Wondering how to get rid of dry cough with natural ingredients? Effective dry cough remedies range from steam to honey to natural herbs. Breathe easy with these simple home cough treatments.
First thing first: what is dry cough? This is a type of nonproductive cough that does not produce phlegm or mucus. Potential causes include allergens like pollen, dust or smoke, but can also include viruses and bacteria present at the onset of a cold. Dry cough typically pops up or worsens in the beginning stages of a cold or flu, before your body starts producing phlegm.
Coughing is the body’s natural reaction to blocked breathing passages. It’s a protective reflex that helps clear the airways of foreign particles, fluids and other irritants. During coughing, the larynx closes, muscles used in respiration contract and air is released from the lungs at up to 300 miles per hour. Unfortunately, a persistent dry cough can lead to a sore throat and chest, and general fatigue.
Before deciding which dry cough home remedy to use, remember: it’s essential to stay properly hydrated when your body is fighting off illness. Make sure you’re getting enough fluids, then try the dry cough remedies below.
Utopia’s tip: Ensure your immune system is in the best possible shape year-round with our guide: Boost Your Immune System: 10 Tips to Improve your Body’s Natural Defense System, or try our popular Fire Cider Recipe.
Proven Dry Cough Remedies: Honey
Studies show that honey is among the most effective dry cough home remedies. This is primarily attributed to honey’s antioxidative and antibacterial properties. Scientists suspect that darker honeys are even more effective than lighter ones.
How to get rid of dry cough using honey:
- Take one to two tablespoons of honey before going to bed.
- You can also stir a tablespoon or two of honey into your tea.
- Babies younger than 12 months should not be given honey. It contains bacteria that babies’ digestive systems aren’t developed enough to handle. Contact your doctor or another medical professional if your baby has a cough.
This dry cough treatment may well do the trick. However, colds often accompany additional symptoms such as headaches, congestion and sore throat. Here are some headache home remedies and natural home remedies for colds to relieve your cold symptoms.
How to Get Rid of Dry Cough: Sage Steam Therapy
Steam inhalation is a proven home remedy for dry cough and one of the most widely used cough therapies out there. The simplest way is with a steam inhaler. However, the low-tech method is just as effective. Fill a bowl with hot water, lay a towel over your head and breathe in slowly and deliberately. This form of steam therapy for coughs should be performed three to four times a day, depending on the severity of your cough.
We recommend steam inhalation with a sage infusion. This dry cough treatment loosens mucus and eases cough symptoms. This is partly due to the antimicrobial essential oils contained in sage.
Here’s how to get rid of dry cough using sage steam:
- If you don’t own a steam inhaler, place several sage leaves (fresh or dried sage both work) into a bowl of hot water.
- With a towel over your head, inhale the steam taking big breaths.
- You can use this dry cough remedy every three hours, or as needed.
- Important for use with small children: You should be present whenever your kids inhale steam from hot water to avoid accidental burns.
Other remedies: Make your own all-natural dry cough treatment in the form of homemade cough syrup using honey and onions. Also, be sure to explore the cold-preventing benefits of ginger in the form of ginger tea or ginger water to give your immune system an extra boost.
English Plantain: A Surprisingly Effective Dry Cough Treatment
The flowering plant English plantain (also known as the ribleaf or buckhorn) contains tanning agents that stabilize irritated mucous membranes and treat symptoms of dry cough. It has a long-established reputation as an effective dry cough treatment.
English plantain is a common ingredient in a variety of medicine. You can also use it in its unprocessed form as a dry cough remedy. Here’s how:
English plantain tea:
- Place four to five fresh English plantain leaves (pick your own from May through August), or two teaspoons of dried English plantain leaves into your cup.
- Add boiling water.
- Let steep for around 15 minutes, and enjoy. If you have not gotten rid of the dry cough after a couple of days, or your cough worsens, consult a doctor.
Preparation as a syrup:
To prepare this dry cough remedy, you’ll need to start two months early. Get a batch started at the start of cold and flu season to be on the safe side!
- Wash two handfuls of English plantain thoroughly.
- Cut the leaves into pieces around an inch in size.
- Place a half-inch stack of these leaves into a sterilized resealable glass jar. (Learn how to sterilize glass jars here.)
- Alternate between placing a layer of English plantain and a layer of sugar into the jar. Each new layer of sugar should cover the previous layer of English plantain leaves completely. The last and final layer should be sugar.
- Press down firmly with a spoon.
- Store the jar in a dark place for two months.
- Once the two months are up, place the glass jar into a bowl of water to warm it.
- Add lemon juice and a bit of boiled water. Mix together thoroughly.
- Strain the mixture one final time before pouring it back into another disinfected glass jar.
- Whenever you begin to experience the telltale signs of dry cough, put this home remedy to use and get rid of it fast.
More Home Remedies
Another potent dry cough treatment is onion juice with rock candy sugar:
- To get rid of dry cough with this home remedy, dice an onion and cook, together with some rock sugar, on low heat.
- Filter out the juice from the mixture through a kitchen towel. You can take this treatment by the spoonful. It relieves inflammation and irritation of the bronchial tubes and treats coughs.
Good to know: If you don’t have any sugar, this dry cough remedy also works with honey.
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