13 Home Remedies for a Dry Cough

A dry cough is also known as an unproductive cough. Dry coughs, unlike productive wet coughs, are unable to eliminate mucus, phlegm, or irritants from your lungs or nasal passages. Dry coughs can linger for weeks after a cold or virus. They can also be caused by a variety of circumstances, such as:

  • postnasal drip
  • asthma
  • acid reflux.

They may also be a long-term side effect of exposure to environmental pollutants, such as cigarette smoke.

Dry coughs are quite unpleasant and can affect both toddlers and adults. There are a variety of therapeutic therapies available to help alleviate them, but there are also at-home solutions that can be just as helpful in many circumstances.

Herbs and vitamins

Home cures for dry cough are not one-size-fits-all. You may need to try a few different ones before you find the ones that work best for you. Furthermore, not all of these cures have been thoroughly examined and confirmed to be helpful. Some therapies are also unsuitable for newborns or youngsters.

1. Honey

Honey can be used to treat daytime and overnight dry coughing in adults and children aged 1 and above. Honey contains antimicrobial characteristics and might help to coat the throat, reducing discomfort.

In one research published in 2007, honey was shown to be more effective than dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant component, in decreasing bothersome episodes of overnight coughing in youngsters. You can take honey by the teaspoon many times each day, or mix it with tea or warm water to consume.

Never offer honey to a kid under one-year-old to avoid infant botulism, an uncommon problem that can arise in newborns.

2. Turmeric

Turmeric includes curcumin, a substance with anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial effects. It may also be effective for a variety of illnesses, including dry cough.

When combined with black pepper, curcumin is more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. To drink, combine 1 teaspoon turmeric and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a beverage such as cold orange juice. You may also turn it into a hot tea. Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for ages to treat upper respiratory problems, bronchitis, and asthma.

Turmeric is available as a spice as well as a pill.

3. Ginger

Ginger possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. It has also been proved to enhance the immune system and reduce pain and discomfort. Ginger is a component in several teas. You may also prepare ginger tea from the ginger root by steeping the peeled or sliced root in warm water. Adding honey may make it even more useful for dry cough.

To relieve dry cough, you can also take ginger capsules or chew on ginger roots.

4. Marshmallow root

Marshmallow root is a kind of herb. It is used to relieve dry coughs in cough syrup and lozenges. A survey-based study discovered that it is an excellent therapy for relaxing the throat and lowering the discomfort produced by dry cough. Marshmallow root may possibly have antimicrobial effects.

5. Peppermint

Peppermint includes menthol, which helps to numb nerve endings in the throat that are inflamed by coughing. This may give pain relief and minimize the need to cough. Peppermint also relieves congestion and has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Peppermint may be used in a variety of ways. These include sipping peppermint tea or sucking on peppermint lozenges. To assist with nocturnal coughing, try drinking peppermint tea immediately before bed. You may also use peppermint essential oil as an aromatherapy treatment.

6. Masala chai tea

In recent years, the flavor of chai tea has grown in popularity in the United States. Chai is used to healing sore throats and dry coughs in India. Masala chai contains antioxidants such as cloves and cardamom. Cloves may also be useful as an expectorant. Chai tea also includes cinnamon, which has anti-inflammatory benefits.

7. Capsaicin

Capsaicin, a chemical found in chili peppers, has been demonstrated to alleviate chronic coughing. While capsaicin may be taken as a pill, you can also prepare tea with cayenne pepper spicy sauce and warm water.

Cayenne is a sort of chili pepper. Add a few drops of cayenne hot sauce to the water, tasting as you go to ensure you don’t go beyond your heat tolerance. You may also buy entire chili peppers and soak them in warm water. Capsaicin-based therapies are not suggested for youngsters.

Other home remedies to try

8. Aromatherapy with eucalyptus

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to soothe and heal. Eucalyptus essential oil may help relieve a dry cough by acting as a decongestant. Try putting eucalyptus in a diffuser, spritzer, or inhaler. You may also add a few drops to boiling water in a basin and inhale the vapor.

If nocturnal coughing has been keeping you awake, scenting your room with eucalyptus may help you sleep better.

9. Use a humidifier

Dry air can worsen a dry cough. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which might bring relief. Humidifiers help open up the sinuses, making them useful for bothersome postnasal drip. If your house has dry air, use a humidifier in your bedroom to assist prevent dry cough while sleeping.

10. Make use of an air purifier

Air purifiers can help you get rid of airborne irritants like dust and smoke in your house. They also minimize irritants such as pet dander and pollen. Whether your cough is caused by environmental contaminants or an underlying ailment, breathing in clean air will help minimize throat discomfort and the need to cough.

11. Gargle with saltwater

Gargling with warm salt water might help relieve the discomfort and irritation caused by a dry cough. Saltwater also kills microorganisms in the mouth and throat. To begin, dissolve 1 teaspoon of table salt in a big glass of warm water. Then gargle many times every day.

This dry cough cure is not advised for small children, who may ingest the saltwater. If you wake up with an itchy throat from coughing throughout the night, gargle with salt water immediately after brushing your teeth to help numb and relax the nerve endings in your throat.

12. Antitussive cough syrup

Antitussive cough drugs operate by suppressing the cough reflex. This reduces the need to cough, making them especially useful for dry coughs.

Some antitussives include codeine and are only accessible by prescription. Others are offered over the counter. These often contain active substances such as dextromethorphan, camphor, or menthol.

13. Cough drops

Cough drops are medicinal lozenges used to lubricate and soothe sore throat tissues. Their substances and activities differ. Some cough drops contain menthol, which serves as a numbing agent to diminish the urge to cough. Cough drops with ginger or eucalyptus are also available.

Where can I obtain these home remedies?

Many of the home treatments listed above, such as honey or salt for rinses, are likely to be found in your pantry, but some may need to be purchased. We’ve got you covered with the links below.

Herbs and teas

  • turmeric
  • ginger
  • marshmallow root
  • peppermint tea
  • masala chai


  • turmeric
  • ginger
  • Capsaicin capsule

Essential oils

  • peppermint oil
  • eucalyptus oil

Items for the home

  • humidifier
  • air purifier

Other options

  • peppermint lozenges
  • cough drops
  • cough medicine
  • hot cayenne sauce

When to See a Doctor

Dry coughs can linger for months and can be tiring as well as annoying. Dry coughs normally go away on their own. However, if your cough is accompanied by other symptoms, consult your doctor. Among these are:

  • having difficulty breathing or catching your breath
  • wheezing
  • chest pain
  • back pain
  • fever
  • chills

Consult your doctor if your cough worsens or does not go away after 2 months.

In Conclusion

Dry cough can be both persistent and caused by a variety of factors. However, there are numerous extremely effective at-home remedies that might help relieve your cough. Consult your doctor if your cough increases over time or does not go away within two months.

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