a respiratory problem, chances are you have taken thyme to get relief. According to some studies, the essence derived from thyme leaves can, when mixed with ivy, provide relief from coughing and from intermediate bronchitis.

Thyme helps because it contains a compound that goes by the name of flavonoids that help to provide relief from coughing by relaxing the muscles in the throat. Simply take two teaspoons of crushed thyme leaves and mix in a cup of boiling water. Let the mixture remain in the cup which needs to be covered. Allow the mixture to steep for ten minutes. After that, strain and drink the mixture to get relief.

Gargle with a mixture of salt and water

home remedies for cough water salt

This is perhaps the most well-known out of all the home remedies for cough. It works well by providing relief from a scratchy throat. Simply mix a quarter to half a teaspoon of table salt with eight ounces of water and consume and gargle to get relief. This mixture should however not be given to children under the age of six.

Home remedies for cough in toddlers

A coughing toddler can and will make their parents stay up all night trying to provide help and assistance. This is a common problem which parents have to face. If your toddler has started to cough, then you need to look for the best home remedies for cough in toddlers.


Honey is king among home remedies for cough. As mentioned earlier, is a very effective way of reducing coughing in your toddler. Just one tablespoon of honey given about half an hour prior to bedtime can reduce the severity and frequency of coughing. In addition, honey also helps to improve the quality of sleep in your child.

However, if your toddler is less than one year old, then you should not give him or her honey to eat. There is a chance the child could develop botulism, which is a serious bacterial infection. If the toddler is over one year of age, then honey can prove to be a safe, affordable and effective treatment.

Increase fluid intake in your child

Increase fluid intake home remedies for cough

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that toddlers and young kids with cough should be made to drink additional quantities of fluids. The more fluids the toddler has in its body, the greater the chances that the mucus inside will thin out and, in this way, it will help to reduce irritation of the throat. It is also a good idea to use cool-mist humidifiers because when toddlers breathe in the moist air, their dry and inflamed membranes will experience a soothing feeling.

Vapor rubbing

Using an ointment with aromatic oils is a good idea to help reduce coughing in your toddler. Ideally, you need to use ointment oils with aromatic oils like camphor or menthol or even eucalyptus, which will provide short-term relief from coughing when rubbed on the chest. This method will result in less frequent and milder coughing and better sleep.

However, care should be taken to ensure the vapor rub is not applied anywhere on the toddler’s face, mouth and nose. Also, these rubs are not recommended for use on infants and children less than 2 years of age.

Ensure your toddler gets enough sleep

A toddler that is tired all the time is going to suffer from a sluggish immune system which will then not be strong enough to fight bugs. It is sad to know that about thirty-three percent of toddlers suffer from lack of sufficient sleep. So, if you want to ensure your toddler does not come down with a cough, you must ensure that he or she gets between 12 and 14 hours of sleep each day. Babies should get at least 18 hours of sleep daily and grade-schoolers should get between 10 and 11 hours of sleep each day.


It is well-known that certain soups provide relief from cough in toddlers. Chicken soup, in particular, has anti-inflammatory properties that, through its warm temperature, help to act like a vaporizer. Chicken soup helps to loosen mucus in the nasal passages.

Give your toddler some soothing treats

If your child is at least four years of age, you can provide him or her with relief by giving them some cough lozenges or any sugar-free hard candy. Frozen berries are also known to provide relief to young children. The same goes for a popsicle or crushed ice which help to provide relief to young children with scratchy throats.

Massaging your toddler helps

When you massage your toddler, he or she will immediately feel much better. This is because massaging the toddler stimulates the body into healing itself. The Tuina massage in particular is very effective for cough. This massage will cure your toddler’s dry or wet cough and it is also effective in providing relief for hacking and barking coughs.

Other tips to help get rid of cough

Even a slight cough can prove to be very devastating. If you have developed hacking cough, then the muscles in your chest will really start to ache. Mostly, it is possible to treat a cough at home with the help of OTC medications or any good home remedies for cough. These are some things you can do.

Take a steamy bath and also make use of a humidifier

humidifier bath home remedies for cough

Hot showers are known to help cough symptoms by loosening the secretions in a person’s nose. Steam baths can cure not only an ordinary cough, but also coughs caused by allergies.

Humidifiers on the other hand keep a dry home moisturized and, in this way, they can help your cough. Just make sure you regularly clean the humidifier because otherwise it can become loaded with fungi and mold that will be released into the air and prove to be bad for your health.

Take out irritants from the air in your home

Perfumes as well as scented bathroom sprays can be problematic for some people. They can irritate the sinus and in doing so will produce mucus that in turn causes chronic cough. Smoke is a major irritant in the air and virtually every smoker has been known to develop a smoker’s cough. Keeping the air inside clean helps to remove irritants that cause coughing problems.

Learn to prevent coughing

Prevention is as important as learning how to use home remedies for cough.

Take your annual flu shots – preferably starting in the month of October – and try not to come close to anybody that is already down with an illness. Wash your hand frequently and remember to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

If you are suffering from an allergy minimize flare-ups by identifying the allergen and try to avoid it. An allergy shot can also help you prevent coughing.

Regardless of the effectivity of these home remedies, call in a doctor immediately if your cough makes it hard for you to breathe or if the mucous has traces of blood.