Treat Your Cough with Tea

| Modified on Feb 06, 2024

Hot tea makes an excellent beverage for a person with a cough. The heat is soothing to the throat and warming to the body. A variety of herbs and foods make wonderful choices for hot tea. Tea can be as simple or as complex as you like; you are limited only by your resources and imagination.

 How to Sweeten Your Tea

Before considering your tea options, let us dispense with the important question of how to sweeten it.

You can sweeten your tea with any number of things but really, raw honey is the very best choice because it has healing properties for sickness in general and cough in particular. But perhaps you do not like honey or do not have any on hand. In this case raw sugar is another option. White table sugar or brown sugar can be used as well. If you wish to use a zero calorie sweetener, consider stevia or xylitol.

Artificial sweeteners are not recommended because of their neurotoxic properties. In fact, some artificial sweeteners may make a cough worse!

Plain Tea

Choose any tea you already have in your kitchen for starters. Black and green teas both work quite well for a cough. Green tea with jasmine is an especially popular option.

Herbal Tea

Most herbal teas will give some relief to a cough, if by nothing other than the virtue of the heat in the tea. Mullein, peppermint, and licorice are particularly helpful for a cough.

Savory Tea

You can hot water to any number of ingredients to make a tea that can bring relief to a cough.

Add one teaspoon of one of the following or mix together 1/4 teaspoon of 4 of them for each cup of water:

  • oregano
  • thyme
  • sage
  • cayenne
  • turmeric
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder

Add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to your concoction if you like.

Spicy Tea

Mix together 1/4 teaspoon of each of the following and add to a mug of hot water:

  • turmeric
  • ginger
  • cinnamon
  • cloves

You may sweeten the spicy tea, if you like.

Sour Tea

Add 1 tablespoon of one of the following to your mug of hot water.

  • apple cider vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • lime juice

Sweeten as recommended above, if desired.

These sour ingredients can be added to any of the other suggested teas as well.

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

10 User Reviews

Posted by Cindy (Illinois, Usa) on 03/18/2016 412 posts

Green tea with honey lasted more than a day but awoke with a runny nose and cough again this morning.

As an experiment, I made just honey and hot water and have been sipping on the same cup (now cooled) all day. Just a sip works for a couple of hours, hot or cold. I still have about a half cup left and decided to try just a spoonful of honey, all by itself and it seems to have worked but the cold symptoms are about gone so I'm going to have a green tea with honey before I go to bed. If this is the same bug that was going around earlier, the cough might linger quite a while after the cold's gone so we'll see what happens.

Posted by Cindy (Illinois, Usa) on 03/16/2016 412 posts

I was looking for a cough rememdy and came across the ACV and honey but when I was preparing the water it really, REALLY made me want a cup of tea so I already had a tablespoon of honey in about 6 oz of hot water that I was going to let cool down a bit before adding the ACV but instead of waiting and adding ACV I just went ahead and made tea. And it was kinda sweet but yummy, nevertheless. Anyway, I was just preparing to start over and make the ACV/honey mixture but I'm no longer coughing and...well, I just find that interesting.

Posted by Pinky (Df, Mexico) on 06/25/2011

Hi I am from Mexico I have a great grandma's home remedy for cough with phlegm put water to boil and add dry oregano let boil for awhile and drain the oregano, you will have a tea, it will not taste good you can add honey or sugar to help the flavor but still it will be bitter, but it will help get rid of all your phlegm.

Posted by Suzanne (London, England) on 06/08/2011

Last winter I had one of those coughs that really hurt my chest and made it feel raw. It was getting worse and I was on the point of going to see my doctor for help. I bought a fruit tea drink and, after drinking it, my cough stopped instantly. I discovered that one of the ingredients was Jasmine Green Tea and that it is supposedly used by the Chinese to cure coughs! I don't think it was coincidence as I bought a supply of Jasmine Green tea and always use it now when I get a cough and it always works.

Posted by Wendy (Dahlonega, Ga) on 03/18/2010

I read about using the green tea with jasmine and it works! I have been getting an awful cough the past few winter/spring seasons. The cough is a dry one. This time I coughed so much I felt like I was going to cough my insides out. My green tea has orange, passionfruit and jasmine in it. I started to cough up phlegm immediately. It worked truly wonderful. I only drank maybe 2 cups for about 2-3 days and my cough was gone.

Posted by Crystal (Leonardo, New Jersey) on 06/23/2009

For a sore throat or a cough that will not go away i use tea (any kind you like but the liptons tea bags work the best for this.) and honey. First, add 1-2 tea bags (depending how strong you like your tea) to hot water and dip until the tea is all out of the bag. Next, add the honey, i usually add 1-2tablespoons but you can add it to taste if you would like too. For the best results i have found using 2 tablespoons sometiems 3 works the best though. Reapeat this 2-5 times a day.(it really does not matter how often because neither thing will hurt you.)

Posted by Suzanne (London, UK) on 03/04/2008

I had a virus which included a cough and sore throat. It was so bad that I saw my doctor and got antibiotics for it. By this time I was bringing up blood with the mucus and was raw inside. I was drinking gallons of water and fruit juice and of course cough medicine, all without any relief. When I ran out of other fruit juices I only had left a bottle of apricot and peach green tea with jasmine. My cough stopped instantly as soon as I had the first gulp and the tickle disappeared from my throat. I was totally amazed. I have been sipping the mixture for a few days now and my cough has cleared. I looked up jasmine and green tea on the Internet and it appears to be a Chinese remedy for coughs. Its so amazing that it actually works! I thought you should all know.

Posted by Anonymous (San Diego, Ca) on 01/06/2008

There's a remedy I recently tried to cure my cough that has lasted for more than two weeks and i got the recipe from my mother. You're supposed to get any kind of regular tea then heat it up with water. After that you get a fresh lemon and squeeze the juice into the tea. You can add some sugar to make it taste better.

Posted by John (Milwaukee, WI) on 02/26/2006

Juice of two lemons and a half-inch piece of ginger root; water to fill a mug; several squirts of honey to taste cures a nagging cough.

Posted by Kathryn (Owings, MD)

Parsley and spinach tea cured mucus dribbling down throat and mucus cough.This cough with mucus can lead to bronchitis. Point is to keep mucous up in head, throat area. Throw bunch parsley and fresh spinach into a quart pot and simmer like a tea. Strain and drink as often as you wish. Will get rid of mucus if no other complication.