How to Get Rid of a Cough Fast: 16 Proven Remedies

Опубликовал Admin
31-03-2023, 06:10
A lingering cough can make you feel absolutely miserable, and you probably want to get rid of it as fast as you can. That’s totally reasonable—it’s never fun to be stuck with an obnoxious cough. Luckily, we’ve got a bunch of healthy options for you. From natural remedies based in centuries of folk medicine to cutting-edge medications, we’ll show you how to put an end to that nasty cough in no time.
  • Natural Remedies
  • Medications
  • Behavioral Changes
  • Expert Q&A
  • Warnings

Natural Remedies

  1. Consume 1-2 spoonfuls of honey to suppress a cough. Honey is an effective way to suppress a cough and soothe a sore throat. You can put the honey in tea or warm water if you’d like, but honey on its own works as a natural decongestant and cough suppressant. This is a great immediate solution if you’re going to bed and the cough is making it hard to sleep.
    • It's good for adults and children, but do not give honey to children under the age of 1 since it could increase the risk of infant botulism.
    • Some studies suggest that honey is as effective as a cough suppressant as dextromethorphan, an ingredient commonly used in many over-the-counter cough suppressants.
  2. Gargle salt water to soothe your sore throat. Salt water will get rid of that scratchy feeling in your throat, which helps minimize the amount of coughing you’re dealing with. It also dislodges phlegm if you’ve got a wet cough. Mix 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 to 1 g) of salt in a cup of warm water and mix it with a spoon to help the salt dissolve. Gargle for 15 seconds and spit it out. Repeat this process as needed.
    • This will also get rid of any gnarly taste you have in your mouth from hacking up phlegm.
  3. Rub some menthol or aloe vera on your chest. If your lungs are hurting from all the coughing or you’re dealing with a respiratory infection, this will help open up your airways and soothe your throat and chest. Scoop up a dollop of mentholated petroleum jelly or aloe vera and work it into your upper chest. Reapply as needed to minimize your coughing.
  4. Drink licorice root tea to soothe your sore throat and cough. Licorice root tea soothes your airways, helps ease inflammation, and loosens mucus up so you can stop coughing. Either purchase licorice root tea bags, or place some dried licorice root in a mug and pour boiling water on top.
    • Don't drink licorice root tea if you are on steroids or have kidney problems.
    • Thyme tea may also be good for your cough, although there’s less medical research on thyme specifically.
  5. Suck on a piece of hard candy to inhibit the urge to cough. If you do not have any cough drops on hand or would prefer to stay away from medicated lozenges, you can usually soothe and stop a cough by sucking on a piece of hard candy. Any candy that’s sweet, minty, or spicy will help to prevent the urge to cough.
    • A dry cough that produces no phlegm can be halted by nearly any piece of hard candy. Hard candy causes you to produce more saliva and to swallow more, thereby suppressing your cough.
    • If you want to get rid of a wet cough where you have a ton of phlegm, try citrus candies, like lemon drops.
    • Hard candy is an effective cough remedy for children ages 6 and older. Don't give hard candy or lozenges to children under 3, as they might choke.
  6. Add some ground turmeric to tea or warm water. Turmeric is a traditional cough remedy that many people have found effective for coughs. Try mixing a dash of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk or tea. You can also try turmeric powder and a teaspoon of honey for dry cough. To make turmeric tea, add a spoonful of turmeric powder to boiling water. Let it steep, then strain. Mix with some lemon and honey for additional cough-relieving properties.
  7. Try inhaling essential oils and steam to soothe your lungs. Boil some water and add 2-5 drops of your favorite essential oil to the water. Inhale the steam to soothe any chest irritation and minimize the odds you cough. Tea tree oil, eucalyptus, anise, fennel, peppermint, and any citrus oil can all help to treat your cough fast.
    • Do not take essential oils internally.
    • You can also take a sniff directly from the undiluted bottle for a quick boost of comfort.
  8. Try a traditional Korean folk remedy with pear and jujubes. If you have a cough caused by the cold or flu, you could try making a batch of this traditional Korean cold remedy. It combines dried jujubes with spices, honey, and several other beneficial ingredients.
    • Combine 25 dried jujubes (sliced), 1 large Asian pear (quartered and seeded), a 3-inch (7.6-cm) piece of ginger (sliced), 2 to 3 cinnamon sticks, and 3 quart (2.8 L) of water in a large saucepan. Cover and heat on medium-high until it begins to boil.
    • Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 1 hour.
    • Strain the juice and discard the other ingredients.
    • Add 1 to 2 tablespoon (15 to 30 ml) of honey to sweeten the tea if you find it too bitter.


  1. Take a decongestant to open your airways. Decongestants help relieve coughing by reducing nasal congestion and drying up mucus in the lungs and expanding airways. You can take decongestants in a variety of ways, including as pills, liquids, and nasal sprays.
    • Look for pills and liquids with phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine as the active ingredients.
    • Always follow the dosage instructions on the label.
    • Mucinex and Sudafed are probably the two most popular decongestants on the market.
  2. Suck on a medicated throat lozenge for fast relief. Try menthol cough drops since they tend to be the most effective for most people. These lozenges numb and soothe the back of your throat, restricting the cough reflex and putting an end to your coughing fit sooner.
    • For moist coughs, horehound lozenges often prove helpful. Horehound is a bittersweet herb with expectorant properties, so it brings up more phlegm faster, allowing your cough to be over with sooner. Pregnant women cannot safely take horehound.
  3. Swallow a cough suppressant to treat a chronic cough. An over-the-counter cough suppressant is best used for moist coughs and coughs that won’t go away. These medications will minimize the urge to cough for a period of time so you can sleep or get some reprieve.
    • Just keep in mind, it isn’t ideal to take cough suppressants for an extended period of time. Coughing is your body’s way of getting rid of irritants, so it’s not good to suppress a cough for too long.
    • Look for a cough suppressant containing dextromethorphan, pholcodine, or antihistamines.
    • Do not give cough medicine to children under 4 years of age.
    • Robitussin, Delsym, and Theraflu are the most popular cough suppressants on the market.
  4. Use an expectorant to soothe a hacking, wet cough. Expectorants thin out the mucus so you can cough it out without hurting your throat or chest. While expectorants won’t technically get rid of a cough, they will help you get the coughing out of the way faster so that you can finally get some relief.
    • Do not give cough medicine to children under 4 years of age since they can cause serious side effects.
    • The most popular expectorants out there include Mucinex, Air-Power, and Mucus Relief.

Behavioral Changes

  1. Stay hydrated to get healthy fast and soothe your throat. Hydration is important for wet and dry coughs alike, since coughing irritates the throat. Drinking plenty of water, juice, clear broth, or warm lemon water will also ensure you get the fluids you need to bounce back from whatever is causing your cough in the first place.
    • Aim for the equivalent of at least eight 8 oz (250 ml) glasses of water per day while you suffer from your cough.
    • To treat a cough in children 3 months-1 year old: give the child 1 to 3 tsp (5 to 15 ml) of warm, clear liquid such as apple juice up to four times per day to soothe a cough.
  2. Take a hot shower or run a humidifier and inhale the steam. Warm water vapor helps loosen congestion, which can drip down into your chest and cause you to cough. It also helps moisturize dry air, which can also cause coughing. At night, run a humidifier and breathe in the warm vapor.
    • This method is helpful for coughs caused by colds, allergies, and asthma.
    • Humidifiers need to be cleaned out regularly. Otherwise, they may cause more harm than good. Mold, other fungi, and bacteria can build up inside the machine and get transferred into the air alongside the steam.
  3. Stop smoking and use an air purifier to remove airborne irritants. Chronic coughs are often caused or worsened by airborne irritants. If you smoke, the coughing might be a sign it’s time to quit. Minimize your use of incense or candles, and use an air purifier to remove dander and other irritants from the air.
    • Perfumes and scented bathroom sprays are also known to trigger chronic coughs, Avoid these until your cough goes away.
  4. Try swapping out big coughs for a series of shorter coughs. You may instinctively start with large, hearty coughs as soon as a coughing fit comes on, but building up to these large coughs slowly can actually help you get rid of a coughing fit faster. This is especially helpful if you have a moist cough. When a coughing fit begins, start by taking a series of small, light coughs. These coughs will not produce much mucus. At the end of your series of small coughs, do one big cough. The small coughs move the mucus toward the top of your air passage and the large cough has enough force to bring the mucus out.
    • Coughing in this method will prevent your throat from becoming more irritated. Since an irritated throat is more likely to cause continued coughing, making your throat less irritated helps get rid of your cough faster.


  • If your cough persists past two to four weeks, though, you should call the doctor. You should also call if you cough up blood, thick phlegm that makes it hard to breathe.
  • See a doctor ASAP if your cough is accompanied by sharp chest pains, severe fatigue, dramatic weight loss, chills, or a fever.
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