Home remedies for dry and wet coughs

Cough is a defensive reaction of the body that allows cleansing the airways from excess secretion, or from a foreign body. The reflex consists in getting a deep breath and then a sudden exhalation. This is accompanied by a short glottal closure. The basic division of cough types is based on the distinction of dry and wet cough. 


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However, a dry cough is very tiring, it can occur in the form of coughing attacks lasting up to several seconds. In children, a coughing attack may result in vomiting. A dry cough often accompanies acute viral infections, allergies and throat infections. This symptom is one of the pertussis’ main symptoms. A wet cough (or cough expectorant, productive cough) is manifested by the expectoration of sputum from the respiratory tract. This symptom occurs in the course of bronchitis and pneumonia and belongs to the clinical picture of bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It may also occur due to the discharge of secretions on the back of the throat (inflammation of the paranasal sinuses). The methods of treating dry and wet cough are not the same. 

Home remedies for a dry cough 

A dry cough appears as a consequence of irritation of the upper respiratory tract. The methods leading to hydration of the mucous membrane of the airways are helpful in this case, which inhibits the cumbersome dry cough. 

An effective way to moisturize the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract are the inhalations that the nebuliser serves. The device is available at any pharmacy. 

Inhalations of the upper respiratory tract 

The method of its use is very simple. They can be used by both children and adults. Performing the inhalation with a nebulizer consists in filling the container with a saline solution and then inhaling through a mask that escapes from the nebulizer. Adults may also use a simpler method of inhalation, which involves inhaling the vapor rising from a bowl of hot water. With regard to children, this method is dangerous because it is easy to burn. Adults should also be cautious. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or mint oil to a hot bowl of water. 

Warm milk with butter and honey 

Lightly heated milk with the addition of honey and butter moisturizes the throat. Butter and honey coat the mucous membrane covering the throat, thus making the cough refuse disappear. It is worth drinking this drink already in the first days of throat infection. 

An infusion of linseed 

A slightly less palatable proposal for a dry cough is linseed. Its effect is similar to the effect of milk consumption with butter and honey. An infusion of linseed can also cause a laxative effect. The consistency is dense but heterogeneous, so this drink does not have too many amateurs. 

Other homemade beverages and infusions that help in the treatment of dry cough include pine stem syrup, marjoram infusion and hot tea with lemon and raspberry juice. 

Home-made ways for a wet cough 

The methods described above will not work in the case of wet cough. This condition requires the use of expectorants. Inhalations using a nebulizer are helpful in case of a wet cough, however, instead of saline, you should use a hypertonic salt solution. 

Syrup of garlic and onions 

The home-made garlic and onion syrup will also help to relieve the symptoms of a wet cough. Cut one clove of garlic and medium-sized onions into small cubes, then mix the vegetable with a spoon of honey and put it in the fridge. After a few hours, the syrup is ready. Instead of honey, you can use sugar. Garlic is a vegetable with bactericidal properties. He is responsible for, among others allicin. 

Ginger for a wet cough 

Ginger contains substances with an expectorant effect. It can be used to relieve wet cough. An advantage of ginger is also bactericidal properties. Warm tea with ginger can be helpful as a home-made way to relieve the symptoms of colds and a wet cough. 


The methods described above for dry and wet cough can be used in the early days of infection of the upper respiratory tract. If the cough persists for longer than 3 days and if there are other symptoms or if the cough increases, consult a physician immediately. 


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