Living well

How to Treat Dry Cough at Home?

cough treating methods

A dry cough can be caused due to many things, including reflux, allergies, infections, environmental irritants, and even some drugs, like ACE inhibitors. There are some cases in which the real cause is not known. In cases where a person has a mild and uncomplicated dry cough, it may be treated with a home remedy rather than having an over-the-counter cough medicine. Here, we are discussing some popular remedies to treat dry cough.

Several home remedies for cough has been passed from one generation to the other. Despite their popularity and effectiveness, there is little more than the evidence to support their usage. However, there are a few that have some scientific proof and are usually regarded as safe for short-term purposes.

Common Causes Behind Dry Cough


It is a condition in which your airways swell and get narrowed down. Asthma-related coughs can be both productive as well as nonproductive, but they are often nonproductive.  Coughing is one of the common symptoms of asthma, but it is generally not the most significant one. However, there is a kind of asthma known as cough variant asthma that includes chronic dry cough as it is the main symptom.

Postnasal drip

Postnasal drip refers to the additional mucus dripping down your throat. When you have a seasonal or cold allergy, the membranes inside your nose respond by developing more mucus than normal. Unlike healthy mucus, this mucus is runny and watery, so it falls easily down the back of your throat. Postnasal drip can irritate the nerves present in the back of your throat, which causes a cough.

Other indicators of postnasal drip include:

  • Sore throat
  • Feeling a lump in the throat’s back
  • Coughing at night
  • Runny nose

ways of treating coughThe right treatment for postnasal drip depends on the reason it causes it. Generally, it is caused due to allergies, a virus, or a bacterial infection. Irrespective of the fundamental cause, steam coming from a hot shower or a teapot can help to clear out the sinus. To take out the extra mucus, you can use a saline nasal spray.

Remedies to Treat Dry Cough

Raw Honey

It is one of the oldest remedies to treat dry cough. Raw honey not only coat the throat, but it also has natural anti-inflammatory properties that may cure throat irritation. Its antimicrobial effects can potentially treat minor bacterial and viral infections. In addition, everyone’s body gets adjusted to honey and does not cause any kind of adverse effects.

An important thing that should be kept in mind is to never give honey to babies under 1 year of age as it may cause a serious illness known as infant botulism. Having honey can also affect blood sugar levels.

Steam inhalation

Breathing in steam is one of the popular remedies to treat dry cough. Even without adding anything, the warm steam can help moisturize the dry nasal passages. At the same time, warm steam eases throat pain and reduces the severity of cough caused by allergy or mild infection. You can add some natural additives like holy basil to water and inhale the steam. It is great for treating coughs caused by flu, cold, sinusitis, allergies, bronchitis, and asthma. During steam inhalation, drape a towel over your head. This will improve the intake of moisture. Make sure you do not keep your face over boiling water as it may burn your face.


Gargling with saltwater is something that most of the doctors recommend for curing a sore throat caused by cold. Saltwater is osmotic, which means it can change the direction in which the fluid moves. Saltwater draws moisture from the sore area which in turn reduces irritation and swelling.

Marshmallow Root

As the name suggests, it is the root of the Marshmallow plant. Marshmallow root has been used since prehistoric times to treat sore throats. Its slightly sticky consistent can cover the irritated and sore throats, whilst flavonoids in the root are known to relieve the pain.  You can purchase Marshmallow root tea online and in some special health food stores. Generally, it is considered safe, though little research has been conducted to calculate its long-term safety. This plant may cause blood clotting and may affect the blood sugar level.


Turmeric consists of a compound known as curcumin with mild anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. It has been used since ages in the form of Ayurvedic medicine which was used to treat everything from respiratory diseases to arthritis. Some researchers have found that turmeric, when taken orally can ease cough and symptoms related to asthma. Turmeric tea is available in many grocery stores and is usually well-tolerated by the body.

Researchers have found that turmeric when taken orally may help in getting rid of cough and other signs of asthma. You can also have turmeric tea, which is readily available in most grocery stores. You can even try having turmeric tablets but be careful as overuse of these supplements can cause diarrhea, stomach upset, and nausea.

Licorice Root

Drinking a tea made from Licorice Root has been known for its soothing effect on the throat for ages. Also known as Gancao in traditional Chinese medicine, Licorice root has been in use since 2100 B.C. Experts have found that it is beneficial for alleviating pain, ease cough, and clear phlegm.  Tea made of Licorice root can be easily found in several grocery and health stores. You can even buy dried Licorice root online. Though this tea is generally regarded as safe, continuous use may cause a severe rise in blood pressure and lead to fatigue, menstrual irregularity, erectile dysfunction, and water retention.


Garlic, like turmeric, is one of the oldest remedies to treat dry cough. It has mild anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-inflammatory properties. Taking garlic daily can lower blood pressure and at the same time boost the immune system. Garlic is one of the best ingredients to relieve cough associated with a common cold, though most of the studies investigating the effect have been combined. According to a 2014 review in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews could find no benefit in using garlic to treat cold or cold symptoms. Garlic is usually considered safe.

ways of treating cough and cold

Drink fluids to enhance your immune system

Drinking all types of fluids, mainly warm ones, like hot water, tea, or chicken soup, is another great home remedy for treating cough. Many people who suffer from cough tend to suffer from dehydration. In this context, drinking as many fluids can help your immune system fight off the source of virus or infection that may be the reason behind the cough and cold.  

Use an onion to treat your cough

You must have seen people crying as soon as they start chopping an onion. While there is no science behind it, some people swear that the strong smell of onion helps relieve cough and cold. Before going to bed, you need to cut an onion into several pieces and keep it near your bed. Though using onions to get relief from a cough may sound like an old wives’ tale to many, but it is a famous method in France and Spain.

If nothing works, take Over-the-Counter medications

If you have tried many cough remedies and still not getting any relief, then the only option left with you is to have over-the-counter medications. But, before having any medication, do not forget to read the labels. Every medicine comes with certain limitations. Dextromethorphan is not safe for kids who are below 5 years of age. So, be careful while taking medications.

Related posts

Few Things to Avoid During Periods

Sleeping Tips: Steps to Follow for a Better Sleep

Is Your Kid Allergic to Milk? How to Identify and Treat the Issue?