home remedies for dry cough in adults

9 Doctor-Approved Home Remedies for Dry Cough

With the nasty flu going around, it doesn’t come as a surprise if you’re looking for home remedies for dry cough.

Dr Mayank Uppal, Consultant, General Medicine at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital says, “Dry cough is usually caused by viral infections and allergies. This unrelenting cough doesn’t produce any mucus but it can still be very annoying and uncomfortable.”

“It is important that you consult your doctor to find the underlying cause of cough. Along with the prescribed medications and treatment, you can try few home remedies for dry cough too.”

What is the best home remedy for dry cough?

The best home remedy for dry cough is the one that suits you the best.

You can try these 9 home remedies for dry cough to help you get some relief and get a good night’s sleep.

  • Turmeric milk:

Turmeric milk or haldi ka doodh is one of the reliable home remedies for dry cough.

Dr Mayank explains, “Turmeric has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which help in treating infections. The combination of turmeric and warm milk brings relief and aids in treating some common throat infections too.”

This potent home remedy is known as golden milk and has been a traditional cure for dry cough and other ailments. For a good night’s sleep, you can have this milk before going to bed. Turmeric milk is one of the effective home remedies for dry cough at night as well.

  • Honey:

For significant relief from dry cough, try honey!

Honey is an integral ingredient of many different home remedies for dry cough.

According to a 2007 study conducted at Penn State College of Medicine, buckwheat honey proved to be more effective than over-the-counter medicines especially, for night time cough and sleeping difficulty in children.

Though honey consumption isn’t advised for children below 12 months.

Dr Mayank highlights, “Honey is well-known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties which helps soothe the throat”

“The best part is that you can consume honey in various ways like adding a teaspoon in warm milk or water or just having a spoonful of the honey as it is!”

For relief from night time dry cough, honey should be part of your preferred home remedies.

  • Masala chai:

Masala chai or spiced tea is one of the go-to home remedies for dry cough especially, in Indian households.

Black pepper, cinnamon powder, cardamom and cloves pack an additional heat which provides relief from dry cough.

Apart from soothing the irritation in the throat, the antioxidant quality of cardamom and cloves also help neutralize the toxic and cough-triggering effects of pollution and dust particles.

  • Ginger:

The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help relax the membranes in the airway according to a new study. This makes fresh ginger an effective element in home remedies for dry cough.

To get some relief from dry cough, you can chew on fresh pieces of ginger with a little salt sprinkled on them or you could also prepare ginger tea.

To prepare ginger tea at home, here’s what you need to do –

  • Cut few pieces of fresh ginger.
  • Add these pieces to hot water
  • Allow it to steep for a few minutes
  • Pour the concoction in a cup and add a teaspoon of honey to improve the taste.

Dr Mayank adds, “Ginger tea with a little honey helps soothe your throat and reduces bouts of dry cough.”

  • Tulsi or holy basil:

Tulsi is known for it’s medicinal properties and also aids in increasing immunity and energy. The antiseptic and analgesic properties in tulsi helps relieve dry cough.

To reap the benefits of this medicinal plant, have tulsi in the form of a tea.

  • Lukewarm salt-water gargle:

Gargling is one of the timeless home remedies for dry cough.

Dr Mayank says, “For relief from dry cough, gargle with lukewarm salt-water. This soothes the throat by adding moisture to it.”

  • Steam:

Steam soothes and lubricates the airways which results in great relief in cases of dry cough.

Steam is also helpful in battling inflammation of the airways.

  • Eucalyptus oil:

With it’s inherent heating energy, eucalyptus oil is helpful in treating dry coughs.

Dr Mayank adds, “Use eucalyptus oil to decongest your throat. This oil not only promotes vitality but also helps in treating any underlying infection”

“Add eucalyptus oil to a handkerchief and keep it near your nose and mouth. Another way to inhale the oil is by adding 2-3 drops in your steam water.”

  • Warm liquids:

Staying hydrated is important when you’re down with dry cough.

Dr Mayank adds, “Warm liquids helps alleviate symptoms of sore throat and cough and results in immediate relief from dry cough”

“You may find warm liquids like herbal teas, warm water and clear broths comforting during this time.”

If you haven’t noticed any improvement in your dry cough even after a week, it is important that you consult your doctor. Home remedies for dry cough can be an added measure but not a permanent solution for a persistent cough.

This blog post is written with editorial inputs from Dr Mayank Uppal. He has over 7 years of experience as a physician with a keen interest in lifestyle diseases.