Home remedies for cough...

...to stop Allergy/Asthma Cough
& Mystery Cough

These home remedies for cough work whether you have allergies or asthma or you cough “for no reason” yet you’re not sick.

Home remedies for cough - asthma cough © Karen Alison

Do you cough or clear your throat often? I used to.

If you’re like I was, you may not know why you cough or how to stop it.

The home remedies for cough below will help you with that annoying "mystery cough." They’re also very effective when you have a chronic allergy or asthma cough.

Six home remedies for cough to
boost your immunity & reduce asthma cough

1. Keep your lungs and airways well hydrated

How do you do that?

Drink lots of water.

Dehydration is one of the most common causes of asthma cough.

How much is "lots"? It used to be 8 glasses of water per day - but that doesn't take body size into account.

Now the recommended dosage is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. So if you weigh 100 pounds, drink 50 ounces of water every day.

Staying well-hydrated reduces your histamine and mucus levels and helps to keep your airways open. Especially if you have asthma, this is one of your most important home remedies for cough.

Don't like the taste of water?

It's probably the bad-tasting chemicals in tap water.

To protect yourself from them, use a water filter, or at least let the chlorine evaporate from a pitcher of water for an hour before you drink it.

Adding mineral drops to your water improves the taste and gives you a health boost.

And while you’re drinking all that water...

Consume foods and beverages that contain water

Foods as Nature made them contain water. That includes meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, and fruit.

Herbal tea is another good choice.

Foods as Nature made them contain water © Karen Alison

Watch out for anything that contains a lot of conventional salt, sugar, flour, chemicals, dyes, and/or is deep-fried. Processed foods and junk foods are culprits. Many of them are dehydrating and your body has to use up a lot of water to process them.

2. Stop hacking with these powerful 
home remedies for cough

Coffee and caffeine

Surprised that I would recommend caffeine? It's true that caffeine is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it tends to be a diuretic so, if you drink too much, it may dehydrate you.

However, if you have an asthma cough, caffeine is one of those proven home remedies for cough that works well to open up your airways. Just don’t overdo it, or you’ll turn yourself into a sleepless bundle of nerves. And make sure you drink water, too!

Ginger root

Ginger is an ancient remedy for respiratory problems and reduces asthma cough © Karen Alison

You can also take ginger to help open up your airways - or try it instead of caffeine. It is an ancient remedy for respiratory problems and is known to suppress allergic reactions as well as reducing asthma cough.

Ginger tea with honey is a soothing home remedy for cough.

Vitamin C

When you have an allergy cough, take lots of vitamin C. When you flood your mast cells with C, they don’t produce histamine, which is very helpful because histamine narrows your airways (causes bronchoconstriction.)

Vitamin B12

A deficiency of B12 is recognized as a common cause of "mystery cough." To get more B12, you need to eat animal foods. For vegetarians, that means healthy eggs that are safe to eat raw, and raw organic milk (cooking destroys nutrients in these foods.)


A good probiotic might seems like an odd home remedy for cough, but it will help you to deal with H Pylori. Once you've cleared up the bacteria, you will absorb nutrients like vitamin B12 properly - which will reduce stress on the nervous system that makes you cough.

Probiotics also help to treat GERD and its related coughing. When you have GERD, you don't produce enough stomach acid and - not too surprising - H Pylori inhibits your production of stomach acid.

3. Get tested for food reactions – or at least avoid the worst food allergens.

One of the best home remedies for cough is to eat foods that actually agree with your body and don't trigger irritation or inflammation. You can be professionally tested for food reactions or you can just stop eating the worst food culprits.

The Paleo diet is very helpful with this as it avoids most of the top food allergens.

Watch out for…

  • Wheat, corn and grains – which often contain tiny amounts of mould (even organically grown corn can contain mould)
  • Dairy – avoided by professional singers because it is “mucus-forming” and no singer can afford to be clearing her throat and coughing up phlegm during a concert. Dairy is considered the top food allergen.
  • Sugar – inhibits your immune function so not a good choice. Sugar uses up moisture, vitamins, minerals and enzymes your body needs to keep you in homeostasis (balance.)
  • Junk foods full of dehydrating chemicals, salt and caffeine.
Sweet chocolate milk - 3 cough triggers in one bottle! © Karen Alison
  • Chocolate  - yes, sadly, chocolate is quite a mouldy food, and mold makes you cough. European chocolate tends to be less mouldy than U.S. chocolate. For those of us who simply cannot deny ourselves this queen of foods, the really dark 90% or 99% Swiss chocolate by Lindt is a good choice to avoid mold.

4. Use natural products for an irritant-free home environment

This turned out to be one of the most amazing home remedies for cough I have ever come across – especially for asthma cough! It’s also a common cause of mystery cough – when you have a chronic cough for “no reason.”

When we switched to natural products and cleared the chemical toxins out of our house, the person with asthma stopped needing his asthma puffer!!!

Dog dander doesn't have to make your cough worse if you clear chemical toxins © Karen Alison

What made it even more amazing was that he smoked (though not in the house or in front of us) AND we had a cat and dog. Yet the cigarettes and the pet dander turned out to be less of a problem for him than living in a house full of chemical products.

That convinced me that using natural products and clearing out chemical toxins is one of the most effective cough home remedies you’ll ever find.

No, I am not saying it’s okay to smoke if you clear the chemicals out of your house!*

How do you clear the chemicals in your house?

Basically, you need to look at all the products you use for laundry, cleaning and personal care and replace them with natural and/or unscented products.

Find all the plastic bags, soft plastics and vinyl in your house. They outgas toxic molecules into your indoor air that can make you cough. Store them in airtight containers or throw them out.

Buy toys for your children made of cloth, wood, or cardboard, not vinyl or particle board.

Home remedies for cough - get the chemicals out of your household air © Karen Alison

Get rid of old paint and oil cans, glues and solvents – or store them somewhere that’s not connected to your indoor air.

Bigger projects to get rid of indoor chemicals include ripping out broadloom and sealing furniture – especially children’s furniture that’s made with particle board or plywood.

Find more info in these Healthy Living Tips.

5. Free yourself from mould

No two ways about it: mould makes people cough. Beware of it, especially if you have an asthma cough.

Freeing yourself from mould is one of the most important home remedies for cough, so here’s what to do...

  • Use Benefect to clean up mold. It is a highly effective natural cleaner based on oil of thyme and will not harm your respiratory system.
  • Don’t live in a basement or basement apartment, especially if it is near a body of water
  • If you have houseplants, put aquarium rocks on top of the soil to keep down the mould or give your plants away. Every time you water them, more mould is released into the air you breathe
  • Speaking of aquarium rocks, don’t have an aquarium in your bedroom - wherever there's water, you increase the possibility of mold
  • Be careful with foods that contain mould or fungus like corn, mushrooms, the skin of apples and pears, some cheeses, and fermented foods like vinegar, soy, and alcohol. 
  • The kind of mould that grows on food when it’s going bad has long roots, so watch out for foods that have mouldy patches. If you’re a cougher, just throw them out.
  • Fix your gut flora. When you have too much yeast and fungi growing in your gut, it's much harder to deal with the molds in the outside world. Take probiotics to crowd out the bad microbes and eat a low-sugar diet to starve them.

6. Protect yourself from seasonal allergens

Spring – mold from snow melt and damp earth; pollens
Summer – pollen; possible reactions to chlorinated water in swimming pools and showers; humidity-related mold
Autumn – mold from dead leaves and damp earth from rain
Winter – dry air; indoor pollution 

Here's a list of actions that are home remedies for cough to help you breeze through the seasons...

  •  Dry your clothes indoors during pollen season to keep pollen spores off them, rather than on an outdoor clothes line.
  • Plan your vacation during the worst of the pollen in your area, and go somewhere the pollen count is lower or over, particularly if you have allergies or asthma.
  • If you're a cougher, get someone else to rake the leaves. If it has to be you, wear a mask over your nose and mouth. Dead leaves send mold spores into your face when you’re moving them around.
Swim in fresh water © Karen Alison
  • Swim in a salt water pool or fresh water lake to avoid chlorine exposure – very drying to airways and a cause of coughing for many people.
  • Put a water filter on your shower. The steam from chlorinated water can harm your respiratory system and mucus membranes.
  • Clear your indoor chemicals before winter (see #3 above.) In winter, once your heating system goes on and circulates chemicals in your home, it can make you cough.
  • Put a humidifier on your furnace. Dry winter air is a common cause of coughing.
  • Use an air filter in your bedroom during pollen season and in winter. Or if you’ve recently renovated or painted inside your house.

Doesn’t everyone cough?

Cough from flu or Upper Respiratory Tract Infection © Karen Alison

It’s normal to cough sometimes, for example, when you’re assaulted by chemical fumes or too much smoke from a fire, or if you have the flu or an upper respiratory tract infection.

Coughing can also be caused by stress, anxiety or nervousness. This is sometimes called “habit cough.”

But when you’re not sick and you have a chronic cough or asthma cough, it’s a signal that your immune system and/or nervous system is overloaded and you're probably dehydrated.

The home remedies for cough that follow are very effective because they take the stress off your immune system.  They deal with the causes of coughing, reduce irritation to your airways, and make it easy for your immune system to do its job of keeping your body in balance.

Note: Sometimes coughing is a symptom of a disease. These home remedies for cough are not intended for that situation. If you suspect you have a medical problem, please consult the appropriate professional.

*Cigarette smoke exposes you to over 4,000 (yes, four thousand!!!) toxic chemicals all by itself. Do I even have to say that smoking is pretty much the opposite of any kind of natural remedy for cough? Smoker’s cough is likely as much from all those chemicals as from the smoke itself.

But I know it’s hard to quit. Addictions happen for very good reasons, not because people don't know they’re harming themselves. If you would like to quit but you’ve had trouble staying off the smokes, I highly recommend EFT Tapping because it deals with the emotions that drive your need to smoke. (And there’s no finger-wagging.)

Related Articles

These soothing cough home remedies provide powerful natural relief when you have a cold, flu or upper respiratory tract infection.

The most effective way to relieve a cough from stress, nervous cough or habit cough. This unique home remedy for cough is based on the ancient wisdom of Chinese Medicine.

Amazing honey - sweetest home remedy for cough © Karen Alison

Amazing honey – the sweetest and most effective home remedy for cough

How to make the best ginger tea
Fresh ginger has wonderful healing properties and makes a delicious tea to soothe your cough or sore throat. Here’s my favourite recipe.

Asthma Cough Revealed - Why you hack when you could purr.

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Have health questions or questions about natural remedies? Ask them here. Your success stories, comments and ideas are welcome, too!

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