You can treat dry cough at home. Picture: Pexels / Polina
You can treat dry cough at home. Picture: Pexels / Polina

How to treat a dry cough at home with natural remedies

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Aug 20, 2021

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Coughing is a symptom that may be experienced throughout winter.

A dry cough is also called an unproductive cough. Unlike wet coughs, dry coughs are unable to remove mucus, phlegm, or irritants from your lungs or nasal passages.

It can be a symptom of a cold, flu, bronchitis and even asthma, and relieving the chest of excess mucus is one way to ease the cough and bring relief.

“Often a cough can cause the most discomfort when sick, and continue long after the illness,” comments Carla Yssel, senior brand manager for Tibb Health Sciences’ Chest Eeze.

“It is important to find ways to help control the cough, while working on assisting in ridding the body of the under-lying issues. Putting in place simple steps can help ease your coughing.”

Coughing is your body’s way of getting rid of an irritant. This can be phlegm, smoke or an allergen such as dust. The symptoms of your cough can determine what type of cough you have.

How long have you had your cough? Is it a dry, wet or hacking cough? When during the day does it occur? Answers to such questions can help discover what is causing your cough, and perhaps help to find ways to get it under control, explains Yssel.

Dry coughs can be very uncomfortable and may occur in both children and adults. There are a number of clinical treatments you can use to alleviate them, but there are also at-home remedies which can be just as effective.

Keep the air moist.

Use a humidifier continuously and make sure to steam yourself regularly throughout the day. A humidifier, providing either a cool or warm mist helps to ease chest congestion along with coughing.

Steaming regularly during the day helps to reduce the severity of the coughing. You can add essential oils or a vapour rub such as Tibb Blackseed vapour ointment which contains a combination of eucalyptus, camphor and blackseed oil for added relief into the water. Alternatively, it can also be used to rub directly on the chest to soothe your airways.


Peppermint contains menthol, which helps to numb nerve endings in the throat that become irritated by coughing. This may provide pain relief and reduce the urge to cough. Peppermint also helps reduce congestion, plus, it’s been found by Trusted Source to have antibacterial and antiviral qualities.

There are a number of ways to take peppermint. These include drinking peppermint tea or sucking on peppermint lozenges. Try drinking peppermint tea right before bed to help alleviate night-time coughs.

Honey and ginger

Honey and Ginger is known as a home remedy for sore throats, but it can also be used as a cough suppressant. Adding two teaspoons of honey, fresh ginger and lemon to tea or hot water, can help ease congestion and lessen your cough for a while.


Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound which may have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. It may also be beneficial for several conditions, including a dry cough.

Curcumin is best absorbed into the bloodstream when taken with black pepper. You can add 1 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper into a beverage, such as cold orange juice, to drink. You can also make it into a warm tea.

Turmeric has been used to treat upper respiratory conditions, bronchitis, and asthma in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. You can get turmeric in its spice-form, as well as a capsule.

“Continuous coughing is never a pleasant experience and should not be left untreated as it can lead to more serious complications. Implementing these simple ‘remedies’ at home can help ease your coughing and your chest, while speeding up your recovery,” explains Yssel.

If your cough persists, you will need to seek medical attention.

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