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The Best Home Remedies to Cure a Cough and Cold

Updated on April 2, 2012

Are you affected by a persistent annoying cough? Feeling hot and cold? Got a runny nose? Try these alternative remedies; they will relieve the constant coughing, sore throat and pain associated with a cough in 2 days.

However, before using any of these cold and cough remedies ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has my cough been persistent for more than 3 days?
  • Is it a regularly recurring cough?
  • Do I have any lumps in my neck?
  • Am I struggling to swallow?
  • Am I having breathing difficulties?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions you should first of all consult your doctor so as to eliminate any underlying illness, if everything is deemed ok you can go ahead and try any of the cough remedies below.

Two Types of Cough

There are two types of cough, dry and wet (also known as a chesty cough). A dry cough manifests as a hacking, raspy cough with an itchy throat, and a wet cough produces phlegm so you should expect to cough up mucus, plus it usually rests on your chest so you may feel chest pain through the constant coughing.

To relieve a dry cough you will need a lubricant to soothe the throat, and a antitussive mixture that will stop the natural reaction cough.

Wet coughs on the other hand require expectorant medicine that will help you to cough up the mucus, thus preventing it from going down onto your lungs and causing all sorts of problems.


Dry Cough Remedies

Soothing Drink - Honey and Lemon: Combine the juice of ½ a lemon, grate a tablespoon worth of ginger root and 1 tbsp of honey in a mug of hot water. Cover the cup and let the ingredients steep for 3-5 minutes. Drink this beverage 3 to 4 times a day.

Honey: To soothe the lining of the throat take a 5ml spoonful of honey as and when you need to relieve the soreness caused by constantly coughing.

Gargling with salt water: Gargle 2 to 4 times a day with a glass of lukewarm water with ¼ tsp salt added. This will reduce your coughing spasms and clear a hoarse voice as well as kill any lurking bacteria.

If gargling 4 times a day is inconvenient you can chew on pieces of ginger sprinkled with salt instead.

Steam Inhalation: Have an inhalation by adding a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl of boiling water, and covering your head with a towel over the bowl inhale the steam that will open your airways. (There are electronic inhalators which do the job faster)

Hot Milk: Before going to bed drink a cup of hot milk with 1 tbsp of honey added and a pinch of cinnamon powder. This is an excellent bedtime toddy that will reduce your coughing and give you a good night sleep.

Vapour Rub: Before going to bed rub your throat, behind your ears and soles of your feet with Vicks vapour rub. (put on sock after rubbing)


Chesty Cough Remedies

Fluids: To keep your body hydrated you should drink lots of fluids. This helps to thin the phlegm and make it easier for you to excrete it.

* Gargling: Gargle with lukewarm salt water to soothe your throat and thin out secretions. To make up the gargle add 1/4 tsp of salt to a tumbler of lukewarm water. Gargle about 4 times a day.

* Ginger: Is a super remedy for a wet cough. Simply peel a piece of ginger (about 3oz) and chew it, or drink ginger tea made from grated ginger, hot water and sweetned with honey.

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root (roughly 4oz)
  • 2 Tablespoons honey and
  • The 2 slices of lemons

Pour the 4 cups of water to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Whilst the water is boiling peel the ginger root and slice it into thin slices. Once water is boiling add the ginger. Cover the saucepan and reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain the tea and add honey and lemon.

* Chewing the ginger produces a quicker result - Let me tell you a story: One night my mother was having a coughing fit due to a very bad cold she had caught. Nothing she took would alleviate it. The cough medicines she used relieved her for about half an hour and then the coughing was back. I peeled a piece of ginger, cut it up into small bites size pieces and gave it to her to chew. Ten minutes later I didn't hear a cough from her for the rest of the night and she got a good sound sleep.

Honey: Is an effective cough remedy for soothing the lining of the throat. Take a 5ml spoonful 3 to 4 times a day.

* Garlic: Helps to thin the mucus or phlegm and is a natural expectorant and antibiotic. Peel 3 -4 pegs of garlic crush them in a garlic press and pour on 6fl oz of hot water. Add 1 tablespoon of honey and the juice of ½ a lemon. Cover cup and let it steep for 5 minutes then drink.

Turmeric: A mixture of turmeric and honey can relieve a cold in two days. Mix 1 tablespoon of honey and a 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Take 1 tablespoon of the mixture 3 times per day.

Almonds & Orange: Is a good and traditional remedy that works on drying up mucus and phlegm from the throat. Soak 7-8 almonds overnight in the juice of one orange. In the morning drain the almond and remove the brown skin; next ground them into a fine paste. Add 20grams of butter and sugar to the paste and consume a teaspoon morning and evening.

* Vapour Rub: Before going to bed rub your chest, throat, behind your ears and soles of your feet (Wear socks after rubbing) with Vicks vapour rub.

(* = best option)


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    • editorsupremo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London, England

      Thanks franciaonline for sharing my hub very much appreciated!

    • franciaonline profile image


      6 years ago from Philippines

      I shared your hub with Facebook for others to benefit from your information. Very useful hub. Thanks.

    • editorsupremo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London, England

      To all comenters thanks for your comments. These remedies are all worth trying. I have tried and tested them on myself and children and not had to resort to over the counter medicines.

    • sabrani44 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great tips, will definitely have to try!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      hope this works

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      these are very simple cough remedies that are worth trying, and its very timely because i am having cough this time.


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