11 Best Herbal Remedies for Cough

Updated on April 8th, 2020
Herbs for Cough

Cough is a natural reflex of our body, and it is equally essential to keep away any irritants that may sneak into the body through the throat or nose.

Coughing can be an infrequent action to clear the throat or sometimes can become serious when persistent for a couple of weeks.

A cough that is continuing or associated with other symptoms like bloody phlegm, excess mucus production, and shortness of breath, could indicate a more serious medical problem.

However, it is crucial to cure the condition by using some of the best herbs for cough and other homemade remedies that help in relieving the condition immediately.

Read on to find various herbs for cough and also ease cold and phlegm.

Herbs for Cough

[Also Read: Natural Ways to Cure Cough]

11 Herbs to Get Rid of Cough

1. Peppermint for Cough

Peppermint Herb

Peppermint is well known for their healing and sedative properties. Methanol in peppermint soothes the throat and acts as a decongestant helping in break down of mucus. The herb loosens chest congestion and breaks up phlegm in the lungs and respiratory tracts. You can use peppermint essential oil made from peppermint herb(1). Have a quick look on to how to use peppermint herb for cough.

How to Use?

  • Add 6-8 drops of peppermint essential oil in a bowl of hot water
  • Bend over the bowl and cover yourself and the bowl with a blanket or towel
  • Now inhale the steam
  • Do this twice a day for instant relief


Always add carrier oils like coconut oil or olive oil with essential oils. Because direct contact of essential with skin can cause irritation or inflammation.

[Also Read: Surprising Benefits of Peppermint Oil]

2. Licorice for Cough

Licorice herb for cough eases inflammation in the airways that makes it potentially useful for people with chronic rhinitis. The herb loosens the mucus build-up in the lungs and helps clear congestion.

How to Use?

  • Take a spoon of licorice herb powder and a spoon of honey
  • Add the powder and honey in a cup of water
  • Mix it well and consume as its very beneficial to cure cough
  • You can also chew a twig of licorice for relief from hoarseness of voice and sore throat

3. Ginger for Cough

Ginger for migraine

Is ginger good for cough? Ginger is a potent natural antihistamine and decongestant agent that has strong antibacterial and anti-viral properties. These properties boost immunity and treat phlegm, cough, and many illnesses. Ginger soothes congestion by drying out excessive mucus of phlegm.

How to Use?

  • Take an inch of fresh ginger and cut it into 6-7 pieces
  • Have one tablespoon of black peppercorn and one teaspoon of honey
  • Heat the water until it begins to simmer
  • Add the ginger pieces and peppercorn and cover it with a lid
  • Leave it on  heat for 5-10 minutes
  • Now strain and add the honey
  • You can also chew the ginger pieces daily

Side Effect and Precaution

Some people are prone to stomach discomfort, mild side effects including diarrhea, heartburn, mouth or throat irritation, and cardiac arrhythmias if overdosed with ginger.

[Read: Benefits of Ginger for Cough]

4. Mullein for Cough

Mullein, a medicinal herb that fights inflammation and infections. The leaves and flowers of the mullein plant find its use in the treatment of various inflammatory diseases such as cough asthma, lung-related ailments, and sore throats. It expels mucus explicitly from the lungs with proper use of mullein(2) herb for cough.

How to Use?

  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of dried flowers and leaves in a cup of boiling water
  • Let the mixture steep for 10-15minutes
  • Drink when it is warm
  • Have it one to four times a day

Side Effect and Precaution

The side effects include bleeding problems, skin irritations, and respiratory distress if you happen to have an allergic sensitivity to mullein plant. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not supposed to consume mullein herb in excess quantities.

5. Sage for Cough

Sage Herb

Sage has been used as a cold and flu medicine for thousands of years. One of the most excellent herbs for cough, sage, not only helps in soothing the cough but also acts as a pain reliever antibacterial herb, that can treat sore throat as well. It is also an effective herb during fever and tames coughs with its astringent properties.

How to Use?

  • Chop the sage and garlic, then add it to a medium saucepan until simmering
  • Allow it to cool and add some honey, close and let steep for 8 minutes
  • Strain and add the syrup to a clean glass jar with a lid
  • Consume this twice a day until you feel like your symptoms have reduced

6. Yarrow for Cough

Yarrow is one of the beneficial and soft herbs that shortens the duration of cough and cold, and helps in relaxation of the throat and relieves cramps associated with illness. Read on to know how to use yarrow herb for cough.

How to Use?

  • You can add yarrow leaves and eucalyptus in hot water bath
  • Breathe well for sinus issues with congestion
  • You can also use yarrow with mullein as mentioned above for flu and fever with lung issues or coughing

7. White Pine for Cough

White Pine has herbal properties and is known to relieve cough. A tea of the pine needles and the needles with thin twigs included is helpful for thinning and removal of mucus from the lungs and to promote expectoration. It is one of the best herbs for a cough that you can take with honey to relieve cough and throat irritation.

How to Use?

  • Take fresh pine needles and twigs, add water to a pot
  • Gently boil the mixture for 10minutes or until the needles have turned brown
  • Strain the needles out of the water and add honey
  • Again boil the water for 5 minutes until the liquid transforms into a syrup-like consistency
  • Allow it cool and consume 1 to 2 teaspoons as needed to control your cough and soothe the throat

8. Horehound for Cough

Horehound is a traditional expectorant and continues to find a place in cold preparations and cough lozenges. Horehound’s leaves and flowers have been used in home remedies as a bitter syrup for the common cold and cough. Horehound has both analgesic and antispasmodic effects.

How to Use?

  • Take freshly dried leaves and add it in a boiling water
  • Let it steep for at least 5-8 minutes before removing the leaves
  • Allow it to cool down and consume
  • You can also add honey and squeeze a lemon juice to make the taste more pleasant

Side Effects and Precautions:

  • Horehound is known for increasing stomach acid and should be used with caution by anyone with peptic ulcer
  • Horehound are not advised to consume in large quantities as it can cause vomiting sensations.
  • Large doses of Homebound may induce cardiac irregularities.

9. Violets for Cough

The leaves and flowers of sweet violet contain demulcent and mild expectorant properties. As with many other herbs, violets have a long tradition of use in the treatment of cancer. But the phytochemicals present in the herb help thinning mucous and break up chest congestion that makes it easier to cough up.

How to Use?

  • Take a fresh or dried violet leaves or flower
  • Pour cold water over the flowers or leaves and set aside all night in the refrigerator
  • In the morning, boil the mixture for 15 minutes and then strain the liquid from the leaves and flowers
  • Add honey for a sweet taste
  • Have one tablespoon up to five times per day for adults and two times for children

10. Hyssop for Cough

Hyssop is probably the most famous herb for cough known for it’s cold and flu relieving properties. Hyssop contains sedative, antispasmodic, and expectorant properties. Hyssop is perfect for a cough with congested mucus. The herb stimulates mucus and expectorated mucus that enables the lungs and coughing mechanisms to rid it from the body.

How to Use?

  • You can diffuse or inhale 3-5 drops of hyssop oil
  • Add two tablespoon of fresh hyssop leaves to a boiling water
  • Let it steep for 30 minutes
  • Consume the mixture twice a day
  • Also, you can treat cough by adding one drop of hyssop oil to any homemade cough syrups

[Read: Hyssop Benefits]

11. Thyme for Cough


Thyme has antimicrobial properties that alleviate the infection causing the cough. Thyme herb is sedative in nature and can help reduce any throat pain. You can experience an instant soothing relief when you consume thyme herb for cough.

How to Use?

  • Take one teaspoon of thyme leaves and a cup of water
  • Boil the thyme leaves in water for a few 5-10mintes or until the water reduces to half the amount
  • Consume this liquid when it is warm
  • Have it twice a day

Side Effect and Precaution

Thyme is generally safe when it is consumed in normal food amounts. In some people, it can cause dizziness, headache, and upset your digestive system. Thyme might slow blood clotting and also increases bleeding after surgery. So, it is advised to stop using thyme at least 2-3 weeks before a scheduled surgery. Pregnant and breastfeeding women can reduce the usage of thyme.

Tea Recipes to cure cough

Runny nose, irritated throat, and cough can get easily treated with some of the best homemade tea recipes. These are simple to prepare and soothe the throat, and clear any nose blockage; it also effectively helps in curing the cough. Read on to get these tea recipes to cure cough.

1. Thyme Tea Recipe for Cough

  • Take one cup of water and boil the water
  • Now, add three thyme springs and steep the same in the water for five to ten minutes
  • You can add cinnamon powder to the water to add a sweet flavor to the tea
  • Once you are done with the steeping, strain the tea in a cup using a strainer or mesh muslin cloth
  • Consume the tea twice a day

2. Herbal Tea Recipe for Cough

  • Take three to four slices of ginger and add it to boiling water
  • Add two to three chopped garlic cloves to the boiling water
  • Now add two tablespoons of herbal tea to the water and let it steep for five to ten minutes
  • You can add raw honey to add a sweet flavor to the tea. Do not use processed sugar or other sweeteners
  • Now, strain the tea using a filter or a mesh muslin cloth and pour the tea in a cup and consume

3. Chamomile Tea Recipe

Chamomile tea Benefits
  • You can either take fresh or dried flowers of German chamomile or Roman chamomile to prepare tea for curing cough
  • Add two tablespoons to eight ounces of water and boil it
  • Steep the same for ten minutes. Remember, the more you steep it, the stronger the flavor of the tea will be
  • Add raw honey or a slice of lemon to change its taste a bit before consuming

Although coughing is a natural bodily reflex, persistent coughing is a sign of a health issue, which you must tackle immediately and effectively. Moreover, in case one is suffering from common cold and cough, there are some of the best herbs for a cough that can be used to treat the condition effectively.

The immune system needs boosting from time to time so that it can fight the irritants in the body, causing cough. It can be done by keeping this valuable information handy and using the best herbs for cough for preparing tea recipes, which would help in soothing the irritation in the throat, easing the inflammation, alleviating pain, and keeping away cough effectively.

As the proverb goes, prevention is better than cure, so it is good to stay alert, but if the condition is unavoidable, visit your doctor immediately and rest, you still have the best cures right here for you!

[Read: Benefits of Chamomile Tea Benefits]


1. Why Is Thyme Tea Beneficial for Cough?

For respiratory issues, thyme herbal tea is beneficial, with both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, that can soothe congestion and coughs. Also, thyme tea’s herbal property attacks the underlying pathogen to help you get better faster.

2. What Can Be Done to Cure Cough Naturally?

A wet cough that produces phlegm and mucus can improve with steam. You can take a hot shower both or take a steam bath. Stay in this steam for a few minutes. After, drink a glass of water to cool down and to prevent dehydration.

3. What Should I Do to Make My Cough Go Away?

To make the cough go away, add more herbs and essential oils in a steam bowl. Lean over the bowl and place a towel over the head for trapping the steam. Inhale the vapors for five minutes. Make sure to discontinue if your skin feels hot.

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