Home remedies

Home remedies for irritable cough

Home remedies for irritable cough

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Tickling in the throat, as if there was a feather in the throat, constant cough, dry cough - all of these are typical complaints of irritable cough. The most common trigger for this is an incipient cold. But other causes, such as pleurisy, chronic heart failure, pulmonary fibrosis, chronic asthma and side effects of certain medications (e.g. ACE inhibitors) can also trigger the symptoms. In the next few lines you will learn which home remedies can help against the irritating cough.

Most common cause - cold

The most common cause of irritable cough is an early cold. Viruses enter the body and then settle in the mucous membranes. Once there, they cause inflammation, which triggers a cough in the brain. Since no mucus has yet formed, which means that the cough is dry, it is referred to as an irritable cough. This can be extremely painful at times, especially at night. If mucus is added, the irritating cough turns into a so-called productive cough with expectoration. In this state, some of the home remedies mentioned here are less effective or may even be contraindicated.

Home remedies

Especially when a cold is starting, home remedies are the right thing to stop the progression. Home remedies such as tea, syrup, lozenges, wraps and much more help with irritable cough. The following lines show simple recipes and tips for self-use. However, if in doubt, urgent medical attention should be sought, as the cough can also be the result of serious illnesses.

Different tea recipes

Drinking is very important for coughing cough and warm tea, which also has the right ingredients, and more so. One or the other tea blend is also intended for gargling.

Recipe # 1
Mallow leaves, marshmallow root and sage leaves are mixed in equal parts. Mallow and marshmallow soothe irritation and the sage is the anti-inflammatory component. A teaspoon of the mixture is poured over with a quarter liter of boiling water and then takes about fifteen minutes. The tea is used for gargling several times a day.

Recipe # 2
Another tea recipe to relieve the irritating cough consists of 10 grams of chamomile flowers and 20 grams of mallow leaves and ribwort herb. A tablespoon is filled with 250 milliliters of boiling water and then has to steep for another ten minutes. This tea is also used for gargling.

Recipe No. 3
This stimulant cough recipe is intended for drinking, always in sips, spread throughout the day. The mixture consists of 20 grams of large-flowered mullein flowers, 20 grams of coltsfoot and 10 grams of chamomile flowers. The mullein is particularly helpful for irritated mucous membranes in the airways. Coltsfoot and chamomile are soothing and anti-inflammatory. A heaped teaspoon is needed for a large cup (approx. 250 milliliters). After infusing with boiling water, the tea should brew for eight to ten minutes and then - over the day (three cups a day) - be drunk lukewarm, sip by sip.

Recipe No. 4
The following mixture has a calming effect on the irritated mucous membranes. Icelandic moss, mallow flowers and ribwort are mixed in equal parts. A heaped teaspoon is poured with a quarter liter of boiling water and then brews for about ten minutes. Three cups a day, drunk lukewarm in small sips, can relieve the irritating cough.

Homemade cough syrup

A good cough syrup for irritable cough can be made from one tablespoon of peppermint, sage, ribwort and thyme. The whole thing is boiled together in a liter of water, strained, sweetened with a portion of honey and drunk throughout the day.

If bought cough syrups fail to work, a homemade onion syrup often helps: An onion is chopped into small pieces, covered with honey and placed in a warm place for a few hours. The resulting juice is very tasty and can help with unproductive, dry cough as well as with mucus.


Wraps are one of the ancient household remedies that our grandmothers and great-grandmothers have already used. Fortunately, the knowledge of the effects of the wrap has not been completely forgotten and is used more and more in the treatment of minor illnesses such as colds, coughs, abdominal pain and fever. Wraps are easy to use, the ingredients for this are usually available in every household and what is most important - these envelopes can be very helpful - even if you have a cough.

Constant cough, which does not want to stop, cries for a curd wrap. For this purpose, a cotton cloth is coated in the middle along the length with normal lean quark. The two free sides can be beaten over it. The wrap is placed on the heater or other heat source for a short time so that it is not too cold. Then the envelope comes on the chest, a cotton cloth over it and finally a woolen cloth that is best placed around the chest and back. The wrap can remain on the skin as long as this is tolerated, gladly also overnight. Quark has an anti-inflammatory effect and thus relieves the irritable cough.
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If you prefer a warm wrap, the oil wrap is recommended. A hundred milliliters of good, cold-pressed almond, olive or sunflower oil are mixed with five to six drops of high-quality essential oil. Eucalyptus oil, thyme oil, anise oil or sage oil are recommended for irritable cough. These oils can also be mixed, however, the total number of drops (5 to 6 drops per 100 ml carrier oil) should not be exceeded. The mixture is warmed in a water bath, soaked in a cotton cloth and placed on the chest. Another cotton cloth and a wool cloth come over it. To keep the warmth, a hot water bottle is put on. The wrap should be removed after one to two hours. If the skin becomes irritated or itchy, the treatment should be stopped immediately.


Lozenges can relieve the uncomfortable cough. Tablets containing herbal components are recommended. Lozenges with marshmallow, mallow, ribwort or Icelandic moss have an anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory effect and, thanks to their mucilaginous substances, cover the mucous membrane like a protective film. The tablets often also contain zinc and / or propolis.


An effective home remedy for irritable cough is inhalation. It is best to use sea salt or Himalayan salt for this. Salt moisturizes, disinfects and soothes the irritated mucous membranes. In a bowl, hot water is mixed with salt (nine grams of salt per liter of water). You inhale under a towel - with your head over the steaming vessel.

Milk with honey

Everyone knows milk with honey from their childhood and some think of it with shudder. However, this home remedy is really recommended for irritable cough. However, if the cough is slimy, milk should no longer be drunk, since milk has a mucous effect.

Herbal cough syrups

If the cough is irritating, a lot can be achieved with the right home remedies, including plant-based cough syrups. The right herbal cough syrup can do a good job, especially in the evening before going to bed, or at night when the cough is unbearable - and above all without chemicals. The plants that are recommended for coughing cough include marshmallow root, thyme, ivy leaves and coneflower. These are contained either individually or as a mixture in a wide variety of cough syrups. But be careful - herbal cough syrups can trigger allergic reactions and intolerances, although in rare cases.

The use of lavender oil can also be considered in the case of a convulsive cough. However, medical consultation is required here beforehand.

Cough at night

If the irritable cough occurs especially at night, the following measures are quite helpful. First, the headboard should be raised a little, which can already relieve the cough. A warm thyme tea, possibly sweetened with a little honey, soothes the mucous membranes. What helps is a curd wrap that stays on your chest all night. Dry air irritates the mucous membranes even more, which is why, for example, a few damp towels should be hung in the bedroom.

The visit to the doctor

If the listed home remedies do not help and / or if there are complaints such as sore throat, headache and fever, a doctor should be consulted. If the cause of the irritable cough is not due to the cold, but, as already mentioned at the beginning, for example with heart failure, the underlying disease must be treated urgently. (sw)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Susanne Waschke, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


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  • Mannfried Pahlow: The great book of medicinal plants: Healthy through the healing powers of nature, Nikol (August 1, 2013)
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Video: Dry Cough - Natural Ayurvedic Home Remedies (December 2022).