Herbal remedies for cough

Cough is a very common symptom during the cold season and is usually associated with inflammation of the respiratory tract. If the cough is persistent and won’t go away, remember to take it as a message and listen to your body in order to understand the root cause of the problem. Could be smoking, could be some irritating chemicals in the air you breathe, you could be sensitive to dust, or maybe some food you eat is causing excess mucous in your system. If the cough persists you might need to see a doctor.

When you’re trying to calm a cough, there are several herbal remedies you can avail of. Let’s see a few!

  • Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara

Did you know that this is the cough remedy par excellence? It has been used since ancient times for all kinds of cough and upper respiratory complaints, in fact, its Latin name Tussilago comes from the Latin word for cough “tussis”. It is a very effective remedy, however, it must be consumed in moderation only when needed, never exceeding three teaspoons per day, as in high doses it can stress out the liver.

  • Liquorice Glycyrrhiza glabra

This root has many beneficial properties, among them soothing the mucous membranes. Its expectorant properties also help to loosen and thin mucous, easing congestion. This explains why it has been long used to treat coughs and asthma. It can be taken as a decoction (tea made by simmering the root in boiling water) or by taking some powdered root or an extract.

  • Slippery elm Ulmus fulva/rubra

In herbal medicine, we often use the bark of this tree for its soothing properties. The bark contains a high amount of mucilage which acts as an effective throat soother and cough suppressant. This herb is also very safe.

  • Marshmallow Althaea officinalis

If you’ve been reading my posts, you probably are already familiar with the anti-inflammatory properties of this plant. Just like slippery elm, marshmallow is very rich in mucilage, which makes it an effective remedy for cough, dry cough in particular, and sore throats.

  • Mullein Verbascum thapsus

Again, we find soothing mucilage in this plant, together with saponins, compounds that have an expectorant effect. This is a safe and effective remedy, provided that you strain the tea well in order to remove the plant’s tiny hairs.

  • Plantain Plantago major/lanceolata

If you make a tea out of plantain’s leaves you will be immediately able to tell that it has soothing properties. I still remember the first time I tried it, I found it incredibly refreshing and my throat felt so soothed even though I didn’t have any cough or soreness. It’s quite a pleasant feeling! His plant is so common it is considered a weed, so it’s quite easy to find. You can collect the leaves and simply make a tea by adding boiling water to them.

Some other natural remedies for cough are elderberry, ginger, lemon, echinacea, anise and primrose.

Nature gives us many options so we can mix them to create the remedy that suits us better! Remember that most herbs have side effects and interactions.

I recommend consulting a herbalist in order to get the right tailored herbal formulas for you.