15 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of A Cough ASAP

Whether you’ve been dealing with a simple throat tickle for a few days or a lingering cold, you might be searching for ways to get rid of a cough in five minutes, and I don’t blame you.

But just so you know, a cough isn’t always bad, it’s a reflex that protects our airways and lungs against irritants like dust, germs, and mucus. And occasional coughing is completely normal, according to the American Lung Association.

That said, a cough isn’t necessarily something you should just shrug off. “[A] cough has many causes, ranging from a common viral illness to asthma or seasonal allergies to more significant health problems, such as chronic lung conditions, congestive heart failure, or even cancer,” says Michael Hanak, MD, an assistant professor of family medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Now, some people may develop a cough after becoming infected with COVID-19. A COVID cough is dry and persistent, according to Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital. It is typically accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pains, fatigue, headaches, and shortness of breath.

However, there are also less serious causes of coughing. Certain medications could be to blame, says Dr. Hanak. Environmental triggers like dust, mold, or other pollutants could be a contributing factor as well, either through lung irritation or postnasal drip. Acid reflux is another potential trigger.

Given that a cough can be a sign of a condition or totally harmless, when should you see a doctor? “When a cough is present for more than two weeks, it is reasonable to contact a health care provider for additional testing or recommendations,” notes Dr. Hanak.

In the meantime, if you’ve just started hacking, you can try to soothe your throat with these remedies.



Gargle With Salt Water

A simple way to ease a cough is with salt water. “Salt can kill bacteria,” says Keri Peterson, MD, an internal medicine doctor and WH advisor. “It’s also soothing.” However, salt doesn’t kill viruses, so it may not help you heal your cold or cough faster, Dr. Peterson explains.

To try this at home, mix half a teaspoon of table salt with eight ounces of warm water.



Sip On Ginger Tea

Ginger is well known for its power in calming an upset stomach. Turns out, it can also work wonders for a cough.

Ginger has been found to be helpful in reducing cough and alleviating sore throat, and ginger lozenges are widely used for this purpose,” Dr. Hanak explains.

The root also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are beneficial in treating a variety of conditions, he adds. Brew some ginger tea by using a teabag or pouring hot water over some fresh slices.

antacid medicine in dosing cupSCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY//GETTY IMAGES


Consider Heartburn Meds

Pepcid, Prilosec, or other antacids can relieve acid reflux and nix any associated coughs, notes Dr. Hanak.

If you find it to be a chronic issue, making certain dietary changes may help, such as avoiding citrus, chocolate, high-fat foods, onions, and tomato-based food products, and incorporating high-fiber foods into your diet, like brown rice, celery, lettuce, melon, oatmeal, and root vegetables (think: potatoes).

You may also want to drink lots of water and keep your portions small at meals if your coughs are due to reflux, says Dr. Hanak.

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