Skip to main content

Home Remedies for Your Cough

From tickly throats that disrupt our days to rasping coughs that keep us up at night, a bad cough can really get in the way. There’s plenty of cough relief medication out there, but many people like to give home remedies for coughs a go first.

Here are some well-known home remedies. You can always use them alongside BENYLIN® products to discover cough relief that works best for you.

Hot lemon, honey, and water

There’s a lot of home remedies for coughs that sound like myths, but some of these cough remedies have been proven to work. Hot water, lemon and honey for a cough is a tried and tested staple. It’s simple to make and easy to drink.

To create, simply:

  • Squeeze a half lemon into a mug of boiled water.
  • Add a teaspoon or two of honey.
  • Mix, then drink while it’s still warm.

While the honey can reduce mucus production, it is not be suitable for children under the age of one due to the risk of infant botulism, a rare form of food poisoning,. You should also refrain from giving hot drinks to small children.

Gargling salt water

Warm salty water is one of the best-known ways to help soothe a sore throat, . One of the reasons it works so well is that it thins and loosens thick mucus.

It’s easy to make too, with things you can find in your kitchen cupboard. To do this:

  • Dissolve a half teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water.
  • While it’s still warm, gargle the solution before spitting it out.
  • Repeat this as often as is needed, but don’t drink it.

Do note that gargling hot water isn’t a safe cough remedy for children..

Steam inhalation

Inhaling steam can help soothe and moisturise the airways,.

There are a few ways to do this at home:

  • Lean over a basin of just boiled water with a towel over your head, making a sort of tent to trap the steam.
  • Alternatively, you can purchase a steam-inhaling mug. These are typically inexpensive and are available online or at chemists. They allow you to inhale steam while doing other activities, such as reading or watching TV.
  • Breathe normally and allow the steam to enter your mouth and nose.
  • Keep breathing like this for 10 to 15 minutes. As the water cools, you may need to top it up a few times to keep the steam.

You could add essential oils to the water, which can enhance the effects of the steam. You can also find menthol in our BENYLIN® Mucus Cough Menthol cough medicine.

Nasal irrigation

Coughs happen for a lot of reasons, but one of the most common causes is upper airway inflammation. Saline irrigation — or the more home friendly method of using a saltwater rinse to wash your nostrils — may not be the most comfortable solution, but it can be effective. The aim is to keep inflammation down by removing mucus and clearing irritants from the nasal passage.

You can either do this by using a neti pot (a specially designed container for nasal irrigation) or with a homemade saltwater mixture. It’s easy to make:

  • Boil a pint of water and leave it to cool.
  • Mix a teaspoon each of bicarbonate of soda and salt into the pint of water.
  • Clean your hands.
  • To avoid mess, stand over the sink and cup the palm of one of your hands.
  • Pour your saltwater mixture into your hand.
  • Snort the water into one nostril at a time. Breathe through your mouth and let the water fall back into the sink.
  • Try not to sniff so hard that the water goes down the back of your throat.
  • Repeat these steps with a fresh mixture three times a day until you feel less congested.

Suck on ice or sweets

One way to moisten your throat is with sweets or cough drops, which can also help remove that tickly feeling in the back of your throat. If you don’t have either of those, then sucking on ice cubes or ice lollies can also soothe things for you.

Just be cautious, as anything small and solid, like sweets or ice cubes, can be a major choking risk to young children. For that reason, you should avoid using them on children under the age of four.

Drink hot beverages

Hot drinks aren’t the cure-all, but they’re one of those home remedies for coughs that can soothe the soreness easily, and much more effectively than drinks at room temperature. These hot drinks are hydrating, and the heat can help to reduce your congestion.

There are plenty of soothing beverages to choose from, such as hot honey tea for a cough before bed, . Others may find herbal teas – like camomile and peppermint – helpful, while some people swear by the benefits of ginger root. You can brew it in boiling water like a teabag for 5-10 minutes before discarding.

Generally, keeping yourself hydrated can soothe that scratchy feeling of coughs and thin the mucus in your throat.

Sleep on an incline

If you’re suffering from a cold or allergy, mucus can pool and aggravate your throat. To counter this, simply sleep or lie on an incline. This lets gravity take care of any blockages and can bring you a lot of comfort.

You can use an extra pillow to raise your your head or raise the place you lie with something like a stack of books. Even simply shifting your sleeping position to prop yourself up can help clear things out if you’re struggling to sleep.

Add moisture to the air

Keeping the air moist in your home can be a great dry cough remedy.Simply taking a steamy shower or bath could help. Shut the door, let the steam build up, and enjoy some respite from that congestion and mucus causing you to cough.

An alternative option is to use a humidifier. Just be wary when using humidifiers, as dust mites grow best in moist conditions and can cause allergies. If you don’t keep your humidifier clean, mould could also grow, which can also aggravate coughs, . So long as you change or replace the filter as your manufacturer instructs, you should avoid these problems.

Other treatments to try alongside natural cough remedies

Many of these home remedies for coughs can be used alongside over the counter cough products. Finding out which product works for you and your type of cough may take a bit of research but we offer plenty of options for all ages, from BENYLIN® for adults to BENYLIN® for children.

Image showing 8 home remedies to support your cough