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Natural Remedies for Cough and Cold

Last Modified on Nov 09, 2014

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Apple Cider Vinegar   81  3   

Posted by Mamamia (Victoria, Tx) on 03/18/2012

Okay. I am your typical hate-going-to-the-doctor, hate-taking-medicine (even if it tastes good), hate-eating-my-vegetables kind of person. Which is probably why I developed bronchitis. I did give in and went the doctor to get antibiotics (jury's still out on their effectiveness). But I have this horrible, non-ending cough that is driving everyone in the house crazy and keeping me from getting any sleep. Like other women out there, after 4 children each 18 months apart, my bladder is no longer any friend of mine. So coughing is extremely irritating. I am allergic to dextromethorphan and cannot take most of the OTC medicines out there. I was referred to this site by a friend and have been reading about everyone swearing Apple Cider Vinegar is a cure all. I happen to have ______ organic, raw un-filtered, with the 'mother' ACV on the shelf, and tried mixing 2 Tbsp of ACV with 4 Tbsp apple juice. OMG. It was the most godawful taste. It tasted like I accidentally drank the kids' Easter egg dye. But I got it down and I am awaiting the results. I will try another glass before bedtime, adding honey in to hopefully make it more palatable. I just need some sleep! I will try to keep everyone informed of this little journey I've put myself on. This is the first time I haven't relied on a Rx to make me feel better.

Posted by Sabra (Vanc, Washington) on 01/11/2012

[YEA]  I got a cold about a month ago it went away in about a week but I was left with a persistent cough. A lot of non productive coughing, wheezing and rattling. At times leaving me short of breath. I was looking for natural treatments for persistant cough and came accross this site. I immediately made a tall glass of AVC and honey with warm water. It tastes good to me so no problem. I didn't really think it was going to work on such a bad cough I was even beginning to wonder if I had developed some bad lung disease but within a few minutes after drinking the mixture the coughing subsided. It's been about two hours and still there's no coughing, no wheezing, no rattle. I'll do it again in the morning and through the day tomorrow. Thank you so much for all the great posts.

Replied by Vince
Salt Lake City, Utah
[YEA]   My 5 yrs old son cough like crazy. I use your remedie, its work like a champ! He sleep through the night and feel better the next morning. Thanks a million!
Replied by Jd
Houston, Texas
I recently had Strep, and had to receive antibiotics. After the antibiotics, I was left with a dry cough; a tickling in the brochial tubes that led to unproductive coughing. I tried ACV, which seemed to quiet my need to cough without actually removing the source of irritation.

MY main problem, though, was that whenever I took the ACV, it was followed by a powerful and overwhelming lethargia and a need to just sleep.I felt like I'd been drugged. Has anyone else experienced this or does anyone (Tim?) know why this is happening? I obviously can't take ACV unless the reason for this is determined.

Replied by Timh
Louisville, Ky, Usa
Jd, if I am the Tim you question. I used to always experience the "dryness" thing w/ tetracycline type antibiotics as opposed to the penicillin type. It's something to do w/ hydration at the cellular level. Do a few cups daily of filtered water w/ a pinch of sea salt in each to replace minerals. Steam therapy will help ease the bronchiole and the herb Mullein will soothe & heal. Take some probiotics (broad spectrum) to replace gut flora. Wait about two weeks and try the ACV again.

Your "reaction" could have something to do w/ candida die-off or herx. After yrs of debilitating struggle w/ undiagnosed fungal infection and getting worse, I tried the "foot bath zap" a few months ago and herxed for 4 days. My reaction was like yours, I became completely drained of energy and simply went into sleep mode for about 1 or 2 hrs. As for antifungal herbs, Grapefruitseed extract is the best imho. Caprylic acid or simply coconut oil is very good antifungal.

Hope this helps.

Replied by Debbiek
Sundance, Wy, Usa
[YEA]   I have had a cough for almost a year. Been to doctor after doctor. I had surgery to fix my deviated septum to help with drainage and calm the cough, NOPE! Didn't work! I'm on HBP medicine and was at my wits end!! Tried ACV in various drinks. Not a big fan of apple juice or cider so it didn't taste good, tea was just as bad. And it ony worked for a couple hours. So, I decided to just take a shot! Couldn't be any worse than Whiskey, right? Definitely HORRIBLE! However, worked for over 15 hours!!! Slept through the night, worked all day without coughing! Will do this every day if needed!!

Posted by Maypeacebewithall (Singapore) on 10/20/2011

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  I was coughing real badly until to the point of nearly vomitting. I couldn't sleep at night as the cough kept me awake. I am coughing almost the whole day with maybe around half an hour break in between or less. It's like almost non-stop coughing. I cough till my stomach muscles ache. I was desparate for relief and tried many remedies including those mentioned in Earthclinc like cayenne pepper, putting menthol rub on my soles, etc but all these yield only temporary relief. Yesterday night, I prayed for help in desperation and I suddenly thought of the apple cider vinegar mentioned in Earthclinic. I took 2 teaspoons mixed with water and went to bed and I did not even cough once in the night. I slept through the night soundly! There was still some coughing when I woke up this morning but I am at least 50% better. Thank you, Earthclinic and to the readers who contributed to their experiences!

Replied by Tester101
Iloilo City, Philippines
Its effects are compounded in combination with other home or natural remedies like honey, citrus, garlic syrup, etc. Just control the percentage of solution of your choice. Study the effects of the mixture. The effects could stay longer with natural oils like palm oils, olive oil, fish oils, etc. Know the required weight of the mixture your body needs to defend itself. The overdose side effect is mostly "drunkenness". Sometimes strange feelings. Thanks.

Posted by Gina Jessica (Paranaque City, Manila) on 07/19/2011

[YEA]  Thank you Earth Clinic for your very helpful and health friendly website. Everytime I have cough I no longer take western medicines since I found this site. The _____s Apple cider vinegar mixed with honey and crushed garlic is very effective to cure cough and colds. Very soothing drink!!!

Replied by Hhk
Washington, Dc
I had bronchitis, laryngitis, and chronic coughing that starts around the evening. I mean nonstop coughing, couldn't sleep, sit, or make it stop, it was very difficult. Doubled my prescription cough medication for help, no effect, the cough persisted.

Fresh out of ACV, had no choice but to try using regular vinegar bought from organic store. Mixed 1cup boiling water, ~1 generous tsp organic honey, ~3tsp vinegar, and drank it like a hot tea. The relief was instantaneous. It made the cough go away. Look forward to drinking more to help my recovery.

P.S. Then I read about the difference between ACV and regular vinegar @

Posted by Kathryn (Mccall, Id) on 06/06/2011

[YEA]  I had a bad cough for 5 days and I was desperate for relief. I mixed 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp clover honey with 1/4-cup warm water. It soothed my cough and a little while later I coughed up a lot of phlegm and it was cured!

Posted by Amanda (Los Angeles, Ca ) on 05/22/2011

I was told by a co-worker to try this apple cider remedy, however, I was told you rinse your mouth with it and not swallow it. Can you please clarify? On your website it states to drink it mixed in water. I constantly cough and it seems as though my throat is conxtantly filled with mucus that I just cannot get rid of. I will cough to a point where I practically cant breathe at times. Ive tried to go see a doctor re: this but all they tell me is that im healthy and theres nothing wrong with me and what I have is hereditary. Please help.

Replied by Kay
In The Valley, Ca
Amanda from Los Angeles, I just came accross your post while I was trying to decide what to do for my bronchitis. I'd like to offer an opinion on your condition. It sounds to me like you have post-nasal-drip. It is usually caused from allergies. Dairy would be the first thing I would look at, because I think that is a pretty common sympton. But, it could be just about anything. The list is a mile long, it could be something you are injesting or something in your home, workplace, or in your yard. How about seeing a allergist? You might want to look under Allergies on Earth Clinic to see what others have tried. I wish you luck, and I hope you get my feedback. Ksy
Replied by Ruth
Stavanger, Norway (american, Working In Norway)
A further comment on the post-nasal-drip. I have a lot of sinus and throat problems, which I am convinced are caused by Candida. I recently discovered a pleasant and extremely cheap remedy. I make my own version of Xlear nasal spray. I use 1/4 tsp. Xylitol, 1/8 tsp salt, one drop peroxide and one drop grapefruit seed extract. I spray it in my nose and also inhale it as often as I think of it--the more the better. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I can sleep breathing through my nose, and have had much less sinus problems. It is so easy, so effective, and best of all, so cheap!!! I also gargle with salt water often (helps clear the mucus in your throat) and inhale 3% peroxide using a nasal spray bottle (the food grade is best, but the drug store variety is better than nothing).

As for the red onion recipe, I make something like that--boil an onion and 1/4" fresh ginger root, then crush several cloves of garlic and add after the onion/ginger is cooked. Then I mix it with enough honey to get it down and take as often as I can stand it. I give it to the kids 1 tsp. Every couple hours (maybe 1/2 tsp. for babies) until they start having loose bowels, then give them less. They will probably smell like onion and garlic for a while :)

By the way, I am on this site because I have had a dry cough all day and finally got so fed up, I checked this site. I started using each remedy I had on hand, as I would read about it, and am now coughing up lots of mucus. Thanks everyone, for your comments! God bless you!

Replied by Carly
Duluth, Mn Usa
Urgent: Remember not to give honey to babies under one year because of botulism spores possibly in the honey. Sounds like a great cough remedy combination you came up with though. :)

Posted by Kassy (Sunrise, Fl) on 12/15/2010

[YEA]  I have had a cough for a few days that seemed to get worse by the day. I have always referred to this website for many cures, but never thought to try out any remedies for coughs until today. I poured 2tbsp of acv, 1tbsp of honey, and 1 teaspoon of lemon in a cup, and stirred it for about 30seconds. I drank it down.... And have not coughed since! Hallelujah!

Replied by George
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
this actually works.. I started taking ACV yesterday ( 2 tbsp, with 1 tbsp of honey in a glass of luke warm water). My cough has subsided, am still coughing but not as much... hopefully this will help me...
Replied by Sheilah
Davao City, Philippines
[YEA]   it works for me also. 2 tbsp. Of apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp. Of honey, 1 tbsp. Of lemon juice and 1/2 c ginger juice ( 1 tbsp. Crushed ginger 1/2 c boiling water... strain ) mix all the engridients voila I was able to sleep soundly with no more coughs.
Replied by Kier
E.b. Magalona, Philippines
Is it recommended or can do this to a 1 year old child?? please advise/help.. thanks!
Replied by Janie
Nj, Usa
It is NOT recommended to give honey to infants and children under 2 yrs. They do not develop the ability to digest the honey properly until they are older and it can be very harmful to give it to one who is too young.

Check with your doctor on this if you are not sure.

Replied by Grace
New York City, New York
I have given it to my baby since he was 12 months. However, if you do not feel confortable giving him honey, you can add instead natural apple juice: one glass of apple juice, half tbs of ACV, half tbs of lemon juice and add a bit of warm water. It works for my baby.

Posted by Jack (Cross Hill, South Carolina) on 11/02/2010

[YEA]  I had a sore throat that went away but the cough stayed for several weeks. I used 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey 2 times during day and 2 tblspns of each at bedtime. Only coughed once during the night. I took 1 tblspn of each the next morning (three days ago) and have been fine since then. It worked for me.

Replied by Imma_bosss
Forrest City, Ark
Do this work for a one year old child???
Replied by Life Dr
Los Angeles, Ca
The general warning is that you should not feed honey to infants under twelve months of age. It should be fine for a two year old, and older child. I have also heard of using a daily teaspoon of raw honey as a treatment for allergies. It has something to do with the pollen and other substances in the raw honey helping the patient to build up some immunity to whatever they are allergic to.
Replied by Shadonipr
Loudon, Tn
Just remember if you are going to use the honey for treatment of allergies, you have to use stuff that is locally produced in your area or you won't get the full benefits of it. You want your body to build tolerances to your allergic triggers.

Posted by Dawneva (Holly Ridge, Nc ) on 09/05/2010

I have had a chronic cough for over 2 years and after going to all kinds of doctors, having a chest xray for lung cancer, allergy tests etc I was told I had acid reflux and to go on Prilosec. After reading about it I declined and have put up with the cough. I look forward to trying Apple Cider Vinegar on a regular basis. I don't mind the taste and will post my results in the future.

Replied by Amy
Warren, Maine
[YEA]   OK - I'm a believer!! My husband came down with a nasty cough this week. Not really any other cold symtoms, but a deep "wet" cough. He has not slept for 3 nights (nor I). I went online at 3 AM out of desperation and found this site. The Apple cider Vineager and sugar worked like a charm. With in 15 minutes he was asleep and it worked for about 3 hours. I gave him more and it worked again. My husband is a total skyptic. Not an ounce of him thought it would work, so there is no question of pyschologically being better because you think it will make you better. - Now tell me why this 50 cents of home remedy works better then the $14.00 of the strongest cough syrup I could find over the counter??
Replied by Beacon
Corte Madera, Ca, Usa
[YEA]   My mother is in her 80's, she had a dry cough for weeks. It was just wearing her out. Very difficult for her to sleep at night. I found the ACV and honey remedy on your amazing web site. I gave her the information, and she tried it. The cough was completely gone in less than two days! Thanks from both of us!
Replied by Emilyr
Portland, Or, United States
I was really hoping ACV could be a simple cure for the horrible cough I've had for over 2 weeks following a sinus infection, but it has not helped. I am 36 and pregnant, saw my doctor last week, he thinks it is a random virus and not a flu, cold, or anything bacterial. I tried Robetussin at his suggestion but that did not help a bit. I alternate between mucousy coughs, and dry spasm-like coughs and feel like it is moving into my lungs...

For the last 2 days I have taken 2T raw organic ACV w/ 1T honey and a wedge of lemon in 8oz hot water, 2 doses during the day, with very little temporary relief. Before that I was taking just one daily mug that I would sip slowly of 2T ACV with 12oz hot water with the honey and lemon, I had also tried adding cayenne, raw garlic, ginger - anything I could think of that might help, again very little/temporary relief. I am wondering how long people have used the ACV remedy before seeing results? I've also noticed some people have been taking honey and vinegar without any water, perhaps this works better but I've read that is hard on your enamel.

The Vick's on my feet remedy DID however work to provide me with a blissful 8 hour break from coughing - enough relief to finally get a good night's rest. Still searching for a cure though. I have a sensitivity to Aspergillus Niger mold and suspect that might be the cause, it is prime mold season here in Portland, OR. Working up the courage to try inhaling hydrogen peroxide... Any advice is welcomed. Thanks, emily

Replied by Blanche
Iberia Parish, Louisiana Usa
Someone posted a remedy for cough that was very simple and worked for me when I had a persistent bronchitis cough. It was an onion slice or two covered by honey, taken as often as necessary. I was amazed how well it worked.
Replied by Granny Laura
Waco, Tx, Usa
The cough response is usually from sinus dripping down your throat and you need to clear your breathing passage.

One teaspoon of salt for canning and baking or pure sea salt in a quart of distilled water is the recipe for relief! You can sniff it up your nose over the sink, use a neti pot, or an eye dropper to get it to the targeted area, sinuses.

This usually stops a bad cough in its tracks, and can actually cure a sinus infection faster and better than antibiotics, without the nasty side effects of antibiotics.

This would be the number one remedy for coughs and colds in the world if it was fun to do! But, it has zero side effects and the only thing that could possibly go wrong is if you accidentally drowned yourself! Lol For you and the baby, give this a try.

When I tell a doctor that is what I use for my sinus and cough problems, they always get a smile on their faces and tell me how good it is for the problem, my lung specialist for my asthma was genuinely enthusiastic! They are always surprised at patients that don't want a quick fix antibiotic for the sniffles and hangnails, or worse yet (if possible), steroids. They don't take that stuff themselves but they didn't know they had a patient somewhere that was as smart as they are about safe cures for common problems!

Replied by Ro
Denver, Co
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   I got bronchitis almost 3 weeks ago, just finished a round of antibiotics and the cough went away. On the last day of my antibiotics, the cough came back from a virus my son had, I assume, and it hasn't stopped in 3 days (and nights! There hasn't been much sleep in my house). I have tried every cough syrup and cough drop imaginable, combined with a humidifier and herbal tea but the relief is short term.

I just read through this thread and immediately rushed to the grocery to buy this concoction (2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp. of honey, 1 tbsp. of lemon juice and 1/2 c ginger juice ( 1 tbsp. Ground ginger 1/2 c boiling water). My cough is subsiding a lot - from coughing nonstop to only once in a while now. I am just so grateful to have some relief from this and I plan to try it again and with my son tonight. Pretty miraculous.

Replied by Linda
Pueblo, Colorado
Ginger juice, is not ground ginger. You use raw ginger root, mince up a tablespoon, boil in one half cup of water (5 min. should do) and strain.

Posted by Adriana (Sofia, Bulgaria) on 03/14/2010

[YEA]  I did not see any postings on ACV's ability to cure cough. It works as a cough syrup. I had terrible cough and flu this winter. So I searched online and found out that equal amounts of ACV and honey in a cup of water work miracles. I tried it and felt instant relief. It has anti-viral properties and helps fight the flu.

Here in Bulgaria it is also traditionally used to lower fever. The way it's done is to wet a cloth with the vinegar and cover the forehead and temples. The vinegar and the cooling effect of the wet cloth work together.

EC: Hi Adriana,

We have 75 YEAS for apple cider vinegar curing coughs!

Replied by John Smith
Charlston , West Virginia
I've had a nasty painful cough for days now and I just tried this... It works enough for me to be able to talk without coughing every 5 seconds. I've slept better from this too. I doubled it and it worked even better.
Replied by Debi
Greensboro, Usa
Do you use powdered ginger or fresh?

Posted by Tivins (Qld, Australia) on 11/13/2009

[YEA]  I caught a bad cold recently, while the medicine from the chemist stops the cold, I cant stop the cough that came after it. The cough was very bad. Feels like theres something ticklish on my throat n makes me wanna cough it out but cant. At night, im not able to sleep, just cough n cough till i got cramps in the stomach. I looked up for the cure in this site. (i save this site on my desktop). I took 3capfuls of apple cider vinegar with my normal morning tea with either sugar or honey with warm water. In a couple of hours, my coughs lessen and the sore i felt in my throat from coughing felt better. My runny nose also stops n i fell soo much better.. Thank u earthclinic, u make my day!

Posted by Gizmo (Hot Springs, Ar) on 09/14/2009

[YEA]  I used 1 tsp apple cider vinegar,1 tsp raw honey in 1/4 cup warm water for a bad cough. I felt relief immediately, and later on I coughed up a lot of phlegm. Then the cough was gone.

Replied by Kels
Philly, Pa
[YEA]   My poor 4 year-old had the worst cough he has ever had. I tried treating it with honey, chest rub (on chest and feet), diluted apple juice, bananas (he got tired of those after only one) and cough drops. Well let me tell you, after reading your remedy of 1/2 honey, 1/2 vinegar and 1/4 cup of water, and trying it - he was 50% better after the first dosage.

I used Manuka Honey and unfiltered ACV with warmed water from the stove, he said it was strong, but he actually drank it. I was so pleased with the results that I had to reply and tell you and EC - THANKS!!! It was really worth the research and has solidified my faith in natural products.

Replied by Brenda
Charlotte, Nc
[YEA]   2 tbs water, 1 tbs ACV, 1 tbs honey. It worked! My daughter has the flu, and has been coughing non stop for days (a dry, non-prductive cough. ) I tried vapor rub, plain honey, cough medicine, and finally her nebulizer. Nothing worked. I saw a recipe for the acv and honey and was thrilled to see the success rate. I am SO relieved, plus I now have a bit of silence now and then ;)

Posted by Reena (Chicago, IL) on 09/04/2009

[YEA]  ACV cured husband's cough! We used 2 tablesspoons ACV and 4 tablespoons of apple juice and his cough immediately stopped! Great!

Posted by Susan (Santa Clarita, CA) on 07/22/2009

[YEA]  I had a bad sore throat from a cold which went away, then was left with a nagging cough. Nothing I tried helped. Tonight I mixed 3 tab acv with 1 tab honey, 1 cup of water and microwaved for 1 1/2 minutes. I sipped the mixture and immediately noticed the tickle and scratchy throat diminshed. I drank another cup and and haven't felt the urge to cough after several hours. This really works!

Posted by Veronica (London, UK) on 06/12/2009

[YEA]  My mother is 85 and has been suffering from a terrible cough for at least 2 years. The doctors had given her so many antiobotics she had given up. The cough was a proudctive one has well. As i was on the site fro my own problems... i happended to look up coughs and decided I would make my mpther some ACV and honey! My fod - we still cant beleive it - it is GONE... Gone! the first day - nothing hapened - she said lets just continne for another 5 days! well by the end of the 5th days all coughing has ceased. No monrning could - throughout the day and no night cough.

I used just a quarter of ACV and 3 tablespoons honey - with a litle water.

So glad I found this site .. it has made mu mother very happy. To think a simple household remedy could bring this amount of joy is unbeleiveable. my family are amazed!

Thanks Earth clinic.

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DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

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