The best home remedies for a cough

Home remedies for coughs: woman holds tea in hand

Home remedies for coughs were already used in grandma's time - and for a good reason! Get rid of your cough with these gentle and natural helpers.
Coughs are always inconvenient - and we want to get rid of them as soon as possible. Usually, a dry, irritating cough first develops. A few days later, the mucus in the airways loosens and can be coughed up ( cough with sputum ). We often find this uncomfortable, but the urge to cough is a sensible protective reflex of the body: With the mucus, we also cough up the pathogens. 

Home remedies for coughs: what helps? 

Of course, that doesn't mean that we have to be plagued by the symptoms for weeks - especially not when a strong cough prevents us from our restful sleep. These home remedies for coughs will help to gently relieve the discomfort:


Inhalation is suitable both for calming dry coughs and for loosening phlegm in the case of a productive cough. The easiest way to do this is with an inhaler - you only have to fill it with a little water, then breathe in and out slowly and deeply. If you don't have an inhaler, simply use a bowl, place a towel over your head, and then inhale the steam. This should be repeated about every three hours. 
Extra tip: If you have a dry cough, an infusion with sage helps when inhaling. The plant soothes the mucous membranes and relieves the urge to cough. If you have a stubborn cough, for example, bronchitis or a runny nose, a few drops of essential oil (for instance, menthol) are recommended to clear the airways. But be careful - these oils are not suitable for children and asthmatics! 

Potato wrap 

Breast wraps are probably one of the oldest home remedies for coughs and colds. For this, the potatoes are boiled, wrapped in a linen cloth, and mashed. As soon as the potato wrap has cooled down to a comfortable temperature, it can be placed on the chest and secured with another fabric. The wrap provides soothing warmthBy the way, it's also a good home remedy for a sore throat and a home remedy for a fever!


The following applies to cough: drink a lot! It can be 2.5 to 3 liters a day. Mostly water, but also tea with herbs, especially these types:  
  • chamomile 
  • Marshmallow 
  • thyme 
  • Icelandic moss
  • Ribwort plantain 
The herbs gently relieve coughing and act as a mucus solution. And tea can do even more: It also helps as a home remedy for colds

Onion syrup 

Sounds a bit disgusting at first, but thanks to the addition of honey or sugar, it doesn't taste bad at all and is effective against irritating coughs: Cut an onion into small pieces, drizzle with honey or a little sugar and seal the mixture in an airtight glass. The juice should steep for several hours, but preferably overnight. Then a spoon is taken in the morning, at noon, and in the evening.

Cough drops

Cough drops can work in two ways: they either calm the urge to cough or promote mucus release. To relieve dry coughs, the sweets usually contain essential oils that stimulate the flow of saliva. An acute coughing attack can be soothed. To be able to cough up better, however, herbal mixtures (e.g., from thyme or sage) are often used in cough drops to make the mucus more fluid.
Here we also explain how to treat a chronic runny nose and what to do if your nose is blocked or you have chills.