A cough is a natural reaction, designed to expel irritating, toxic material and mucus accumulations in the bronchial tubes. However, as everyone knows, even repeated coughing is sometimes ineffective at ridding the body of these irritants, and itself become fatiguing and debilitating. There are more than a dozen home remedies cough in this page, find them below.
For coughs, there are herbs that have a specific affinity to the chest and lung area (pectorals).
Some herbs are true antitussives or cough-suppressants (coltsfoot, horehound, wild cherry bark, licorice) or are just effective antispasmodics. Many are demulcents, soothing irritated bronchial tubes while others are expectorants, helping expel tough, adherent mucus. The powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties of many of these same plants makes them an excellent choice for getting at both symptoms and causes. Many herbal cough formulas are available that combine these various properties and are often superior to a single herb.
The herbs below represent the best of literally hundreds of herbal cough medicines. Note that demulcent herbs are more applicable to dry coughs (licorice, slippery elm, mullein, althea), while astringent plants are more suitable to moist, rattly or congested coughs (anise, eyebright, cowslip, thyme, eucalyptus). See also Asthma Colds & Flu
List of Home Remedies for Cough
Anise***—Pimpinella anisum: Helps expel mucus, while being anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic. For colds, coughs, bronchitis; also reduces nausea, gas, bloating. Safe for infants and children; a popular colic and indigestion remedy. Often mixed with other herbs for above effects and sweet licorice taste.
Coltsfoot**—Tussilago farfara: Expels mucus, soothes irritated membranes and suppresses coughs. Coughs related to upper respiratory infections (colds), acute and chronic bronchitis, asthma, hoarseness, whooping cough and emphysema. Should not be used excessively or for prolonged periods.
Cowslip**—Primula veris: Strong antispasmodic and expectorant for rattly coughs, chronic bronchitis with thick white mucus. Warming and sedative effects.
Elecampane***—Inula helenium: For coughs and bronchitis, including chronic cough; gentle for children. Soothing expectorant; helps expel excess mucus, antibacterial effects. Relieves bronchial spasm in asthma, emphysema, bronchitis.
Eucalyptus**—Eucalyptus globulus: Expectorant, natural decongestant, often used in rubs and liniments. Opens bronchial passages, clears mucus during colds, flu, bronchitis. Natural antiseptic. Use as an inhalant or lotion; high toxicity internally.
Grindelia**—Gumweed/Grindelia camporum: For coughs of bronchitis and asthma, whooping cough or viral coughs. Clears tough mucus, improves breathing and smothering tendency on falling asleep. Slows rapid heart beat and reduces high blood pressure.
Horehound***—Marrubiurn vulgare: Loosens mucus, soothes coughs; aids stuffy nose, sore throat and colds. For bronchitis, wheezing, congested chest, with inability to expel mucus. Treats asthma or chronic lung conditions with poor expectoration.
Hyssop* * *—Hyssopus officinalis: Relieves coughs, bronchitis; loosens and expels mucus accumulations. Best in chronic coughs; a tonic, stimulating herb that speeds recovery. Asthmatic coughs in adults, children. Promotes sweat in colds and flu.
Irish Moss*--Chondrus crispus: A mucilaginous, jelly-like seaweed used in many respiratory conditions.
A soothing demulcent used for irritating coughs, inflamed membranes.
An expectorant for phlegm and mucus, encourages a productive cough.
Licorice**—Glycyrrhiza glabra: A powerful cough suppressant, soothing expectorant, demulcent and anti-inflammatory.
Treats bronchitis, coughs, asthma, sore throats.
Lomatium**—Lomatium dissectum: Powerful antiviral, antibacterial herb, kills at least ten bacterial strains.
Eliminates a broad range of acute and chronic viruses.
For flus, cold, chronic bronchitis, viral pneumonia. Expels hard mucus.
Lungwort* —Sticta pulmonaria: For cough and bronchitis. For dry hacking night cough, preventing sleep.
Treats lingering coughs after measles, flu, colds, whooping cough.
Soothes tickling in throat, bronchi, where one cough incites another.
Maidenhair Fern*—Adiantum cappillus: Used for coughs, bronchitis, asthma and general respiratory disorders.
Soothes sore throats, expels mucus, helps chronic sinus congestion.
Mullein**—Verbascum thapsus: Traditional cough remedy that soothes dry and inflamed throat and bronchi, clears mucus, allays bronchial spasms, shrinks swollen glands.
Useful in colds, flu, bronchitis, asthma and even emphysema.