We cough to keep our throats clear of phlegm and other irritants – it’s perfectly normal. But when your hacking is due to a cold, a post-nasal drip or even an allergy, you don’t always have to head to the pharmacy for over-the-counter remedies. There are many natural cough remedies that have been used for centuries. Give them a try.

A cough that lasts fewer than 10 days will probably go away by itself. Those that linger can indicate a cold, flu, sinus infection or allergy.

Find relief with these natural cough remedies:

    1. Honey. Take this time-honoured sore throat and cough remedy in herbal tea, warm water and lemon (which can ease congestion), or even mixed with coconut oil.
    2. Peppermint leaves are well known for their healing properties. The menthol in peppermint soothes the throat and acts as a decongestant, helping to break down mucus. Drink peppermint tea or inhale peppermint vapour from a steam bath (drop six to eight drops of peppermint oil into 300 ml of hot water. Drape a towel over your head and breathe in the steam deeply.)
    3. Liquorice is another of our ancestors’ favourite cough remedies, and with good reason. Real liquorice, or sweets made from it, and liquorice tea can help soothe inflamed and irritated throats and help to ease coughing. (Liquorice can raise blood pressure though, so don’t overdo it!)
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Did you know?

Liquorice root contains glycyrrhizin, a substance that is 50 times sweeter than sucrose. That’s why powdered liquorice root is used as a sweetener in soft drinks and some herbal teas.[/message]

  1. Thyme. In Germany, thyme is an officially approved treatment for coughs, upper respiratory infections, bronchitis and whooping cough. Its leaves contain powerful cough-calming compounds that help relax throat muscles and reduce inflammation. To make thyme tea, steep two teaspoons of crushed thyme leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain. Sweeten with honey and add a slice of lemon.
  2. Ginger has antihistamine and decongestant properties, and is one of the best cough remedies when your hacking is allergy-based. Pop a disc of ginger in a cup of boiling water and leave to steep for 10 minutes. Serve with honey and lemon to taste. That gingery bite does a lot of good!
  3. Turmeric. A turmeric gargle can treat coughs. Add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder to one cup of hot water, along with half a teaspoon of salt. Gargle and spit! For a dry cough, take half a spoon of turmeric powder with a teaspoon of honey three to four times a day. Or make turmeric tea – add one tablespoon of turmeric powder to four cups of boiling water. Leave to steep for a few minutes, then strain and drink with lemon and honey.
  4. Flora Force Herbal Cough MixTM is an all-natural, additive-free and effective cough remedy that is safe for the whole family. Buy yours online at Faithful to Nature, Takealot.com, or from your local health shop or pharmacy.
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If your cough is violent, or is accompanied by fever, blood, green or yellow phlegm, chest pain or breathing difficulties, head off to your healthcare provider immediately.[/message]



Acknowledgements & Photo credits

Article compiled for Flora Force by Judy Beyer.


  1. Ashpari, Z. The best natural cough remedies. Medically reviewed by Peggy Pletcher. 2014. HealthLine. http://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/best-natural-cough-remedies
  2. Breyer, M. 10 Natural cough remedies. 2013. Mother Nature Network. http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/10-natural-cough-remedies

Photo credits

  1. Photo courtesy of OpenClipartVectors / Pixabay.com