Fast and Effective Natural Remedies for Cough

| Modified on Feb 06, 2024
Whiskey Cough Syrup
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 01/16/2024

Whiskey Cough and Cold Syrup:

This was a prescription from a physician for a child's cough syrup in 1962. Ahh the good old days!! I grew up on this stuff.

  • 1 tsp whiskey (Kentucky Gentleman Whiskey, Good flavor and cheap)
  • 1 tsp lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey

Take as needed for cough, especially before bed.

The whisky helps you sleep and it's alcohol content acts as a disinfectant, while the honey and lemon soothe your throat and also acts as a disinfectant.

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 12/08/2023

Yvette, a woman from Mexico City stopped by my house to talk about her health problems with me to see if I could help her. We got to talking about all the children getting sick. She told me that when she was a little girl in Mexico, her mom would make her and her siblings drink “Te de oregano tea” whenever they got sick.

Back a few years ago, I was studying “Greek Folk Remedies for Excess Phlegm”. Oregano brewed into a tea was used to eliminate excess phlegm responsible for a congested respiratory tract. Thyme tea is always recommended by Hippocrates for coughing, but it always makes me feel wonky after I drink it. Oregano does not.

Yvette told me that when her kiddos get sick, she always makes them this oregano tea.

It's simple to make with 3 ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP Oregano leaf – I buy mine at Dollartree in the spice aisle.
  • Honey – It helps with the taste and has health benefits for cough.
  • Water – 3 cups

In making a herbal tea used for medical purposes. You will need a pot with a lid. This will keep the steam in the pot so the medical properties won't wick out with the steam.

Also, don't boil the water on high heat. Make the tea on low simmer for about 10 minutes after the water starts simmering.

Allow the water in the pot to cool. Again, so the medical properties don't wick up in the steam once the lid is lifted.

If you don't believe this procedure makes a difference, try making your home tea using the above heating process and the taste of your tea will be like night and day. Learned this from the cook at Sonny Bar-B-Que. That's why their tea taste so good.

How does it taste? Like I put a handful of weeds from the field into a pot and made a tea out of it and added honey. The good part is you will get use to it.

Is Oregano tea safe for toddlers? I cannot get a clear answer from any of the website gurus. It really comes down to the child, possible allergies, current medications, etc… when in doubt, consult your pediatrician. However, Yvette growup on drinking oregano tea, her kids also drink it so it is really your choice.

Honey, Butter
Posted by Tina (Miami) on 11/27/2023

Have had success every time me or my family have a cough. Warm up raw honey with a bit of butter. It soothes and cleans the throat; works so well!!

Posted by Helena (london) on 02/08/2023

Hi, How much raw almonds did you give to your daughter? Were the almonds soaked? Did she eat it first thing in the morning or before sleep? Thank you

Posted by Sandra (Los Angeles, CA) on 01/11/2023

I came to earth clinic to see if anyone else had this experience, as the SAME thing happened to my daughter and me this weekend. I tried raw almonds for my cough by accident. It even cured the cough. It was Immediate...Instant. The cough never came back. It went from severe to 0 in one swoop.

It did the same for my daughter...miracle!

Peppermint Tea
Posted by Anne Murray (New Zealand) on 03/13/2020

Peppermint Tea

I found this cure in a collection of natural home cures from a society in America. I had been coughing with the flu, so I tried this. Worked straight away. Now I always have a big box of peppermint tea ready for coughs, and take it with honey and a squeeze of lemon juice. (When I get the first symptom of a cold or flu, I take 'master tonic' (

Coconut Oil
Posted by Dinee1 (Idaho) on 03/25/2018

Coconut Oil for Coughing Fit

I have had that dreaded flu for over 10 days that seems to start out as a cold, but it progressively gets worse, with aches, tiredness and then..."the cough". I coughed and coughed until my lower ribs and stomach were sore. I couldn't sleep due to loud, coughing fits.. I tried Oregano, cayenne, Magnesium, ACV, herbal teas, and Elderberry syrup. A little relief but very temporary. I then remembered reading on here about coconut oil. I thought, "Why not. It won't harm."

So being awake at 4 am because of a coughing fit, I went in the kitchen and simply ate a tsp of Virgin coconut oil.

I quieted down right away, and was able to go back to sleep for a few more hours peacefully! So grateful to give my bronchia a rest. Will continue with the CO and hopefully will get me back to 100%...

Anise Seed
Posted by Ritu (Houston, Tx) on 12/20/2017

Just to clarify. Star anise and anise seeds are different things. Anise seeds being talked about in the above two posts are also known as fennel seeds while star anise is a spice.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 07/07/2017

A summer cold has been going around the area for a while. Two of my teen sons have had a bad cough from it. Not productive at all but very harsh and irritating to them. They mostly have not felt awful otherwise.

I was treating them with my usual cough remedies and nothing was working to get rid of it though they would have some temporary relief. As usual, the onion by the bed kept them from coughing at night. But as soon as they were up and back working the cough was back too. It didn't help that I was out of town for a week and I don't think they did much to treat the cough other than some vitamin C in the morning.

Finally, two nights ago, I remembered coconut oil.

Coconut oil worked my son's mono in 36 hours when he had been flat on his back for 3 weeks. Coconut oil worked for another son's sinus infection when nothing else did.

I started giving them coconut oil (Just Costco's organic coconut oil, that smells like coconut oil) by the tablespoon full 36 hours ago. I gave it to them twice a day.

Their coughs are so so so much better now. As much as they dislike taking coconut oil they continue to take it because they know it is bringing relief.

Wish I had tried this a couple of weeks ago!

~Mama to Many~

Peanut Butter
Posted by B (Arkansas ) on 05/22/2017

So I've been having a very bad cough for about a week now, and tonight I just happened to have an apple with crunchy peanut butter as a snack. The peanut butter made my throat feel so much better and really soothed it to where I wasn't coughing!! I would definitely give it a try!

ACV, Raw Honey and Cinnamon
Posted by Dana (Richmond, Va) on 03/10/2017

My daughter had a bad cough due to the flu which was keeping her up and causing her throat to hurt. Found your site because I wanted to treat her naturally. The ACV, raw honey, cinnamon in warm water helped (I added lemon). It is not an instant cure but she was able to get some rest. Will continue to prepare this and drink it. Thanks

ACV, Cayenne, Honey and Hydration
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 03/07/2017

I have had a bit of a cough. Last evening it was all of sudden really bad. It was unproductive, constant and causing my throat to hurt from coughing. I realized I probably hadn't had much to drink all evening (which makes mucous in lungs and sinuses thicker) I started to heat up a kettle of water. I immediately drank some cool water with some sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) added. I put a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of honey and pinch of cayenne pepper in a mug and added hot water. I added a little ice to make the tea drinkable and started sipping. In less than 10 minutes my cough was calmed.

I had more fluids before bed and didn't cough once during the night. I have had some more of my vinegar-honey-cayenne tea today and my cough is rare.

I have used hot honey and vinegar tea for years but that was the most amazing relief I have ever had from a cough.

~Mama to Many~

Vitamin C, Herbs
Posted by Let It Go (Los Angeles, California) on 01/21/2017 10 posts

Vit C, herbs for coughs

My son had several bad coughs (bronchitis) within a few months, and colds almost every month, so I started giving him vitamin C daily - usually about 4-5 grams a day in 2-3 doses. He didn't have a cold for 7 months, and so far didn't get any serious cough.

When we did have coughs, we used herbs - I have lots of tinctures I buy from Oregon online store or make my own with brandy (vodka just tastes very bad even in small amounts), and make mixtures using my intuition, but the main ones were wild cherry bark, mullein, Echinacea, Umckaloabo (Pelargonium sidoides), and lobelia. We also used propolis with good results, however it tastes not so good. We would take 2-3 droppers of mixture of several of these. It works within 10-15 minutes, so if it doesn't stop coughing in that time, another dose might be needed. But usually it did and he could go back to sleep at night.

There is another herb, that is very effective, but it tastes bad -like a sap or a paint thinner - lomatium (lomatium dissectum). Once I kicked the cold with it -although I had to take a few more doses every 4 hours to kick it for good. That said, I get one cold a year at the most, so I am not sure it would work for everyone. I take vitamin C and other supplements for other reasons, which I think helps to prevent them.

Posted by Tina (Princeton, N J) on 01/06/2017

Dear Kathi, Our daughter came home from college with a nagging cough that she had been battling for a few weeks including an ER visit when her temp spiked to 102. The docs said everything checked out ok and it was a viral infection. It was keeping her up at nights and she would wake up in the mornings unable to talk. I did all my usual remedies. Peppery hot tomato drink, apple cider vinegar with raw honey that she sipped throughout the day, and lots of Vitamin C. All these remedies helped but did not get rid of the cough. Until I started her on Umcka cough syrup and Vitamin D, 5,000 IU. She slept through the night and within 2 days the cough's gone. Hope this helps. All the best with getting rid of your cough.

Posted by Kathi (New Brunswick, Nj) on 01/06/2017

Patrice's suggestion really helped me. I'm at the tail end of some kind of cold/flu, and last night just started having the worst persistent cough. I bit off and chewed tiny pieces of raw ginger last night and was able to sleep through the night. At least for me a little bit of ginger goes a long way.

Posted by Nicole (Chantilly, Va) on 01/04/2017

Feeling persistent cough and tickle in my throat, my hot tea was no longer cutting it. So I added several dashes of cayenne pepper to my tea and instantly my cough stopped. My throat felt mild heat at first and then quickly became very soothed after just a few sips. And the taste wasn't that bad actually. After a couple minutes I barely noticed the cayenne in my taste buds seem to adjust.

Mama's Cough Remedies
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 12/22/2016

A bit of a cold has been going around among friends and family, so I didn't get too excited when my 5 year old was having some cold symptoms, mostly a cough at night. But then, for 2 days he slept most of the day and had a fever, which is not usual for a cold or for him. I was giving him some vitamin C and using a menthol salve for the cough but it wasn't cutting it.

If he didn't have a cold, what did he have? Mono? Strep? Whooping Cough? Bronchitis? Croup? The flu?

Well, whatever it was, it had to be viral or bacterial and I could fight either with garlic, vitamin C and elderberry, so I went full force on treatment.

  • I started giving him a small clove of garlic, crushed, mixed with raw honey four times a day. (Antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory.)
  • I gave him home made elderberry syrup 3 times a day. (for immune support)
  • I gave him vitamin C every hour or two.
  • I gave him warm baths with 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup citric acid. (I think this is alkalizing.)
  • I made chicken soup.

The night time cough was the worst. But the mighty onion came to the rescue.

  • I chop one small or 1/2 of a large onion and put it in a bowl near his head. Yes, the room smells strongly by morning but it is the very best for a nighttime cough.

Within 12 hours he was much, much better.

Then two of his brothers started to cough. Well, I figured I would nip that in the bud. I started to give them elderberry syrup. I gave them a couple of doses of garlic. But mostly, I gave them a lot of vitamin C. I can't quite believe how much that helped.

I have been reading a lot about vitamin C, including The Clinic Guide to the Use of Vitamin C. Truly fascinating.

I used Dr. Suzanne Humphries' calculations for how to give large doses of vitamin C (that she uses to neutralize the whooping cough toxin.)

  • Between 200 - 375 mg of vitamin C per kg of child's body weight every 24 hours.

One of my children reached bowel tolerance quickly (diarrhea) so I cut him back.

But I didn't give large amounts at one time. I divided the total by 10 and gave it hourly or so during the day.

I don't know what they had (it wasn't whooping cough though because I was able to way cut back on the vitamin C and the cough didn't return. For whooping cough you have to continue the diligent C protocol for the duration of the illness - 100 days, but supposedly it really makes the illness quite tolerable.)

I used the sodium ascorbate form of vitamin C. 1 part Nutribiotic ascorbic acid powder plus 1/2 part of baking soda to make my own sodium ascorbate.

That's my story and I am sticking to it. :)

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Kazzakazzarooney (London) on 09/21/2016

Mullein Tincture - very powerful

I first tried this a few years ago when I had the most dreadful chesty phlemy cough. After 1/2 hour of taking the ready made shopped bought tincture it all came up! Funnily not by coughing. I blew my nose and I am not joking when I say, for about 20 mins non stop! The relief of being able to breathe better and not having a chesty cough was incredible! I carried on having the chesty cough later that day but then just took more of the tincture.

Since discovering ACV on this site, I think that would be good to take as well and seems to speed up the healing process too!

Warm Milk
Posted by P B (Cape Breton) on 02/20/2016

My coughs normally respond to cures noted on this site. Currently I'm sick with a chest cold that has come with a terrible unproductive cough - was keeping me up and none of my usual tricks worked - nor did cough syrup. I thought of how drinking milk kind of coats your throat and I thought maybe it would help get rid of that urge to cough. I warmed up a cup of 3% milk with about 1 tbsp of honey (had previously tried tea & honey with no effect) and it worked fine. I drank half the cup and was able to sleep, woke up coughing later and drank the rest, then slept the rest of the night.

Anise Seed
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 02/13/2016

I read about the Anise Tincture here at Earth Clinic. (Brigitte's recipe.) I made some up a few months ago to have on hand. We had a cough come through this week and I had the opportunity to try it.

When my 4 year old had a coughing fit, I gave him 1/2 teaspoon of the tincture in a couple of ounces of water and it helped him a lot! I gave a dose to anyone who was coughing at bedtime and it seemed to keep the nighttime cough (when it tends to be worse) at bay quite well.

I did use other cough remedies (homemade chest salve and essential oils on the bottom of the feet) that worked well too, but those were not new remedies to me. I love to find something new that works!

  • 5 Tablespoons of Anise Seed
  • 1 cup of rum
  • Put both in a canning jar and leave in a cool dark place for 2-6 weeks. Strain out the anise seeds through a coffee filter. This tincture will keep for years.

I gave middle sized children 1/2 teaspoon of tincture in 2 ounces of water.

If I still had toddlers I would use 1/4 teaspoon in 1 ounce of water.

For adults I would use 1 teaspoon (2 for a large adult) in 3 ounces of water.

It tastes like licorice. :)

~Mama to Many~