15 Quick Home Remedies for Dry Cough

kid coughing dry cough with caption cartoon illustration

Nothing interrupts good humor and productivity like the burning and seemingly eternal existence of a dry, hacking cough. Whenever you have a dry cough, getting rid of it becomes the main focus of all of your energies and efforts. We’re going to present you with 15 quick home remedies for dry cough in this article and help you get back into your happy and productive routine.

Though these home remedies will relieve a dry cough, they are not all inclusive cures. You might need to consult with a health care professional if your cough becomes a chronic issue as it might be an indicator of a more serious health concern.

15 Quick Home Remedies for Dry Cough 

1. Honey

We’ll start off our list of home remedies for dry cough with one of the simplest and most efficient; honey. Honey coats and soothes membranes in your throat as well as helps to suppress your cough. As a natural antimicrobial agent, it might also get rid of any viral or bacterial infection which is causing the issue.

What to do:

  • Mix 1 Tbsp of honey in 8 oz. of warm water and drink.
  • You can also sprinkle cinnamon over 1 Tbsp of honey and consume it as is.
  • Repeat either of these remedies every 3 to 4 hours.

small honey jar


2. Ginger

Another traditional performer on our list of home remedies for dry cough is ginger. Ginger has soothing anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties which can cut through to the root of the problem and help get rid of the burning and the cough.

What to do:

  • Boil slices of ginger (approximately ¼ cup) in 12 oz. of water for 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Strain the ginger and add a little bit of lemon and honey to taste.
  • Drink 3 or 4 times a day until the cough is gone.
  • You can also chew on slices of raw ginger in place of throat lozenges.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric, ginger’s cousin, is also a top choice when it comes to home remedies for dry cough. It is particularly effective with dry coughs because of its anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, turmeric is as effective as an anti-inflammatory remedy as acetaminophen, but without the harmful side effects to your liver.

What to do:

  • Add 1 tsp of ground turmeric and 1 tsp of ground black pepper to 8 oz. of boiling water for about 3 minutes.
  • Add a little honey and allow the mixture to cool before drinking.
  • Repeat this two or three times a day.
  • You can also prepare turmeric as you did with ginger above.

4. Garlic

Another great antibacterial and antimicrobial herb which can be added to our list of quick home remedies for dry cough is garlic. Allicin, the active chemical compound in garlic has been proven to be effective at reducing the irritation and inflammation associated with a dry cough.

What to do:

  • Slice or press 2 to 3 cloves of garlic into 1 cup of water.
  • Add 1 tsp of oregano and boil the mixture for 5 minutes.
  • Allow the mixture to cool, add some honey and drink.
  • Repeat this several times a day.
  • You can also chew on raw garlic cloves in place of throat lozenges.

5. Onion

Onions are an unexpected addition to our list of home remedies for dry cough, but they are one of the most effective. Onions, like their cousin, garlic have powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial compounds. These compounds are quercetin and organosulfur, which are highly effective at relieving irritation and inflammation as well as killing the source of any biological irritants.

What to do:

  • Cutting onions can sometimes remedy your cough because you are breathing the strong fumes.
  • Boil a sliced onion in 1 cup of water to extract the juice.
  • Use the juice gradually mixing ½ tsp of juice with 1 tsp of honey for consumption.
  • Take at least 2 to 3 times a day for cough.

6. Lemon

Perhaps the most common and readily available among all of the home remedies for dry cough is the lemon. Not only does the vitamin C of lemon juice fight infection, but lemon juice also helps to reduce inflammation and irritation on your dry throat. Want to keep your throat nice and neat? A lemon water detox will surely do the trick.

What to do:

  • Simply add 1 Tsp of honey to 2 Tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice and drink it 2 to 3 times daily.
  • You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper to give this remedy a powerful boost.

lemons in a basket

7. Carrot Juice

The high vitamin and mineral content contained in carrots can also help to relieve inflammation and irritation in your throat. Because of these nutrients, carrots are another top performer on our list of home remedies for dry cough.

What to do:

  • In a blender or juicer, extract the juice of 4 to 5 carrots.
  • Add ½ cup of water as necessary to dilute it.
  • Add ½ to 1 tsp of honey to taste.
  • Drink this juice 3 to 4 times daily.

8. Almonds

Though they might not be among your first thoughts when considering home remedies for dry cough, almonds are actually quite effective. Vitamins, minerals and amino acids in almonds are excellent nutrients for reducing inflammation, getting rid of irritation and boosting your immune system to fight off those unwanted invaders.

What to do:

  • Soak half a dozen almost in water for 8 to 10 hours.
  • Remove the almonds from the water and create a smooth paste by mashing them along with 1 tsp of butter.
  • Eat 1 Tbsp of the paste 3 or 4 times per day.

9. Thyme Tea

Soothing thyme tea is one of the oldest home remedies for dry cough, dating back to the European pandemics of the 14th century. Thyme relaxes the muscles of the trachea and bronchi as well as helps reduce the inflammation and open the airways.

What to do:

  • Lightly bruise a handful of fresh thyme and then place it or 2 Tbsp of dried thyme in 8 oz. of boiling water.
  • Remove from heat, cover and allow the tea to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add honey and/or lemon to taste.
  • Drink this tea 2 to 3 times a day.

10. Basil Leaf

Another of the oldest home remedies for dry cough is basil leaf. Basil helps to reduce the swelling of the glands in the throat and brings soothing relieve to the irritated membranes.

What to do:

  • Basil can be prepared in similar fashion as the thyme tea above.
  • Additionally, you can chew on several leaves of fresh basil in place of throat lozenges to get instant relief.

11. Salt Gargle

Generations of cough sufferers have handed down the salt gargle solution, making it one of the simplest, most readily available and traditional home remedies for dry cough. This mixture of warm water and the gargling action helps relieve the irritation and reduce the inflammation in your throat to calm your cough.

What to do:

  • Mix ½ tsp of salt in ½ cup of warm water.
  • Take in ¼ to 1/3 of the mixture at a time, gargle and spit it out.
  • Do not swallow as it will cause more discomfort.
  • Repeat this process 2 to 3 times a day.

12. Steam

The simplest of all home remedies for dry cough is steam. The warm water vapor from a hot shower, steam bath, neti pot or steaming pan of water helps get rid of throat irritants, open airways and soothes inflammation.

What to do:

  • Stand 5 to 10 minutes in a hot shower.
  • Or sit for 15 to 20 minutes in a steam bath.
  • Place a pan of water on the stove and bring it to a boil.
  • Remove the pot from heat, place your face over the steaming pot and use a towel to help direct the steam into your sinuses and throat.
  • You can add eucalyptus, mint or other essential oil to give this remedy a potent boost.

13. Licorice Root

Another less common, but highly effective home remedies for dry cough is licorice root. Licorice is an expectorant and demulcent, which will help get rid of the irritants causing the cough as well as reduce inflammation.

What to do:

  • Boil 2 Tbsp of dry licorice root in 8 oz. of water for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, pour into a mug, cover and allow it to steep for 10 minutes.
  • Drink this tea 2 to 3 times daily.

14. Elevate Your Head While Sleeping

Besides making use of herbs and spices to as home remedies for dry cough, you can also help gain some relief by elevating your head while you are sleeping. For some people, this position while sleeping reduces the post-nasal drip, which collects in the throat and causes coughing.

What to do:

  • Add a 30 to 40 degree foam wedge or additional pillows to your bed when you go to sleep at night.

15. Cayenne

Though at first, you might think that cayenne would make that burn in your throat worse, but that really isn’t the case. Cayenne is among the most effective home remedies for dry cough because it provides a warming and soothing sensation in the chest to reduce the pain from coughing. It’s like putting vapor rub on the inside.

What to do:

  • Add ½ tsp of cayenne to the recipes above.
  • Or make a cayenne cough syrup combining 1 Tbsp of honey, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp of water, ¼ tsp of ground ginger, ¼ tsp of cayenne.
  • Drink this mixture 2 to 3 times a day.

picture of cayenne pepper powder next to actual peppers


Until you get rid of your dry cough, both your sense of humor and your productivity are going to suffer. Make use of one or several of our 15 quick home remedies for dry cough today and get that irritation and burning in your throat under control. If you have questions about any of our remedies or would like to share your comments or success stories with these or your own remedies, please don’t hesitate to comment below.

Images from depositphotos.com.