Coughs - Editor's Choice

Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have sent us many reports about their treatments for Coughs. The editors at Earth Clinic consider the below posts to be some of the most helpful and informative and have named them 'Editor's Choice'. We hope that you will find this useful.

Coconut Oil

Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 11/03/2017

I have seen coconut oil work very well for my adult son when ever he exhibits symptoms of a virus. I learned about that treating mono with coconut oil (amazing cure) and it works so well for him it is a go-to. I recently used it to treat a cough he had. I am learning that with him I should just start with coconut oil.

My six year old has had a cough/cold a couple of weeks ago and it seemed to start back up a couple of days ago. (Same virus, new virus, allergy, I don't really know.) Well, I cut to the chase. I gave him a teaspoon of coconut oil yesterday morning and last night before bed. (Also used onion by the bedside - works every time.) He didn't cough all night. He was coughing when he got up. I gave him another teaspoon of coconut oil. He isn't fond of it - I chase it with something useful - like a spoonful of honey (also good for a cough.) Or just give it to him right before a meal. I just realized it is lunchtime and he hasn't coughed all morning.

~Mama to Many~

Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, Honey

Posted by Steph C. (Missouri) on 03/07/2017

Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, Honey for Nighttime Cough

My children both have an absolute aversion to cough medicine (natural or otherwise). After a horrible incident with my 4-year-old, I desperately searched the webs for a non-ingested remedy, but never quite had all the ingredients, so I crafted a remedy of my own, as inspired by a multitude of sources.

This remedy is a poultice, to be placed on the upper chest above the heart.

Ingredients: 1 clove garlic, crushed and finely minced; 1 tsp fresh ginger, crushed and finely minced; 1/4 tsp turmeric; 1 tsp raw honey; 1 tsp olive oil; 1 tsp flour; gauze or paper towel (or anything to place mixture on); surgical tape. Combine garlic, ginger, turmeric, and honey. Dust with a bit of the flour and roll it a bit. Drizzle with a bit of the oil and then dust with a bit more flour. Continue alternating with flour and oil until a paste forms. You don't want the mixture to be runny, but you also don't want it to be dried and doughy. Once the desired consistency is reached, smear mixture on gauze and apply to upper chest and secure with tape.

Notes: I've used this successfully on a 4 year old and a 7 year old. One had a wet, mucous-filled cough; and the other had a dry, hacking cough. This remedy worked equally well, as in ZERO coughs all night for either child. I thought, at first, it was a fluke. But, I have now used this remedy multiple times, and the results have been consistent. Adding this one to my toolbox.

Mama's Antiviral Fudge Recipe

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 08/27/2016

There is a cough/cold going around. My daughter had it and I thought it was allergy and treated it as such and it really hung on for a while. Then my 5 year old son started to cough and I realized that it was probably a virus - I was hearing of others in the neighborhood with it. The cough was the most irritating at night. I found that 1/2 onion cut up and placed by the pillow usually kept the coughing at bay all night. Then I remembered coconut oil works for viruses. I mixed up a fudge for my son and fed it to him 3-4 times a day. It was easy to get him to take and I could tell a big difference in 24 hours. I am taking the fudge too since it has blackstrap molasses and coconut oil in it. I try to take those things often and this is a delicious way to take it. I notice that it seems to have completely eliminated sugar cravings for me.

Antiviral Fudge Recipe

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil (soft)
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (I am sure almond butter would be excellent)
  • 2 T. raw cacao powder

Mix together. Lightly sprinkle the top with Celtic sea salt (or Himalayan pink.)

Pour/Spread into an 8x8 pan lined with wax paper.

Refrigerate for an hour. Cut into 24 squares. Each square has about 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in it, which is the amount I want in one dose for my child.


~Mama to Many~

Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted by Bb (Illinois) on 05/30/2016

Had family in town for Memorial Day and one of the cousins brought along a head cold with tickling repetitive night cough and pink eye that my 3.5 year-old got :( Before bed I wiped his eyes out with 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and warm water a few times (he didn't complain of stinging or anything), and also dribbled some HP into each ear (3%).

Then at 3am with the persistent dry-cough keeping us both up, I made a concoction of 1 Tspn raw apple cider vinegar with 1 teaspoon of raw honey and a bit of warm water to melt honey-- equaled 10mls of syrup. I also wiped his eyes out again with the 50/50 hydrogen solution. In the morning his eyes weren't even crusty, and showed no signs of gunk (maybe a tiny corner later in the day) and he was in perfect spirits with no runny nose, just a little stuffiness remained.

His cough was still present when reclined, so I gave him another 10ml Apple cider vinegar/honey concoction after a warm bath, and gave him 0.5mls of sublingual melatonin at bed (1ml tablet broken in half), and he slept deeply without coughing all night. I don't generally use melatonin for my kids, but the pediatrician had recommended a natural cough syrup that was basically made up of 'dark honeys', a minimal amount of vitamin C and zinc, and 0.5 mg of Melatonin, so I mimicked the ingredients but with a healthier version, IMO. And now we have our happy healthy boy back! I would say all thanks to the HP and ACV :)

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kels (Philly, Pa) on 10/17/2011

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 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon 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.


Posted by Marcela (Mexico) on 03/01/2009

Hi, my toddler had been coughing a little at night and after waking up, for several weeks now, but the last two days it was getting worse, so I decided to try two remedies at once: I cut an onion in half and put one half in a dish on his night table. And I spritzed a little Apple Cider Vinegar on both sides of his pillow. He coughed once, and then nothing. Slept through the whole night without a single cough. Upon waking up he coughed a little bit but nothing like the days before.

My husband is also recovering from some bad sinusitis and he began coughing last night as well, so once we saw that it worked for our little boy, we tried the same with him, only both halves of a (freshly cut) onion. And it was like pressing the "mute" button! No more coughing till like 5 a.m. I think the vapors wear off and it wasn't enough for the entire night for my husband, so tonight I'll try slicing another chunk off the onion when the cough restarts.

I had previously tried just the onion or just the Apple Cider Vinegar but I hadn't noticed much improvement. With both it was a really dramatic change, a mute button!