Welcome Gwen from Gwen’s Nest today as she shares four of her favorite fast and natural cough remedies!
I don’t know about your house, but around here, if someone is going to come down with a random wracking cough, it’s going to be after 10 PM, and likely after the last bit of cough syrup was used up. But that’s OK, because one of my favorite things about natural remedies is that many of them use basic things that I already have in my kitchen.
It’s so easy to whip up any of these four natural cough remedies in a pinch. I’ve even made these on vacation! And the great thing is, they really work well *and* they taste great. Which is key to actually getting my people to take their remedies.
Here’s what we’ll use:
Cocoa powder, raw honey, dark chocolate, and cinnamon. Not shown, a grapefruit and some water. If you have any or all of these things in your cabinets, you’re set!
Home Remedies for Coughs
Cough Remedy#1: Chocolate
Let’s start off with my personal favorite, and the most simple: a piece of dark chocolate.
Chocolate contains theobromine1, which in one study was more effective than codeine in stopping coughs. This is a great choice for those persistent and tickly throat type coughs. It may be more effective if you eat the entire bar…or maybe Mama needs to just tuck this away in case I get a <cough> for later. <cough>
Come to think of it, I should probably carry some of this in my purse…and my first aid kit. Just in case. You can *never* be too prepared to deal with a
chocolate craving cough.
Let’s move on to a similar remedy that you might be more willing to share with the kids…
Cough Remedy #2: Chocolate Syrup
Oh yes…this is much more well suited for the children. Chocolate syrup is a very simple mixture of raw honey and cocoa powder. This remedy goes down easily since, for all practical purposes it *is* actually a spoonful of (natural) sugar. With chocolate…which we now know contains theobromine and thus is the medicinal part of this combo.
Please Note: For children and babies under one year, I use maple syrup instead of honey. It’s highly recommended to avoid honey- even healthy raw honey in children under a year old. It contains spores that are harmless to more mature digestive systems, but can cause botulism in babies under a year old.
It may take a few seconds to convince the cocoa to mix in with the honey- it can be a little stubborn. This quick remedy can be made ahead if you’d like, but it’s just as quick to mix it up by the spoonful when its needed. The really cool thing? Theobromine peaks in the system at 2 hours in, so you get sustained relief.
Honey also has been shown in studies to be just as effective as cough syrup. Which is why this healthy, natural, *easy* and delicious cough syrup is the best thing ever.
Cough Remedy #3: Cinnamon Syrup
Here’s a variation on the theme: cinnamon and honey also make an effective soothing cough syrup.
It’s slightly warming, and the cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde that is anti-spasmodic.3
Like cocoa, cinnamon is hydrophobic and will be a little stubborn to mix into the honey. Just keep stirring, and you’ll get to this stage of loveliness:
Cough Remedy #4: Grapefruit Tea
Grapefruit tea is a cough remedy that I learned about from a friend years ago. She’d had a really long, rough illness that culminated in a bad cough. She swore by this simple, natural remedy to give relief to even deep junky coughs.
It’s warm, soothing, and is so easy to put together. All you need is a grapefruit and some water.
Squeeze the juice out of both halves of the grapefruit, and add the juice and rinds to a small pot with about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water added.
Simmer for several minutes, then strain off the tea- you can sweeten it with honey if you’d like. It’s got a tart and slightly bitter flavor, but it’s very soothing.
My friend recommends drinking the whole pot of tea, and repeating again in a few hours.
Why does this work? Beyond just being soothing and comforting, grapefruit is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, inositol, bioflavonoids. The rind is also rich in pectin and quercetin, a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory.4
Word to the wise: Even super healthy natural foods and herbs can have side effects…mostly good side effects, but sometimes they can interact with medications. Be sure to check out the contraindications below in the resource links, and talk to your pharmacist about interactions if you’re on medications.
More Natural Cough Remedies
I’ve been using natural remedies like these for years with great results. My favorite natural cough remedy harnesses the power of fresh garlic, but is so tasty that my kids ask for spoon after spoon of it! It’s one of my most popular posts, and the remedy that I used for my kids when they had whooping cough. I saw a marked difference in their recovery when I started using this natural cough syrup.
- Chocolate Cough Remedy Study
- Honey as a Cough Remedy
- Cinnamon Uses, Pharmacology, & Contraindications
- Grapefruit Chemistry; Quercetin & Contraindications
Can’t Get Enough Homesteading Goodness?
Join over 75,000 others who get the weekly Homestead Toolbox delivered fresh to their inbox. It’s packed full of recipes, ideas, and homesteading tips you can actually use (no fluff), plus a copy of my very popular mulch gardening how-to guide.