9 Home Remedies for Dry Cough

Avatar for Mish Khot By in ayurvedic medicine, home remedies, natural medicine, naturopath, naturopathy on 06/03/2023
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If you’re searching ‘home remedies for dry cough’, then you’re probably already feeling exhausted and horrible. So without any more preamble, lets dive into 9 easy natural remedies you can try right now to feel better.

1. Honey

Honey for dry cough

Honey has significant health benefits and is known to soothe the throat and relieve coughing. It is one of the most loved home remedies for dry coughs as its completely natural, letting you skip the antibiotics with all their side effects.

Mix 2 teaspoons of honey into a mug of hot water or mild herbal tea and drink it a couple of times per day. Drink one mug of this before bedtime.

Note that for honey to be effective, it should be natural raw honey without any added flavours or additives. Store it as directed on the bottle and use within the recommended dates. Also, it is not safe to give honey to children under 12 months.

2. Turmeric

When using Turmeric, you should mix just a pinch of it with any kind of warm milk. Some people may even add a sprinkle of black pepper on top to make it easier to digest and process the curcumin in turmeric. But you might find that too spicy, so start off without it if you aren’t sure.

Warm a cup of milk, taking it off the heat just before it boils, and add a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Stir in well, add sugar or maple syrup, and drink up.

Make sure you buy organic turmeric and store as directed on the package. It can be a strong taste for someone who is not used to it, so you could start off using less than the recommended teaspoon of turmeric. Do note that people with gallstones or gall bladder issues should not consume turmeric.

3. Ginger

Ginger eases the dryness in the throat and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it one of the most potent dry cough remedies. Some people chew on a piece of ginger, but the strong, pungent taste may be too much for most people. Instead you might like to try ginger lozenges or enjoy a hot cup of ginger tea.

Add a few slices of fresh ginger or dried ginger powder to a mug of hot water and allow it to brew for a while. Sip on it before you go to bed for the night. You can add honey or lemon if you don’t like the strong taste of ginger.

If you suffer from heartburn, do be aware that ginger might be a trigger.

Ginger home remedy for dry cough

4. Green Tea



Green tea is full of antioxidants and is known to help fight infections. The warmth will soothe your irritated throat and provide relief from any persistent cough. Taking a few cups a day will also up your fluid intake, which is always essential.

For even greater effects you can also stir some honey in. It’s a good idea to keep the brew time short – a mild green tea will be easier on your system than a bitter cup that has been brewed too long. Sip before bedtime and avoid eating or drinking anything after that.

5. Marshmallow Root

Not to be confused with the sugary pillows you roast over a campfire. Marshmallow root is a plant and former marshmallow ingredient used to provide quick and easy relief for sore throats and coughing spells. It does this by building a protective coat in your mouth and throat that can relieve irritation.

As a cough treatment, marshmallow root can be taken in the form of teas, cough drops, or cough syrup. Try to take it a few hours before or after any other herbs or medications. And to avoid it if you suffer from low blood sugar levels.

6. Peppermint

Widely used for colds, peppermint is decongestant used to help thin and break apart mucus in your airway. Coming in many different forms, peppermint oil is also a great choice if you wanted to try an aromatherapy solution. It also has both antibacterial and antiviral benefits.

If you have it, peppermint can be taken ingested as either a tear or a lozenge. With the tea especially, its best to take it before bed. As an oil, you don’t want to eat it. Instead either inhale directly from the bottle or apply 2-3 drops onto your chest, the back of your neck, and temple.

Do not use peppermint in any form with babies and do not eat the oil.

7. Masala Chai Tea

Masal Chai tea for dry cough


Masala is a long proven home remedy for persistent coughs. Having been used in Indian households for a long time. The masala spices act as antioxidants that help soothe any throat irritation and neutralize any toxins. In particular it works really well for coughs caused by smoke pollution and dust.

For added benefits you can mix your tea with any combination of black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, or cloves.

8. Chili Peppers

Thanks to the capsaicin, chili peppers can work to help get rid of any cough. How it works is that the capsaicin causes mucus to break up in our nasal passages, making it clear. You might even recognize it as that runny nose you get eating spicy foods, and in turn remember that feeling of relief you get when it clears. 

As a remedy, you can take capsaicin in its purest form in a capsule. Alternatively, you can also make tea from a combination of pepper hot sauce and warm water or even just leave whole chili peppers in warm water.

However, all capsaicin treatments should be avoided by children.

9. Salt Water Gargle

If you know how to gargle, this could be one of the most effective home remedies for nighttime coughing. This washes your throat clean of irritants and has soothing, anti-inflammatory benefits. You should repeat the gargling a few times a day to get the best out of this course of treatment.

Heat up a glass of water and stir half a teaspoon of salt into it. Let the salt dissolve completely and allow the water to cool to a temperature that is comfortable. Gargle with a mouthful for 30 seconds – don’t swallow it – and spit it out. Repeat until the glass is empty.

This remedy is not suitable for young children as they might swallow the salt water, causing vomiting or dehydration.

Chesty cough remedies that you don’t have to eat or drink

If you’re not feeling like any of the above remedies, you could try some of these simple ways to help soothe an irritated throat:


Chesty cough remedies that you don't have to eat or drink

When your grandmother told you that sleep was one of the best home remedies for dry cough at night, she wasn’t wrong. When you sleep, your body has time to focus on fighting the infection. This is especially true if you’ve been up all night. Catch up on sleep with naps during the day and you should soon feel better.

Hot Showers

Okay, the shower itself is unlikely to help with the cough. But what will help is steam. A hot steamy shower can help moisturize our throats and fight a chronic cough. For a similar effect you can also inhale the steam from a fresh cup of tea. However, do not inhale steam from boiling water, as its extremely hurt and will burn you.

Air Purifier

When so many causes of ongoing coughs come from irritants in the air, one of the best ways to avoid one is to ensure they’re not around. An air purifier will ensure that you don’t have to deal with problems like smoke, pollen, or pet hair and that your own home is as safe for you as possible.

What can cause dry coughs?

An unproductive cough can be caused by a wide variety of factors. Most commonly from a cold or flu that’s left our airways damaged. Some other common factors can include;

Respiratory Infections

Respiratory tract infections like the cold or flu can leave persistent coughs long after your body’s otherwise recovered from it. Other respiratory infections can include the infamous whooping cough,  pneumococcal disease, or the infamous Covid-19. Depending on the severity of the infection it could be treated with rest, hot lemon and honey drinks, or medication.

Postnasal Drip

A postnasal drip is when mucus drips down the back of our throat causing a cough reflex. Other common symptoms of postnasal drip can include a sore throat, runny nose, or the feeling of something stuck in the back of your throat. As a solution inhaling steam through the nose or a saline nasal spray can solve the excess mucus.


What can cause dry coughs?

Often times our very environments can be the main factor in a dry cough. Whether it be from second hand smoke or a pollen allergy, our environment can be harmful to us. Nowadays the best solution lies with technology, with humidifiers or air purifiers helping to make our homes safe and comfortable.

When should you see a doctor?

A dry cough can make it hard for you to rest or fall asleep and can become physically painful if it gets worse. Naturopathy remedies are great options when you don’t want to take antibiotics, but if your cough has not improved in a week then you should seek out a doctor. Some signs of a more serious condition can include shortness of breath, chest pain, or coughing up blood. 

Avatar for Mish Khot

Mishana Khot is a fiction author and co-founder of The Great Next, an adventure travel company. She has been featured in National Geographic, Forbes magazine, and other publications, and has over 15 years of experience with health, travel, and lifestyle brands.
  1. Avatar for Avaana Freelance Writer
    • Avaana Freelance Writer
    • 20/03/2020

    The salt water gargle is a life-saver!

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