Wet Cough Choking Your Life? Try These Remedies!

Updated on March 24th, 2020
wet cough

Normally, a cough starts with the intake of a deep breath, which is followed by the compression of air in the lungs and the sudden expulsion of this air in a crackling burst as the air escapes in a fraction of a second.

Coughing can be categorized as wet (productive or chesty) cough and dry cough. Interestingly, in a comparative dry cough vs wet cough study(1), it was discovered that dry cough is more prevalent in women while wet cough is more common in men (25.4% versus 17.2%).

If you or your loved ones suffer from a persistent wet cough, follow the below remedies which are known to fight cough in an effective manner.

CURE 1: Home Remedies

Say goodbye to phlegmy cough with these tried and tested wet cough home remedy:

1. Steam

Stem Inhaler
Image: ShutterStock

Steam is one of the most well-known go-to cure for colds and coughs. Let’s see how it fares against wet cough.

How does it work?

Steam moistens the upper respiratory tract. It is particularly helpful when your throat dries out at night. As a moist throat is less likely to be irritated and inflamed, it prevents coughing. Additionally, the heat in the steam breaks down phlegm, which makes it easier for the mucus to move out of the airways.

Materials Required

  • A tub of hot water
  • A towel


  1. Place your head above the hot water.
  2. Cover your head with the towel to trap in the steam.

Alternatively, you can take a hot, steamy shower or make use of a humidifier.


Do this twice a day for best results.

[ Read: Treat Cough Naturally ]

2. Turmeric Milk

The health benefits of turmeric milk are no old-man’s tales.

How does it work?

The warmth of the milk not only soothe the inflammation but it also hydrates the throat. The antibacterial and antiviral(2) properties of turmeric add healing value to this drink.

Materials Required

  • A glass of milk
  • A teaspoon of turmeric


  1. Heat the milk and add turmeric to it.
  2. Mix it thoroughly and consume it.


Drink turmeric milk every night before going to bed.

[Read: Health Benefits of Guava Seeds]

3. Guava Leaves

Guava Leaves

Tea prepared from guava leaves could be a potent wet cough treatment. Learn how:

How does it work?

Guava leaves are loaded with Vitamin C and possess antibiotic properties(3). As a result, guava leaves tea not only combats wet cough but also boosts immunity. Further, the warmth of the tea brings down inflammation.

Materials Required

  • 3 to 4 guava leaves
  • Two cups of water


  1. Wash the guava leaves while bringing the water to a boil on the side.
  2. Add the guava leaves to the water and let it simmer for about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Strain the liquid and allow it to cool. Drink it when warm.


Drink this decoction daily until you gain relief from cough.

[ Read: Home Remedies to Cough ]

CURE 2: Foods

Wet cough at home?Can foods really help in treating cough? Yes, they can, and here are a few that are proven to give quick results

1. Honey

Honey is singularly the most useful pantry item if you wish to get rid of loose cough.

How does it work?

Honey is a highly effective decongestant and a cough reliever(4). Due to its soothing and demulcent properties(5), honey can get rid of incessant coughing almost immediately. Studies(6) indicate consuming about 1.5 teaspoons of honey 30 minutes prior to sleeping at night can reduce wet cough in kids.

Materials Required

  • Two tablespoons of honey


  1. If required, slightly heat the honey to get a runny consistency.
  2. Consume it.

NOTE: While you can use honey to treat wet coughs in toddlers, babies younger than 12 months should not be given honey as it can cause infant botulism(7).


Consume honey about 2-3 times a day.

2. Lemon

Fresh Lemon

Lemon is a rich source of Vitamin C and, as such, can bolster your immunity.

How does it work?

The vitamin C in lemon juice helps the body to recover from infections and heal at a rapid pace.

Materials Required

  • A teaspoon of lemon juice
  • A cup of warm water


  1. Stir in the lemon juice in the warm water and drink it.


Follow this routine twice a day.

3. Pineapple Juice

When dealing with a wet cough, the tarty and tropical taste of pineapples can give your body a much-needed push.

How does it work?

Pineapple contains the compound bromelain(8), which has the capacity to bring down cough frequency and the inflammation(9) in the respiratory tract. It is also capable of loosening mucus.

Materials Required

  • A cup of pineapple juice


  1. Drink the pineapple juice.

NOTE: You can add spices such as pepper and ginger to the pineapple juice to increase its efficacy.


Drink the pineapple juice twice a day.

[ Read: Pineapple Juice for Cough ]

CURE 3: Herbal Treatment

A number of herbs can help in suppressing a wet cough. These include:

1. Ginger


This wonder spice can help you control your wet cough.

How does it work?

Ginger(10) possesses potent antibiotic properties, which can help to address the root cause of cough. When ginger is combined with honey, the mixture acts as a natural cough reliever (and painkiller).

Materials Required

  • A tablespoon of dry ginger powder
  • A tablespoon of honey


  1. Combine the ginger and honey to form a paste. Consume it.


Have this herbal cough syrup 3-4 times a day.

[ Read: Ginger for Cough Treatment ]

2. Cinnamon

Cinnamon sticks can help in getting rid of wet cough.

How does it work?

Cinnamon possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help bring down the inflammation of the respiratory passages, while also clearing out the sinuses.

Materials Required

  • Two sticks of cinnamon
  • A cup of water


  1. Bring the water to a boil and allow the cinnamon stick to simmer in it for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Strain the liquid, cool and drink it.


Have this tea 2-3 times a day.

These useful natural remedies can positively help you in getting rid of a phlegmy cough. Along with these remedies, try gargling with saline water to bring down the inflammation. Avoid spicy, fried, or high-calorie foods as they can hamper your recovery.

[ Read: Herbal Remedies for Cough ]

3. Geranium extract

The geranium extract plays a vital role in fighting cough and other infections in the upper respiratory tract. It augments the body’s natural healing properties. It also helps in fighting symptoms of cough, including fever, fatigue, chest pain, headache, and nasal dripping.

How to use it?

  • Take a few drops of geranium extract and pour it in a diffuser.
  • Using diluted geranium oil is another way to reap the benefits of geranium oil.

4. Thyme

Thyme contains expectorant properties that help in treating cough, congestion, and other respiratory illnesses. The components of thyme break up mucus, which alleviates cough and its related conditions.

How to prepare?

  1. Boil a cup of water.
  2. Pour water in a mug and add thyme leaves to the cup.
  3. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add fresh lime or raw honey to flavor the solution.

5. Cloves

Cloves are one of the best natural remedies for cold, cough, and sore throat. They are rich in phenolic compounds and are loaded with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. In addition to treating cough, it also helps in relieving the pain and itchiness related to sore throat and clearing the respiratory passage. Besides, it also boosts immunity and cleanses toxins from the body.


1. What are the main wet cough causes?

The primary causes of wet cough include:

  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • COPD
  • Asthma
  • Whooping/Croup cough

2. How long should a wet cough last?

Normally, a wet cough could last a week or two.

3. Is a wet cough a sign of pneumonia?

While wet cough could be a symptom of pneumonia, not every incident is a case of pneumonia.

4. How do you treat a wet cough?

The home remedies for the treatment of wet cough have been highlighted above. However, consult your physician if the cough lasts longer than 2 weeks.

5. Is a wet cough contagious?

Cough, in general, is contagious a day or two before the symptoms are visible. It is contagious as long as the person is infectious.

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