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.

Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, Honey

Posted by Steph C. (Missouri) on 03/07/2017
5 out of 5 stars

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
5 out of 5 stars

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 teaspoon 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 Kels (Philly, Pa) on 10/17/2011
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Heather's Cough Formula

Posted by Heather (Ortonville, Michigan, Usa) on 03/04/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Hi recently out of frustration i mixed this up for my 5yr old because he was coughing constantly for a week and nothing was coming out. I knew he was at risk for infection because I had the same thing and got myself over it in less then 4 days, however it is not so easy to get a little one to take things. should have treated him sooner.

I took freshly squeezed juice of a half of an organic orange, half of an organic lemon, 1 tsp organic non pasteurized etc. apple cider vinegar, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, splash of Tabasco sauce, few drops of organic garlic juice, few drops of juice from freshly chopped onion (after sprinkling sugar on chopped onion and setting in fridge for 20 min or longer till juice comes out) and finally a large spoon of raw organic honey. mix all together in pan on stove till warm not boiling. Drink with plenty of water after. Will be spicy but sweet and tangy. Does not taste near as bad as it sounds! My 5yr old son started pouring out snot after one dose and stopped coughing right away! I gave him one more dose that night and he slept through the night. I gave him one more the next day and he went back to school the following day!!

When I was using these ingredients on myself. I increased the amounts, 1 tsp instead of 1/2 etc. use common sense. Thank you earth clinic for helping me through trial and error figure out a magic potion to heal myself and my baby! Medicine in your cupboard, I tell everyone. Thanks again and God bless!!!


Posted by Marcela (Mexico) on 03/01/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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!