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12 Best Remedies To Say Goodbye To Your Dry Cough

By Riddhi Parmar +2 more

Currently, the cough is the most dreading symptom one can have. It is one of the common symptoms of COVID-19 infection. This reason makes us take extra care of our throat and respiratory system. Although, cough is not dangerous every time. Sometimes, it can be in a milder form due to some other causes. However, nothing is more annoying than a persistent dry cough. It not only irritate your throat but also hamper your daily activity. 

A cough is your body’s defensive reflex that functions to keep your airways clear of irritating or obstructing substances so you can breathe effectively. It is also known as an unproductive cough because this type of cough doesn’t produce mucus or phlegm. 

home remedies for dry cough

Causes of dry cough 

A dry cough can be the result of various factors, and understanding dry cough causes is essential for effective management. The causes of dry cough are as follows:

  • Viral infection, such as cold, influenza, COVID-19 infection.
  • Post-viral illness cough-cough that persists for weeks after a viral illness.
  • Allergy – dust allergy or pollen allergy
  • Smoking 
  • Post-nasal drip – the drainage of mucus secretions from the nose or sinuses down the back of the throat.
  • Asthma 
  • Tuberculosis 
  • Laryngitis 
  • Due to foreign body inhalation.
  • certain types of lung disease known as interstitial lung disease. 
  • Medication-induced like ACE inhibitors induced cough 

In most cases, people use over-the-counter drugs to get instant relief. However, to rule out the underlying cause is essential if the cough is persistent for more than 2 weeks. Until then, you can manage the symptoms of a cough at home with these simple dry cough home remedies.

Also Read: Essential Oils for Congestion: A Research-Based Guide for Relief

Did you know?

Home remedies for dry cough 

If you’re wondering how to get rid of a dry cough then these are quick and effective home remedies that you can try: 

1: Warm drinks 

Staying warm and hydrated is vital for those with a cough or cold. A quick and effective dry cough remedy is to drink hot beverages as it may relieve your symptoms immediately. Warm water, clear broths, herbal teas may reduce the dry cough, throat irritation, and chills instantly and remained for a continued period after finishing the hot beverage.

2: Saltwater gargles 

It is one of the most effective home remedies for treating a sore throat and cough. It reduces the inflammation of the throat and the bouts of cough. 

Stir half a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water until it dissolves. Allow the solution to cool slightly before using it to gargle.

3: Ginger 

Ginger is the first home remedy that will come into our minds whenever we think about the cough. It possesses anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps boost immunity and relieve the accumulated mucus in the respiratory tract. There is evidence that ginger may suppress the cough reflex by relaxing the smooth muscles of the airways.

Ginger may be found in many food items and teas. Ginger tea is an excellent option to get rid of dry cough and the blocking sensation. Adding honey may make it even more beneficial for dry cough.

4: Raw honey 

Raw honey is one of the oldest home remedies to treat cough. It helps to soothe your throat and reduce irritation. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that may potentially temper minor bacterial or viral infections. 

You can add 2 teaspoons of honey to a glass full of warm water and drink it once daily. Also, you can use honey as a substitute for the sugar in your tea.

5: Turmeric 

Turmeric is a great antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory agent that helps your body recover from any infection. It contains curcumin that helps to ease cough and other symptoms of asthma. Turmeric is beneficial to treat upper respiratory conditions, bronchitis, and tonsillitis too. 

You can make your regular tea and add half a teaspoon of turmeric into it, or else you may add 2-3 black pepper seeds in it for better results.

6: Licorice root

Licorice root has been used since 2100 B.C. and is said to alleviate pain, clear phlegm, and ease cough. Licorice root tea may help to reduce throat irritation and congestion. It is available in any grocery shop. 

7: Marshmallow root

Marshmallow root is an ancient type of herb beneficial to treat dry cough. Some studies suggest its effectiveness in soothing the throat and reducing the irritation caused by a dry cough.

8: Mint leaves 

Mint leaves contain menthol that helps numb the throat nerves that may reduce recurrent bouts of dry cough. It also helps in clearing the congestion of the throat. For a quick and effective home remedy for dry cough you can add 3-5 leaves of peppermint to your tea and boil it for a few minutes before drinking. 

9: Chilli Peppers

Chilli peppers contain a compound known as Capsaicin, which binds to pain receptors and causes the characteristic burning sensation when we consume spicy food. Studies have shown that consuming a controlled amount of chilli powder (which contains capsaicin) can significantly improve the sensitivity of the throat and thereby control dry cough to some extent.

10: Aromatherapy

Taking advantage of aromatherapy by adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to hot water and inhaling the vapours may also help ease the dry cough symptoms. Since existing research literature has proven the benefits of eucalyptus oil in the treatment of respiratory illnesses, this is one great home remedy for dry cough.

11: Humidifiers

Studies have proven that for people who are recovering from thyroid surgeries, having a humidifier at home can significantly reduce soreness of the throat as well as coughing. Since humidifiers help to soothe the throat, they can also be used effectively to temporarily suppress the symptoms of dry cough as well.

12: Thyme Tea

Thyme is a herb that has multiple health benefits. It may serve as a natural dry cough treatment as it contains an antispasmodic compound, which is a substance that helps to relax muscles. As a result, regular consumption of controlled amounts of thyme tea can greatly help to soothe the throat muscles and provide long-term relief from constant coughing. 

Read more about: Turmeric: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Dry cough vs Wet cough: Understanding the Differences

Dry Cough:

1. Characteristics:

  • Dry cough is often characterized by a tickling or scratching sensation in the throat.
  • It is non-productive, meaning there is little to no mucus or phlegm expelled during coughing.

2. Causes:

  • Common causes include viral infections like the flu or cold, allergies, or irritants such as smoke or dust.
  • Postnasal drip, where mucus drips down the back of the throat, can also trigger a dry cough.

3. Symptoms:

  • Irritation or soreness in the throat.
  • Persistent and often accompanied by a hoarse voice.

4. Treatment:

  • Remedies often focus on soothing the throat, such as staying hydrated, using lozenges, or using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

Wet Cough:

1. Characteristics:

  • Wet coughs are associated with the production of excess mucus or phlegm in the respiratory tract.
  • Coughing is productive, as it helps clear the airways by expelling mucus.

2. Causes:

  • Respiratory infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia, are common culprits of wet coughs.
  • Environmental factors, smoking, or chronic conditions like asthma can also contribute.

3. Symptoms:

  • Presence of mucus or phlegm when coughing.
  • Rattling or congestion in the chest.

4. Treatment:

  • Hydration is crucial for thinning mucus and making it easier to expel.
  • Medications, like expectorants, may be recommended to help loosen and clear mucus from the airways.

Understanding the distinctions between dry and wet coughs helps in appropriate management and targeted treatments based on the underlying causes. Always consult with a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and personalized care.

When to see a doctor?

Sometimes, the aforementioned dry cough remedies may not be effective against a persistent and stubborn cough. It may foreshadow a more serious chronic disease or those dealing with diseases like IPF (Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis), lung cancer and heart disease that can worsen if the cough is left untreated for a long time.  It’s essential to consult a doctor to understand the potential dry cough reasons for proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Usually, a combination of two or more of the below mentioned symptoms leads to a more serious issue

  • High (prolonged) fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Loss in appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness in the body
  • Chest pain when not coughing
  • Night sweats

For instance, serious coughing is a common indicator of IPF, but it is generally accompanied by some other symptoms like shortness of breath as well. Hence, if you try out the dry cough remedies at home and they do not improve your situation, it is always advised to visit the doctor and do a full check-up. 

FAQs

What causes a dry cough?

A dry cough can be caused by various factors, such as respiratory infections (common cold, flu), allergies, exposure to irritants (dust, smoke), GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), asthma and certain medications. Identifying the underlying cause is essential for proper treatment.

How long does a dry cough last?

The duration of a dry cough depends on its cause. In most cases, a dry cough caused by a viral infection can last for 1 to 3 weeks. However, if it persists for more than three weeks or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical evaluation.

Can a dry cough be a symptom of COVID-19?

Yes, a dry cough is one of the common symptoms of COVID-19, along with fever, fatigue and difficulty breathing. If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19 and experience a dry cough, it’s essential to get tested and follow public health guidelines.

How to relieve a dry cough at home?

Home remedies to relieve a dry cough include staying hydrated, using a humidifier, sucking on lozenges or throat candies, drinking warm herbal teas and avoiding irritants like smoke or strong odours. However, if a dry cough persists or worsens, seeking medical advice is recommended.

Can allergies cause a dry cough?

Yes, allergies can cause a dry cough, especially when allergens like pollen, pet dander or mould are inhaled. Treating allergies with antihistamines or avoiding allergens can help alleviate the cough.

When should I see a doctor for a dry cough?

If a dry cough lasts for more than three weeks and is accompanied by chest pain, difficulty breathing or coughing up blood, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly.

Can a dry cough be a sign of asthma?

Yes, a dry cough can be a symptom of asthma, especially in individuals with allergic asthma. An asthma-related cough may be triggered by allergens, respiratory infections or cold air. It’s crucial to get a proper evaluation and management for asthma symptoms.

Are there any over-the-counter remedies for a dry cough?

Yes, over-the-counter cough suppressants and lozenges can provide temporary relief for a dry cough. However, it’s essential to use them as directed and consult a pharmacist or healthcare professional if you have other health conditions or take medications.

Can a dry cough be a symptom of GERD?

Yes, a dry cough can be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Stomach acid refluxing into the esophagus can irritate the throat and cause a chronic dry cough. Managing GERD with lifestyle changes and medications can help alleviate the cough.

Can smoking cause a dry cough?

Yes, smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke can irritate the respiratory tract and lead to a chronic dry cough. Quitting smoking or avoiding smoke exposure is essential for improving respiratory health and reducing the cough.

Why do I have a dry cough at night?

A dry cough at night could be triggered by factors such as postnasal drip, allergens, or irritants. It may also result from respiratory conditions like asthma or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Consulting a healthcare professional can help identify the specific cause and determine an effective treatment plan.

Is dry cough dangerous?

While a dry cough itself may not be inherently dangerous, it can be a symptom of underlying health issues, including respiratory infections or chronic conditions. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

Is bronchitis a dry cough?

Bronchitis can present with both dry and productive coughs. Initially, it may start as a dry cough and later progress to a cough with mucus. If you suspect bronchitis, it’s advisable to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Is dry cough contagious?

A dry cough itself is not contagious, as it is a symptom rather than a disease. However, if the underlying cause, such as a viral or bacterial infection, is contagious, the transmission risk lies in the infectious agent responsible for the cough.

Is dry cough symptoms of TB?

Yes, a persistent dry cough is one of the symptoms of tuberculosis (TB). If someone experiences this along with other TB symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, and night sweats, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for evaluation and appropriate care.

Is dry cough a symptom of pneumonia?

Yes, a persistent dry cough can be a symptom of pneumonia, along with other signs such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and fever. If someone experiences these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

 Is dry cough symptoms of cancer?

While a dry cough can be a symptom of certain types of cancer, it is essential to note that many other conditions can cause similar symptoms. If someone experiences persistent or concerning symptoms like a chronic dry cough, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Is dry cough a symptom of early pregnancy?

A dry cough is not typically considered a common symptom of early pregnancy. Common early pregnancy symptoms include nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness, and changes in appetite. If you suspect pregnancy and experience unusual symptoms like a persistent dry cough, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.

Is dry cough a symptom of HIV?

While a dry cough is not a specific symptom of HIV, respiratory issues can occur as a result of advanced HIV infection or related opportunistic infections. If concerned about HIV or experiencing persistent symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical advice for proper testing and evaluation.

Can dry cough cause vomiting?

A dry cough itself typically doesn’t cause vomiting, but the forceful nature of persistent coughing may trigger vomiting in some cases. If cough-induced vomiting becomes frequent or severe, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation.

Can dry cough cause chest pain?

Yes, a persistent dry cough can cause chest pain due to the repeated strain on chest muscles and irritation of the respiratory passages. If chest pain is severe or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, seeking medical advice is recommended for proper evaluation and management.

Can dry cough cause shortness of breath?

A dry cough may lead to shortness of breath, particularly if it irritates the airways or is associated with respiratory conditions. If experiencing significant or worrisome shortness of breath, consulting a healthcare professional is important for a thorough evaluation and appropriate care.

Can dry cough cause sore throat?

Yes, a dry cough can contribute to a sore throat by causing irritation and inflammation in the throat tissues. If the sore throat persists or worsens, seeking medical advice is recommended for proper evaluation and management.

Can a dry cough cause fever?

A dry cough itself may not directly cause a fever, but it can be a symptom of an underlying infection or illness that may include fever. If a dry cough is accompanied by a fever or other concerning symptoms, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate care.

Can clove cure dry cough?

Clove is known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and it may help alleviate symptoms of a dry cough. Infusing clove in hot water to make a tea or using clove oil in moderation can be considered as a complementary remedy, but consulting with a healthcare professional for persistent or severe symptoms is essential.

Can I eat banana in dry cough?

Yes, bananas can be beneficial during a dry cough as they are easy to digest and contain essential nutrients that can help soothe the throat. The soft texture and natural sugars in bananas may provide comfort, but individual preferences and tolerances vary, so it’s essential to consider personal dietary needs.

Can I workout with dry cough?

Exercising with a dry cough is generally okay if symptoms are mild and don’t involve difficulty breathing or chest pain. However, it’s advisable to listen to your body, stay hydrated, and consider reducing the intensity or duration of the workout if the cough worsens during physical activity. If in doubt, consulting with a healthcare professional is recommended.

Can dehydration cause dry cough?

Dehydration can contribute to a dry cough by causing throat irritation and reduced mucus production. Staying adequately hydrated is important for maintaining respiratory health and can help alleviate dry cough symptoms.

Does dry cough need antibiotics?

Not all dry coughs require antibiotics, as they are often caused by viral infections. Antibiotics are effective against bacterial infections, so their use should be determined by a healthcare professional based on the specific cause of the cough.

Does dry cough cause wheezing?

While a dry cough itself may not directly cause wheezing, it can be associated with underlying respiratory conditions that may lead to wheezing. If wheezing occurs alongside a dry cough, it’s crucial to seek medical attention for a thorough evaluation and appropriate management.

What helps a dry cough?

Drinking warm liquids, using a humidifier, and staying hydrated can help soothe a dry cough. Over-the-counter cough suppressants or honey mixed with warm water are also often recommended, but it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice based on the underlying cause of the cough.

What is dry cough?

A dry cough is a cough that doesn’t produce mucus or phlegm. It can be caused by various factors, including viral infections, irritants, allergies, or underlying health conditions.

Is dry cough related to heart disease?

A dry cough is generally not directly linked to heart disease. However, persistent coughing can be a symptom of heart failure or other cardiovascular issues, so it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.

Does dry cough have mucus?

No, a dry cough typically does not produce mucus. Unlike productive coughs associated with respiratory infections, allergies, or colds, a dry cough is characterized by the absence of phlegm or mucus.

Does dry cough affect pregnancy?

While a dry cough itself is generally not harmful to pregnancy, underlying causes such as infections or respiratory conditions may pose risks. Pregnant individuals experiencing persistent coughing should consult their healthcare provider for proper evaluation and guidance.

What are the home remedies for dry cough at night?

Soothing home remedies for nighttime dry cough include drinking warm herbal teas with honey, using a humidifier to add moisture to the air, and inhaling steam. Additionally, staying hydrated and avoiding irritants can contribute to relief.

Why do I have a dry cough after I eat?

A dry cough after eating may be due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), where stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. It can irritate the throat, causing coughing. Dietary triggers, such as spicy or acidic foods, can exacerbate this symptom.

Is dry cough symptoms of typhoid?

No, a dry cough is not a typical symptom of typhoid fever. Typhoid symptoms primarily include sustained high fever, abdominal pain, headache, and gastrointestinal issues. If experiencing a dry cough, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Does humidifier helps with dry cough?

Yes, using a humidifier can help alleviate a dry cough by adding moisture to the air, soothing the respiratory passages and reducing irritation. It is particularly beneficial in dry environments or during the winter months when indoor heating systems can contribute to dry air.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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Davinder

My mother has suffering with cough and we use many madicine but results is Zero kindly suggest me how to remove cough at home

Aman

Wow! great knowledgeable article. Thanks for such an amazing remedies

Ashir Sahal

You are most welcome. Hope you found it useful.

J. Wahome

It was very helpful

reyhan

thanks alot of information