6 Natural Cough Remedies

Got a nagging cough? Before you reach for an over-the-counter cough suppressant, try one of these natural remedies for a home cure.

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Cough remedy: Steep some thyme

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Thyme is an officially approved German remedy for coughs, upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, and whooping cough, with good reason: Those tiny leaves are packed with cough-suppressant compounds. Thyme flavonoids relax tracheal and ileal muscles, which are involved in coughing, and also reduce inflammation and headaches. For a homemade tea, mix 2 teaspoons crushed leaves in 1 cup boiling water, cover, then steep for 10 minutes and strain.

Cough remedy: Fight with flax, honey, and lemon

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Boiling flaxseeds in water gives you a thick, gooey gel that eases throat and bronchial tract discomfort. Honey and lemon act as mild antibiotics, and make this syrup super-soothing. For this at-home remedy, boil 2 to 3 tablespoons of flaxseeds in 1 cup of water until the water becomes thick. Strain, then add 3 tablespoons each of honey and lemon juice. Take 1 tablespoon as needed for cough suppression.

Cough remedy: Brew black pepper tea for a wet cough

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This home remedy is rooted in two very different traditions: New England folk medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. The rationale behind it is that black pepper stimulates circulation and mucus flow; honey is a natural cough suppressant and mild antibiotic. To make the tea, place 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and 2 tablespoons of honey in a cup. Fill with boiling water and let steep, covered, for 15 minutes. Strain and sip as needed. This remedy works best on coughs that produce mucus and isn't suitable for dry coughs.

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Cough remedy: Suck a lemon for fast-acting cough relief

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This isn't for the faint of heart, but it is one of the more commonly used home remedies: Quarter a fresh lemon, sprinkle it with lots of black pepper and salt, and suck on it for quick relief.

Cough remedy: Sip some warm milk

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Another popular home cough suppressant is a cup of hot milk sweetened with honey.

Cough remedy: Blend almonds

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Some ancient traditions believe almonds help relieve bronchial problems, including coughs. They recommend blending a few teaspoons of finely ground almonds with a cup of orange juice and sipping as a natural remedy.


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