Cough remedy

Licorice for cough

Ever wonder why so many cough lozenges are flavored with licorice? It's because licorice root is a traditional remedy for a cough. It has been used worldwide for thousands of years and is universally prized for its soothing qualities. If you don't know where to buy it, search online. Chinese, African and Caribbean markets are also likely to carry licorice root.

Licorice as an remedy for cough


If you have unadulterated licorice root, boil them for 20 minutes to make a decoction. Use about 1 cup of water for a four-inch piece of root
If you have powdered licorice root, dissolve 1/2 tsp in 1 cup hot water
Add honey as desired and drink.

Why licorice is a good cough remedy

Licorice is a natural demulcent (it soothes and coats) and an expectorant (it breaks up pleghm). The tea concoction helps boost your fluid intake.


Do not take licorice if you have high blood pressure. Consult a doctor before using licorice if you are taking ace inhibitors, diuretics, aspirin, corticosteroids, insulin, stimulant laxatives or oral contraceptives.

Garlic and honey for cough

This is a tried and true remedy that is easily made from readily available ingredients. If you are easily intimidated by garlic, this is an opportunity to overcome your fear while you benefit from garlic's healing properties.

Garlic and honey cough remedy

If you are averse to strong garlic, simmer the garlic until soft
Muddle one clove garlic with one tbsp honey
Stir in one tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

Why garlic works

The combination of garlic and acidic vinegar or lemon juice really opens up sinus passages and, along with the honey, breaks up phlegm. Garlic and honey are also loaded with vitamins and have antiseptic properties.


Before consuming large quantities of garlic, please consult a doctor if you are taking antiplatelet medications,, blood-thinning medications or protease inhibitors.

Chocolate for cough

Chocolate as an remedy for cough

If this seems spurious, try it anyway. What do you have to lose?

Eat some dark chocolate

Why chocolate works

Chocolate can feel good on a sore throat, if you let it melt. But all of that sugar? Enough people have found chocolate helpful, however, to inspire some limited medical research. Theobromine, a component of chocolate, has been demonstrated to relieve coughing.

Aloe and honey for cough

Aloe and honey cough remedy

Aloe is bitter but the honey makes this quite palatable, making it easier to take your medicine. Particularly good for a dry cough.

If you are using your own aloe leaves, make sure that you drain off the latex first or you will have a powerful purgative on your hands.
Thoroughly combine equal parts aloe juice and honey.
Mix and dilute by the teaspoon in boiling water and drink as a tea as needed. Will keep up to a week if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.

Why it works

Aloe soothes and coats sore and irritated tissues. Honey does the same and gives you some energy to keep fighting.


Consult a doctor if you are taking any of the following as there are possible interactions with aloe: Antidiabetic Medications, Digoxin and Diuretics.

Ginger Cayenne Tea for Cough

Ginger cayenne tea - herbal cough remedy

Think of this as sort of a natural theraflu-type concotion (non-drowsy formula). Obviously, the cayenne pepper isn't for everyone but if you can handle it, cayenne increases the power of this remedy. This is particularly good for a productive cough, the kind that might accompany the flu, a cold or bronchitis.

¼ cup cayenne pepper
¼ cup mint
¼ cup fresh ground or finely chopped ginger
1 cup honey
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
Mix and dilute by the teaspoon in boiling water and drink as a tea as needed. Will keep up to a week if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.

Why it works

Ginger and cayenne and vinegar, along with the hot water, will provide some sinus relief. Have some tissues on hand. The cayenne also, believe it or not, serves as a pain reliever (after the initial shock). Honey soothes the throat and is a quick energy supply. The tea preparation ensures that you keep up your fluid intake.


If you are sensitive to spicy food you might want to reduce or eliminate the cayenne, though it does increase the power of the remedy. A cough could be a sign of serious illness. Do not take cayenne or ginger if you are taking ACE inhibitors, stomach acid reducers such as Zantac®, aspirin or other blood thinning medication or Theophylline. Excessive doses of ginger may cause mild heartburn, diarrhea or mouth irritation. Consult a doctor before taking ginger if you have gallstones. If you are about to undergo surgery or be placed under anesthesia tell your doctor if you are taking ginger.