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Natural Cures

Cough Remedies

Last Modified on Nov 20, 2015

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Posted by Heather (Leicester ) on 09/24/2012

Hi, If your cough keeps you awake at night then it could be asthma or maybe a residue infection. I developed ashma very badly when I was 30 after having a bad cold on returning from the far east at first the docs thought it was tb but it wasn't- inhalers eventually improved it as did removing irritants like carpets( hold dust) and aerosols, smoke from open fires. Sometimes it would flare up in the summer and I couldn't get my breath and would have to sit up in bed and put my head out of the window for air. But this summer has been fine- I was taking lugols iodine which could have killed any lingering infection and I have been bathing in Epsom salts which is magnesium which helps the lungs. I hope this helps. I would ask your doctor to rule out tb and lung cancer etc.

Posted by Selah (Ny, Ny, Us) on 03/03/2010

[YEA]  Cutting down on sodium and increasing magnesium, cured my cough. I cut down on the amount of salt I was using. I had also been taking sodium ascorbate (vitamin C)~175mgs 5 or 6 times daily. I switched to magnesium ascorbate. The magnesium seems to help relax the muscles. I had been having an unrelenting dry cough that was causing sore stomach muscles. Switching to magnesium ascorbate and cutting out the sodium helped to loosen the mucous but didn't produce a runny nose. I had to take calcium along with the magnesium to prevent muscle cramping. Just eating milk products like cheese seems to be good enough.

I also started taking N-acetyl cysteine to help get rid of the wheezing. I took 1/2 a tablet (300 mgs) twice a day.

I think asthma could be helped by this method.

Replied by Selah
Ny, Ny, Us
Update: It seems I had the flu. The 1st thing I did was to get intravenous vitamin C (35 grams in 1 liter of water). This cleared up the congestion immediately (1/2 way thru the drip) and made it possible to sleep without breathing thru my mouth. After that I cut down on sodium and switched to oral magnesium ascorbate plus n-acetyl cysteine. This cut down on the coughing. I eventually increased the NAC to 600 mgs 3 times a day. These things didn't completely get rid of the cough. I'm now trying cayenne gargle and taking cayenne capsules and it seems pretty effective although I haven't found the right level yet to completely eliminate the cough.
Replied by Selah
Ny, Ny, Us

The cough is almost completely gone now. I had a post-nasal drip for years. I also would have to start clearing my throat if I would talk alot. I now realize that the flu just increased a problem that I've had for a long time.

The n-acetyl cysteine seemed to be the main thing that got rid of the cough. The dosage would vary according to need. If I started coughing I would take it - between 300 and 600 mgs. - and would cut down when my stomach started to feel irritated.

Oral vitamin C and cayenne were also helpful. I would take about 150 mgs of sodium ascorbate along with the NAC. I was taking between an 1/8 and 1/4 tsp of the cayenne and also putting it on food.

Menthol Salve
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Posted by Kristi (Papillion, Ne) on 05/13/2012

My son had a terrible cough that over the counter meds were not helping, so I came to your site and saw the vick's remedy, but I didn't have any vicks. I was thinking of going to the store and then remembered the Burt's Bees hand salve in the bottom of my purse. I don't like to use it on my hands because of the "menthol-ish" smell. Just put it on the soles of my son's feet and covered them with socks. So far so good, hopefully he will rest peacefully tonight.

Mullein Flower Tea
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Posted by Lilyelectrolux (Twentynine Palms, Ca, Usa) on 12/11/2010

Common mullein flowers, brewed as a tea, make a powerful cure for cough or upper respiratory disease, among other things. There are no side effects, and it tastes wonderful.

Mullein Tincture
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Posted by Mama To Many Donate
(Tennessee) on 04/11/2015

[YEA]  I have used Mullein leaf for years and found it helpful. I have used it in a salve I make for coughs. I put it in a tea blend for coughs. And these things are helpful. Some time ago I made a tincture of mullein leaves. I have had it sitting in my cabinet for maybe years. (A vodka tincture will last for years.)

Last week, a couple of my children came down with a fever and cough. The cough was the relentless type. Cough salve was helping. Garlic oil, as always, helped a lot. But they really don't like the garlic oil (I put it on their back and/or chest, over the lung area.) I really prefer using things that are pleasant to them if at all possible. I decided to try some mullein tincture. I also had some tincture of olive leaf (which is an antiviral/antibacterial herb). My daugther, 12, was 2-3 days into the sickness when I started to use the tinctures. I would give her 1 teaspoon each of mullein and olive leaf tincture in 5 ounces of water (She is the size of a small adult.) It helped her a lot! I dosed her at least 4 times a day, sometimes more.

When two of my little boys (6 and 9) began to come down with the sickness, I immediately started them on the mullein and olive leaf tinctures. I gave each of them 1/2 teaspoon of each tincture, in 3 ounces of water. I gave them this 4 or 5 times a day. They were sick for just a day! The cough is still around some and I will continue to give the tinctures a couple of times a day.

My daugther, 11, was beginning to feel like she was getting sick. She started on the two tinctures right away. While she took a nap one day (which she never does) she never had a fever and never was down from it.

Mullein is sometimes called, "Great mullein." And indeed, it is great! It is a gentle but powerful herb. I love when a humble plant is such a wonderful medicine. It is even growing wild in fields near me.

Mullein Tincture Recipe

  • 2 ounces of fresh mullein leaf (chopped fine) or 4 ounces of dried mullein leaf (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs.)
  • 16 ounces of 100 proof vodka

Place herb into a mason jar. Pour vodka over it. Leave on the counter and shake daily for 2-6 weeks. Strain out the plant material with a coffee filter. Store the tincture in a cool dry place in a glass container.

~Mama to Many~

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Posted by Ted Donate
(Bangkok, Thailand) | 388 Posts

The most effective cough medicine I have tried is N-Acetycysteine (a natural amino acid and modified to aid absorption). Vinegar and oregano or vinegar and garlic seems to solve sore throat the best and reduced the coughing faster. The key is to avoid sugar and cough drops as sugar accelerates viral growth causing a quick return to coughing.

There is an amino supplement form hidden in your local drug store as a mucus clearing medicine to help clear breathing passages, which goes (at least in Thailand) under the label brand of Flumucil, Mysolven, NAC-Long etc. This is the only bioavailable form of the amino acid cysteine. (N-Acetyl amino acid holds great promise in alternative medicine, but I think many doctors don't know about this.) An example is N-Acetyl Carnitine for cataracts. If you know your biochemistry, N-Acetycysteine is an antioxidant and very helpful when used alongside with selenium. Holds promise for SARS, bird flu, AIDS and cancer due to its antioxidant properties. The amount is either 100 mg., 200 mg., 800 mg. My mom and my sister are o.k. with 100 mg, but I use up to 800 mg.

For emergencies in stopping coughs, I eat very small crystals of menthol. The cough medicine I mentioned here is better than any cough medicine in the market. No kidding. I used to have persistent coughs which lasted 6 months, and at that time I was only 22 years old and supposedly the prime of my life!

Vinegar and food grade hydrogen peroxide is another story which reduces sore throat in minutes, but seems to be helpful in coughs by reducing the irritation.

Natural Cough Syrup
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Posted by Michelle (Lamora, Mexico) on 03/06/2008

[YEA]  My mother always had us make cough syrup when coughs were going around. here's the recipe

1/2 cup lemon juice
12 garlic cloves
1/4 onion
1/2 cup of honey
teaspoon powder vitamin c
pinch of cayenne pepper

we don't always measure exactly just dump and make according to taste. it actually tastes really good.

Replied by Sara
Louisville, Kentucky
[YEA]   Tried the remedy from Michelle from Lamora, Mexico. The NATURAL COUGH SYRUP Posted on 3/6/2008. I did just as she said except added a couple of tablets of turmeric also. My son coughed of few times and then finally slept thru the night, no coughing. My husband had the same cough. He took it and he stopped coughing. There must be something to it. Thanks so much Michelle for your post. Thanks to everyone who makes this site run.

Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon
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Posted by Tash (London, UK) on 03/20/2007

[YEA]  I had a very bad and nagging cough since i had a flu. Everything like millions of cough syrups and ginger and lemon and honey and all other things and cures were suggested me but nothing worked. I thought I would choke and die with the enormity of the cough; then I read this on google and after reading all the confident e-mails, I decided to try apple Cider Vinegar with Olive Oil. Initially it did not work but I think that was because mine was really bad cough, but then slowly and steadily it brought me back to normality and now I am good as new. Thanks to the person who put it here first. This works, maybe not instantly but it does with regular morning and evening doses. It is better than any cough syrup, I promise you that. THANKS!!!:

Posted by Sonia (Orlando, FL)

[YEA]  greetings to all and god bless. a few weeks ago i was starting to get laryngitis. my throat was starting to hurt and i was losing my voice. i was drinking apple cider so i added lemon to distilled water and it seemed to stop the progress, i kept drinking water with a squeezed lemon and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. the pain stopped but then i started coughing persistently a dry cough. i had no cough medicine nor honey. so i remembered reading that olive oil was a good cough stopper. so i went to my kitchen and i drank 2 tablespoons and went to sleep. and i slept peacefully thru the night w/o coughing once. now in the morning when i woke up. it started again. so again i drank 2 tablespoons again. i then started experiencing again a copious cough but for my surprise this time i was coughing with phlegm. the coughing lasted about 30 mins. it was serving me as an expectorant also. it cleared me up and no more coughing.

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Posted by Qwerty (Bucharest, Romania) on 09/25/2012

[YEA]  Onion tea, grandma's remedy also, not pleasant to have it but it works.

Posted by Asmaa (Kuwait) on 01/06/2010

[YEA]  Cough. i tried this recipe from a friend's mom and it worked wonders. Peel Red Onions and make thick slices (may be say 3 or 4). Keep the slice in a bowl and put 1 tbsp sugar, then put another slice and again put 1 tbsp sugar, repeat the process until all slices are covered with sugar. Do this in the night and keep it until morning. In the morning there will be some juice in the bowl. Squeeze the onion with your hands to extract some more juice and drink it. Do it for 3 days. i got relief immediately after the first try.

Posted by Amy (Palmer, Ak) on 11/11/2008

[YEA]  Onions: can be made into couph syup. By taking a sliced onion and then putting some sugar on top and then let set for a few min. then drain off juices. you can even eat the onion after words if you would like.

Posted by Wendy (Sylmar, Ca) on 12/29/2007

[YEA]  Slice up a brown or yellow onion and place it in a breathable bag such as a linen bag. Put it is bed near the face of the sufferer and it will stop the coughing within minutes. If the sufferer is awake, tie the bag around the neck and lie down on the couch with eyes closed. I thank God for the wonderful herbs He gives us to help our sicknesses!

Posted by Seema (UK) on 01/22/2006

[YEA]  peel one large onion and cut in in half, put a half a tablespoon of brown sugar on to each half of the onion, and cover it, let it stand for an hour. The syrup relish should be taken at least twice a day. It works wonders.

Posted by Sharon (Victoria, Australia) on 11/15/2005

[YEA]  I have stumbled across a remedy for coughs and bronchitis. slice an onion and place in bowl layer with pure honey, leave sit for an hour or so, this will yield a syrup. Have a teaspoon every 15 minutes until coughing chest soreness subsides.