Home Remedies for a Cough

Seeking home remedies for a cough?  You’ll find effective natural options here.

Coughing is our body’s way of trying to expel something.  Whether it’s phlegm - which, by the way, is connected to the health of your intestines - or some other irritant, it needs to go.  

Having a cough can not only become painful but it can be annoying - whether you’re the sufferer or within hearing distance. 

I’m probably not the only one who hates coughing because I feel like I’m being incredibly loud and obtrusive

Maybe you can relate? This is what used to happen to me:  as I kept coughing, I used to get annoyed and distracted.  As this persisted through my day, a headache would come on and last for what seemed like forever meanwhile the coughing just increased my pain.

Say goodbye to being eyed as “that rude disruptive person with the cough” because here are some soothing and healing home remedies to help!  :0) 

After seeing the different home remedies for a cough here, have a look at the informational table at the bottom with dosage recommendations and cautions for some tried and true natural home remedies.

Dry Cough Relief

A dry cough is usually short lived because either you will get rid of whatever is irritating your throat or lungs …


… it will become more of a wet cough due to the need for phlegm to help your body to surround and expel the problem.

If you have a dry cough for over a week, be sure to seek some help from a health care practitioner.

Stop a Cough from the Beginning with Honey

I use one of these two simple but effective home remedies when a tickle begins:

  • take 1 teaspoon of honey, place it on your tongue and let it drip down your throat to not only coat it but kill any bacteria trying to take root there

  • add 1 tsp each of honey and coconut oil in hot tea - I use either black tea or chamomile, drink and enjoy

Use Essential Oils for Quick Relief Inside and Out

Calm a Dry Cough Essential Oil Remedy:

  • Eucalyptus globulus oil - 2 drops
  • Lemon oil - 1 drop
  • honey - 1 tablespoon
  • drink mix in room temperature water

          * see precautions about eucalyptus in table below

Apply on chest:  a few drops of eucalyptus oil that have been mixed in oil - either olive or coconut (and can add lavender oil).  This works well to bring relief to the lungs. 

One of my favorite ways to defeat any kind of discomfort with my throat:

  1. place a few drops of eucalyptus and/or lavender oil in hot water - if you boil water, take it off heat and wait about 20 seconds 
  2. breathe vapors in deeply to help your throat, nasal passages, and lungs
  3. continue as long as there is steam and repeat a few times a day until gone

Away from home:  make sure you have one or both of these essential oils to make a quick home remedy for your cough.  Just make a steaming mug of water, put eucalyptus or lavender drops in it.  Breathe in the healing vapors.  

Many uses: These oils also can help you avoid problems while traveling.  I carry lavender essential oil with me to help fight bacteria, bed bugs, insomnia, and much more.

Eucalyptus is a great home remedy for coughing.

Say Good Riddance to a Wet Cough

When we have a wet cough, our body is working to expel phlegm that has bacteria, dirt/particles or other foreign bodies that are in the throat and lungs. 

To help expel the phlegm and to kill the cause of the cough, we can use any of these effective home remedies: 

Wet Cough Essential Oil Remedy:

  • Eucalyptus globulus oil- 2 drops
  • Thyme - 1 drop
  • honey or coconut oil - 1 tablespoon
  • Mix together and take internally

        * see precautions about eucalyptus in table below

Allergy Cough Help

If the cough is from allergies, use butterbur for relief.  Adults should take 50 to 75 mg of extract 2x a day. 

Also, don't forget about using honey as I talk about here to give your throat help on many levels. 

Herbal Teas to the Rescue

If the cough is due to a cold or flu, these herbs have proven themselves.  Drink a tea with one or more of these powerful plants:

  • Echinacea
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Honeysuckle
  • Licorice
  • Magnolia
  • Mullein
  • Peppermint
  • Red Clover
  • Sage
  • Sassafras
  • Slippery Elm
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Thyme

If you want to keep it simple,  discover if you like the taste, and check how effective it is, you could start with a premixed blend with some of the above herbs.  I’ve seen commercial herbal tea companies offer blends that combine healing herbs such thyme, eucalyptus, and mullein. 

Also, be sure to take some of the tea bags or the tincture with you to continue to help heal the cause of the cough, as you go throughout your day.

I created the table below with some well respected natural home remedies for a cough with dosage and cautions to help us quickly find some great options to stay healthy.

Choose one of the options on this page and send that cough on its way!

Health and peaceful breathing again be yours,


Emma's Home Remedies for Coughs





[Petasites hybridus]

For Allergies - 

Adults - take 50 to 75 mg of extract 2x a day

*Look for a minimum of 7.5 mg of petasin and isopetasin

Buy with “PA Free” label because the pyrrolizidine alkaloids can be toxic to liver

Do not take if have allergies to Daisy (Asteraceae) Family


[Echinacea angustifolia]

Capsule: check bottle’s directions

Tincture: every 2 hours take 1/3-1/2 teaspoon or 1-2 ml either directly in mouth or in a little water

Do not take if have allergies to Daisy (Asteraceae) Family

Rarely but some people get an upset stomach


[Eucalyptus globulus] 

*If using internally ONLY this kind

Essential oil - see remedy above for dry cough or wet cough 

Tea: Steep 1/2 teaspoon of dried or fresh leaves in 1 to 2 cups water for at least 5 minutes.   Drink 3 times a day

*In spite of the long list of precautions, Eucalyptus is a well proven healing plant.  It just must be used with great care when using its essential oil - whether on the skin or taking it internally.  

Essential oils are very powerful because they have been distilled down.

Ingested eucalyptus essential oil (even under one teaspoon): can cause breathing problems, low blood pressure, increased heartbeat, nausea, vomiting  (I know of many people that swear by Eucalyptus globulus essential oil but want to put this so you are aware of it.)  **Very important:  if using essential oils internally  it is always wise to use them diluted ,for only a short time, very small amounts. Not for children.

Most likely will irritate skin if not diluted.

Can cause low blood sugar

Talk to your health care practitioner if taking any medications 


[Glycyrrhiza glabra]

Tea: 1 teaspoon of dried or powdered licorice root added to 1 cup of boiling water, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes , strain and drink

Should not be taken if pregnant, have heart or kidney healthy issues.

Possible side effects: headaches, rise in blood pressure, lethargy

Red Clover

[Trifolium pratense]

Tea: 1 cup, 3-4 times a day

Tinctures: 15 - 30 drops, up to 4 times a day

Should not be used: by pregnant women, immediately before or after surgery, if taking blood thinning drugs, if have blood clotting disorder

Talk to your health care practitioner if: taking birth control or other hormonal drugs