Four Ways to Use Garlic for a Cough

| Modified on Dec 02, 2022
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An inexpensive natural remedy for a cough is garlic! This simple but strong food helps reduce coughing as well as fighting the bacteria or virus that is causing the cough. Garlic can be used a number of different ways to heal you cough and can be used internally or externally.  Use garlic as often as you like but at least every 4 hours to help get rid of your cough.

Garlic Oil

Garlic oil is used externally on the back and/or chest. This oil penetrates the skin to the lungs and is also inhaled as you breathe.  Unless you love the smell of garlic, this remedy may seem very strong. But it is safe with little risk of side effects and very helpful even when other remedies do not seem to be working.

Quick Garlic Oil

  • Mince 4 cloves of garlic and put them in a shallow pan.  Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil. Heat the garlic carefully. You do not want to brown it or cook it. Maintain gentle heat for 30 minutes. Strain out the garlic. Use the oil as needed. This will stay fresh in your refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Garlic Oil – Slow Method

  • To make a very powerful garlic oil, mince up the cloves from a bulb of garlic and place in a jar. Cover completely with olive oil.  Let the garlic and olive oil sit for 10 days on your counter. Strain out the garlic. While the oil will be fine on the counter for a few days, when you cough is better, store you oil in the refrigerator until the next time you need it. Mark the date on it and discard after 6 months.

Garlic Tea

Mince one clove of garlic and put it in a mug.  Allow it to sit for 15 minutes so the allicin will develop.  Pour very hot water over your garlic.  Strain our garlic out after 15 minutes. (Or leave it in if you like!) Sweeten with honey if desired.

Garlic Toast

Mince one clove of garlic. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes (to allow the allicin to develop), then spread it onto toast with honey, coconut oil or butter.

Garlic Soup

Make any water or broth based soup and add one or two cloves of minced garlic to your soup. Other healing herbs to add to your soup include onion, thyme, basil, oregano and cayenne pepper.

Have you tried garlic for a cough? Please send us some feedback!

9 User Reviews

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 04/08/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Mexican Garlic Tea Recipe calls for:

  • 1 pint mason jar

  • one garlic clove grated

  • one inch ginger root grated

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder

Place all ingredient into mason jar. Add boiling water and steep for 20 minutes. Strain pulp. Add honey to taste. Drink 3x/daily. Useful for cough, cold, flu, bronchitis and hayfever.

Posted by Leslie (Jamestown, NC) on 10/09/2008
1 out of 5 stars

I used garlic oil as a cough remedy, and it did not work. I soaked garlic in olive oil for 30 minutes, and then brushed the oil on my feet. I put socks on and went to bed. It did not help my cough at all, and it made me extremely thirsty the whole next day.

Replied by Matt
(Los Angeles, Ca, Usa)

You need to let the garlic sit a couple days before its effective. What I do to speed the process up is put the garlic and oil in a blender for a minute then you can use immediately or I let it sit letting all the pieces and sediment settle at the bottom of a jar then use an eye dropper to suck out the amount of oil I need. You should also refrigerate as well as put in a dark bottle to increase shelf life. Oil I like best is sunflower seed oil.

Replied by Aginto
(Toronto, On)

Please be careful about mixing garlic and oil together to let sit for long periods. You can get botulism from that. Always crush your garlic with the flat side of your chopping knife and let it sit for 5 minutes before chopping any further or cooking with it. This increases the Allicin.

Replied by Lana

Dude, the garlic oil is not made in 30 minutes from one bulb 😂 You basically just brushed oil on your feet. Read the instructions before commenting.

Posted by T.S.Rajah (Wimbledon, UK) on 12/07/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Take 250ml water, one medium crushed galic bulb and 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Boil this mixture and reduce it to half. Add some honey and drink while warm sip by sip. It is a useful remedy for chronic cough.

Posted by Judy (Seattle, Washington) on 03/31/2007
5 out of 5 stars

My Dr. suggested adding 1 minced garlic clove to 1 tablespoon UNpetroleum jelly...apply to bottome of feet, wrap in plastic bag then put on socks...over night. This helped the bronchitis problems we were having. 1 night and I am much better

Posted by Nancy (Kingston, NY) on 10/26/2006
5 out of 5 stars

For the past month or so I have had a horrendous cough with watery eyes, sinus drip and tickling in my lungs. The coughs were sounding real bad - like honking almost. I did a search on the net and figured I would try the garlic before going to the doctor (fearing of course TB or cancer etc...) Well - after only 48 hours of chewing a piece of elephant garlic as soon as the tickling began -- the cough has greatly reduced!! This morning the tickling moved from one lung to the other -- and I'm still chasing it with the garlic. I have had Lymes twice and whatever this infection is - reminds me of Lymes in the way it seems to move around inside the body. Whatever this is can't escape the wonderful garlic fumes. I even dropped a few slices in my wine last night. IT WORKS!!! Thank you so much.

Posted by James (New Orleans) on 03/12/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I didn't boil the garlic . I've read over and over that heat destroys the allicin. Anyway , I simply use a garlic press . It's a lot easier than chopping. I take it straight and chase it with lots of water . You can ball the pressed garlic up into a wad and take it like a pill. I was able to sleep last night without waking due to coughing. I took two medium sized cloves

Posted by Anonymous (Alabama)
5 out of 5 stars

I had a nagging cough for a long, long time. I drank the Garlic Tea and within two days I had stopped coughing almost altogether. I have given this remedy to a lot of my friends. Thank you so much. It really works!!

Posted by Yakal (Philippines)
5 out of 5 stars

The tea was great. It helped me from my misery. It helped me solve my problems. It also helped my friends:Charmelle and Zandro. Also try putting SUGAR. Thank you very much!

Posted by Earth Clinic (USA)

Marco, a well known soux chef in Santa Monica, California, gave us this simple soup recipe for nagging coughs. This is an old Mexican recipe from Marco's mother that aided him and his siblings' flu/cold recovery process.


Cut a garlic cube into quarters and add to two 2 quarts of H2O. Boil on low flame for at least one hour. Strain and sip slowly. Believe or not, this warm garlic soup has a very pleasant taste!

The good news is that garlic kills off bacteria in the body. The bad news is that it also kills off the friendly bacteria. Thus - women especially - make sure you take acidophilus after consuming garlic soup, otherwise a yeast infection (aka candida) may ensue.

Click here to see all books on the healing properties of garlic.

Posted by Susan (Miami, Florida)
5 out of 5 stars

By accident I was told that raw garlic was good for slimming so I went and bought some garlic, at the time I had a chronic cough, and it silence my cough all night, but I didn't not like the taste, So I will make garlic tea, or Soup sounds like a more tasty idea, thanks for the advice.