13 Best Herbs and Spices for Cough

When something irritates your airways, your body responds by coughing. Coughing clears the lungs of extra mucus and germs. Viruses that induce congestion or inflame the tissues in our throats are the most common cause of coughs.

Cough can be dry or moist, productive or unproductive. Soothe your throat with warm beverages and honey to help dry coughs go away faster. Coughs that are “productive” are attempting to eliminate congestion from our lungs. In addition, these cough-suppressing chemicals may assist us in getting some much-needed slumber.

Many of the cough cures listed below are likely things you already have. Try another if the first doesn’t work well enough to relieve your cough. These home treatments also boost the immune system, making them effective against colds and coughs.

Continue reading to find out about ten herbal remedies for cough.

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1. Peppermint

Peppermint is well-known for its calming and anti-inflammatory effects. Its’ methol soothes the throat and works as a decongestant, assisting in mucus breakdown. Furthermore, the plant helps to relieve chest congestion and mucus in the lungs and respiratory tracts.

How to Use It:

  • Drop 6-8 drops of peppermint essential oil in a bowl of hot water.
  • Bend over the bowl and wrap a blanket or towel around yourself and the bowl.
  • Inhale the steam.
  • For immediate relief, do it twice a day.

2. Ginger

Ginger is a natural antihistamine and decongestant with antibacterial and antiviral effects. In addition, ginger relieves congestion by removing extra phlegm mucus. As a result, many herbalists recommend ginger for various diseases, including viral infections.

How to use it:


1 tsp freshly grated ginger,

1/4 cup honey,

2 tbsp water,

1 to 2 lemons, sliced

  • Cut one inch of fresh ginger into 6-7 pieces with a knife.
  • Combine one tablespoon of black peppercorns and one teaspoon of honey in a bowl.
  • Allow the water to a boil, then reduce to low heat.
  • Cover with a lid and add the ginger and peppercorns.
  • Cook for 5-10 minutes on high heat.
  • Strain the mixture and add the honey.

You can also chew ginger slices daily.

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3. Garlic

Garlic has antibacterial, expectorant, and Kapha-regulating effects. According to Ayurveda, it boosts immunity and decreases Kapha in the respiratory tract. It is also efficient against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, including salmonella and vibrio.

How to Use It:

Daily adding 1-2 raw garlic cloves to your food can help to enhance your immune system.

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4. Licorice

Sore throats, coughs, and bronchitis can all be helped with licorice root. It reduces inflammation in the airways, possibly benefiting patients who suffer from chronic rhinitis. In addition, the herb helps alleviate congestion by loosening mucus buildup in the lungs.

How to Use It:

You can make tea from the dried root of the licorice plant. You can also chew a twig to relieve hoarseness and sore throat. It blends well with coltsfoot and is excellent for coughs and colds.

  • Mix a spoonful of licorice herb powder with a scoop of honey in water.
  •  Mix well and drink as it helps heal coughs.

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5. Sage

Sage has long been used to treat sore throats and coughs. With its astringent characteristics, it is also helpful for treating fevers and coughs. Sage is delicious as a tea (with honey and lemon for flavor) or a honey-based syrup produced at home.

To make it more nutmeg-like, pour the syrup into a clean glass jar with a lid and top it with extra virgin olive oil or maple syrup.

How To Use It:

  • Chop the sage and garlic, place it in a medium saucepan and heat until it simmers.
  • Allow to cool, then add the honey, cover, and steep for 8 minutes. • Strain into a clean glass jar with a lid.
  • Take this twice a day until you notice a reduction in your symptoms.

6. Yarrow

Yarrow is a common herb thought to help with coughs and colds. It aids in the drying and removing excess mucus from the respiratory system. Furthermore, yarrow contains drying and astringent characteristics that can help those with sinus infections.

How to Use It:

  • Add yarrow leaves and eucalyptus to a hot water bath for sinus congestion.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Combine yarrow with mullein for illness and fever with lung difficulties or coughing.

7. Horehound

Horehound belongs to the mint family, although it lacks the sweetness of mint. Horehound contains antispasmodic and analgesic properties. Bitter syrup made from leaves and flowers has been used in home treatments for the common cold.

How to Use It:

  • Place fresh, dried leaves in a pot of boiling water.
  • Allow at least 5-8 minutes of steeping before removing the leaves.
  • Allow it to cool before eating.
  • You can also add honey and squeeze the lemon juice into it.

8. Sweet Violet

The leaves and blossoms of sweet violet have demulcent and mild expectorant effects. Furthermore, the herb’s phytochemicals assist in thinning mucus and breaking up chest congestion. Gather some leaves and dry them so you can use them the next time you get a cough.

How to Use It:

  • Take some violet leaves or flowers, fresh or dried.
  • Pour cold water over the flowers or foliage in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Boil the mixture for 15 minutes in the morning, then drain the liquid from the leaves and blossoms.
  • For a sweeter flavor, add honey.
  • Adults should take one tablespoon up to five times a day, while youngsters should take two times.

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9. Thyme

Thyme’s antibacterial qualities help to treat the infection that causes coughing. Furthermore, thyme is a calming plant that can assist in relieving throat pain. Finally, lemon thyme is creeping thyme with a milder flavor that forms a good ground cover.

How Do I Use It:

  • A cup of water
  • One teaspoon of thyme leaves.
  • First, allow water to boil in a small saucepan.
  • Then, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add the thyme.
  • Cover it and set it aside for five to10 minutes.
  • Strain into a cup and add honey.

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10. Echinacea: 

Echinacea is an excellent remedy for colds and coughs. Its action mechanism strengthens sick people’s immunological defense by increasing white blood cells. Echinacea tea can be consumed at any time as a preventative measure or by someone who is frequently ill.

How to use it:

  • Use Combine 1-2 teaspoons of echinacea root or a flower.
  • 500 mL water,
  • bring to a mild boil,
  • And steep for 10 minutes.
  • Echinacea tea bags are also available at your local health food store or supermarket, and they may contain other herbs such as elderberry or licorice.

11. Elderberry

Elderberry is high in vitamin C, E, and A, all of which work together to provide a powerful antioxidant punch. As a result, elderberries shorten the duration of colds while also improving physical and mental health. When made correctly, elderberry tea or syrup is safe to drink but should never be consumed uncooked.

Elderberry syrup can be purchased from a health food store and taken as instructed. One tsp in a cup of hot water is always a good idea.

How to use:

  • Cook the berries with water and sugar.
  • Drain it.
  • Boil the liquid until reduced.
  • The syrupy is ready.
  • Take one teaspoon or a tablespoon of the syrup as needed.

12. Turmeric

Turmeric is an Ayurvedic spice that people frequently utilize. Turmeric, when mixed with milk or honey, can aid in treating dry cough. Cold and cough cures include gargling with turmeric and breathing the smoke of a dried root.

How to use it for Cough

Golden milk is a centuries-old immune-boosting elixir that is one of the most excellent ways to ingest turmeric. Turmeric golden milk is a lovely addition to or substitute for caffeinated teas and coffees, offering critical energy, antioxidants, and a unique flavor. A daily intake of this makes a significant difference.

  • Combine 1 cup of your preferred milk in a mixing bowl (we like almonds).
  • In a saucepan, add one teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Pour your golden milk latte into a cup and enjoy! For the best flavor, we recommend using a sweetener (try 12 teaspoons of honey).

13. Cherry Bark: 

Cherry bark has antispasmodic and expectorant properties. These properties can dry mucus, improve expectoration, and open the airways, which can help people who are sick. The Inner Wild Astringent properties of cherry bark’s almond-like aromatics support a healthy inflammation response in the upper respiratory tract. 

It relieves coughs caused by colds, but it is also helpful in reducing excess mucus production caused by allergies. In addition, inner bark constituents or plant compounds may dry tissue, which is beneficial for boggy, wet coughs.

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This information is not meant to provide medical advice or replace a personal physician’s advice or treatment. All readers of this information, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should check with their doctors before initiating any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program. In addition, the statements and goods on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.


Coughing that doesn’t stop indicates a health problem that you have to address right once. Some of the best herbs for coughing can be utilized to treat the problem effectively. They aid in calming throat irritation, reducing inflammation, decreasing pain, and effectively preventing cough.

Please Note: Seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medications.

Disclaimer: The information given here is exclusively for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as a diagnosis, treatment, preventive, or cure for any disease, disorder, or abnormal physical state, nor should it be used in place of medical care from your doctor. Consult an appropriate healthcare professional on any issue concerning your health or well-being before engaging in any health-related activity.

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Mountain Rose Herbs are dedicated to carrying a diverse range of certified organic and fair trade products.

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