Best Herbal Teas for Cough – Natural and Effective!

Best Herbal Teas for Cough – Natural and Effective!

Herbal teas are one of the best home remedies for cough. They are warm and nice to drink, provide you with important fluids and contain many natural and effective compounds that help with cough and the related symptoms. Read this article to find out what are the best herbal teas for treating cough!

Ginger Tea

Ginger root tea is a traditional cough remedy in Chinese and Indian medicine. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and its spiciness helps with opening up your airways.

The beneficial effects of ginger have been reported in the literature and there is also research-based evidence that ginger helps with relaxing the muscles of airways. A study performed on 92 asthma patients suggests that ginger significantly helps with nocturnal coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness.

The benefits of ginger in treating cough:

  • It contains gingerol and shogaol, which are the main active ingredients related to its health benefits. They are antimicrobial compounds that help with fighting the viruses causing cough and sore throat.
  • It has a high concentration of antioxidants that help your body with getting rid of pathogens by boosting your immune system.
  • Its anti-inflammatory properties help with chest and throat inflammation associated with cough.
  • It stimulates mucus secretion which helps in clearing your airways from mucus and relieves the irritation that causes coughing.
  • The oleoresin of ginger has antitussive abilities, that can help with suppressing a cough.
  • It is an expectorant, meaning it helps with loosening and ejecting of mucus from your lungs.
  • It helps with unclogging your sinuses and allowing phlegm to exit.

As you can see, ginger tea is one of the best herbal teas for cough! It is completely natural and doesn’t cause any side effects. Also, I think think that ginger tea tastes very good, just the smell of it and inhaling the steam evaporating from ginger tea helps.

Best Herbal Teas for Cough: Ginger Tea

Licorice Root Tea

Licorice root is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and it’s known for its antiviral and antimicrobial abilities. It is used to relieve irritating cough caused by itching and irritation of the throat and bronchial tubes. Licorice tea enables your body to create a protective layer of mucus that relieves the irritation in your airways. Licorice tea works best when you gargle it in your mouth for a while before swallowing it.

In general, licorice is considered to be safe. However, people with heart disease, kidney disease, or high blood pressure should avoid consuming large amounts of it.

Marshmallow Root Tea

Marshmallow root is a traditional cure of Native Americans used especially for treating respiratory illnesses such as coughing. It is good for relieving a strong and painful, spasmodic dry cough. Marshmallow works in a similar way with licorice root, it forms a layer of protective mucus that prevents coughing.

There is a small study available where cough syrup containing marshmallow root along with other ingredients was used to treat cough. In the study, the herbal cough syrup was found to be effective.

Marshmallow root has not been researched thoroughly, but it is considered safe to use. However, it should not be given to children under 3 years old.

Thyme Tea

Thyme tea is considered to be one of the best herbal remedies for cough and chest congestion. The essential oil from its leaves helps in opening up airways. Thyme also contains a lot of vitamin C and vitamin A which can boost your immune system. When you prepare thyme tea it is recommended to inhale the steam because it can offer additional help with opening your respiratory tracts.

A study where an extract containing thyme and ivy leaves was given to adults suffering from bronchitis and cough, indicates that thyme has potential in helping with a cough. In this study, no side effects were noted and thyme is generally considered safe to use.

Fresh thyme is one of the best herbs for cough

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is known to help with pain and it has anti-inflammatory properties thanks to the oils that its flowers contain. Studies also indicate that inhaling the steam that contains chamomile extract helps with relieving symptoms of common colds. Chamomile can also lubricate your throat and help with a sore throat and hoarse voice.

Slippery Elm Tea

Slippery elm is a tree that grows in the central and eastern parts of North America. Native Americans have used slippery elm for centuries as a natural relief for coughing. It acts in a similar way as marshmallow root because it also contains a high amount of mucilage. Inner barks of particular elm species are used for preparing the tea.

Hot tea made of slippery elm soothes the throat and suppresses cough by creating a protective mucus layer and increasing the lubrication. It can also help with throat infections that can be the reason for coughing. There is not yet enough research on the benefits of slippery elm, but experiences on its use are promising.

Mint Tea

The strong odor of mint helps with opening up airways and making breathing easier. Mint also acts as an expectorant, meaning it helps with getting rid of phlegm and recovering faster. Mint also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help with reducing the respiratory inflammation often associated with coughing.

One of the strongest active compounds of mint is menthol, which is antibacterial, helps in breaking down mucus and soothes the throat. Peppermint has the highest concentration of menthol. Peppermint oil contains up to 48% of menthol while spearmint only contains a very minimal amount of it. Both drinking peppermint tea, and inhaling peppermint vapor, are good for relieving cough.

Best Combinations

So it’s a good thing that there are many powerful herbal teas that can relieve your cough. But what’s even better than that, is combining them with each other, or with other ingredients such as honey and lemon! Here are some combinations that are even more effective than any single-component herbal tea.

Ginger, Honey, and Lemon Tea

As explained earlier, ginger tea is a very effective cough remedy. But what if you would add two more powerful ingredients like honey and lemon juice?

Honey, ginger and lemon tea is very effective in helping with cough and colds

According to this study, honey can relieve cough even better than cough syrup that contains dextromethorphan. It is best to use organic raw honey that has plenty of phytonutrients and antibacterial and antifungal power. It also contains beneficial enzymes. These delicate compounds are often destroyed when honey is processed.

Adding lemon juice gives a nice strong flavor and it contains vitamin C and antioxidants. By combining these three ingredients, you get a tea that is not only very potent in treating cough, but also tastes very good! This is my personal favorite!

Licorice, Chamomile, and Peppermint Tea

Try this nice and gentle combination of three herbs before going to sleep. Chamomile eases your pain and lubricates the throat while the licorice root soothes the mucous membranes and gives natural sweetness to the tea. Peppermint is the final touch that gives a pleasant and fresh taste and helps open up your nose and throat!

Thyme, Marshmellow Root and Wild Cherry Bark Tea

Thyme opens up your airways and provides important vitamins while marshmallow root helps with soothing the irritated throat. Add some wild cherry bark that acts as an expectorant and helps to clear out the phlegm in your throat and lungs. And why not pour in some raw honey to make it even more effective and better tasting!

Best Herbal Teas and Blends for Cough

Herbal teas are an excellent and very healthy way of fighting cough and easing its symptoms. Also, most of the herbal teas taste very good. However, if your cough is very severe, you have difficulties with breathing or sleeping, or it has lasted for more than a week, you should probably go and see a doctor.

In addition to drinking herbal teas, it’s important to rest and drink a lot of fluids. A hot shower can also be very effective in making you feel better and getting the phlegm out of your body. If you have a normal cough often paired with a common cold, these herbal teas combined with rest should get you back in condition within a couple of days!

In my opinion, these are the best herbal teas and blends for treating cough. I hope you found this article useful and the herbal teas here helped with your cough.

What is your favorite herbal tea for cough? Is it missing from this article? Please share your comments and experiences with cough and herbal teas below.

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10 thoughts on “Best Herbal Teas for Cough – Natural and Effective!”

  1. I’ve recently been having a cough, cough syrup doesn’t seem to be helping as much nowadays. This could be my saving grace! The flavors which most stick out to me are ginger and marshmallow, but I might try others, a good cleanse is what I need. Great post, thanks for the advice!

    • Thanks for your comment Scott. I hope herbal teas can provide some help for your cough and you will get well soon!
      -Joonas

  2. Hi Joonas, I’m glad have a read at this post! People are more likely to get cough this period of time when the season is changing. I think the herbal teas you mentioned in your post will be favored by many people. After all, people prefers drinking teas other than medicines. Personally, i have tried before the combination tea of ginger, honey, and lemon. Surprisingly, it tastes so good!

    • Hi Shaun!

      Yes, ginger, lemon, honey tea really tastes good! I also like mint and licorice tea. It’s always better to go with natural remedies instead of taking factory produced medicine unless you get really sick. But nowadays people tend to take too many medicines even for small problems like a minor cough. Thanks for your comment and have a great day!

      -Joonas

  3. I have heard of teas that help the cough and the throat when your have a cold. I do have a question for you, how many times do you drink the tea? Does it help you stop coughing until you have to drink the tea again? And is it safe for kids?

    • Thanks for your comment and questions Claudia!

      I usually drink as much herbal tea as I feel like having. For example, if I feel very sick and I’m just laying on the bed, I make a big thermos full of ginger, honey, and lemon tea and keep on sipping it constantly because it makes me feel better.

      Sometimes, if I’m not that sick, I will just prepare some herbal tea in the morning, after lunch and before going to bed. It really depends on the tea and how sick you are, but herbal tea can help you stop coughing for several hours. Unfortunately, sometimes a cough is so bad that nothing seems to really help for a long time. In this scenario, you just have to keep on sipping some strong herbal tea constantly.

      All of the herbal teas listed here are safe for kids over 3 years old. However, I would be a little bit careful with marshmallow root, licorice root, and slippery elm tea, better not to give too much of those for young children.

      -Joonas

  4. Hi Joonas,

    I’m a huge tea nut and have tried all of these separately or together at one point in time. I have found that the best tea for me personally when I have a sore throat or cough is something called throat comfort by Yogi Tea. It has a lot of the things you discussed above in it to include licorice root and ginger root. I mix it with some honey and it’s a life saver. I am going to try something with wild cherry bark next time as I think that may be the one up there I haven’t tried. Thank you for the great post!

    • Hi Dan!

      I haven’t tried throat comfort from Yogi, but I will for sure try it soon since you recommend it! Go ahead and try the wild cherry bark, it’s very nice. Thanks for the comment!

      -Joonas

  5. Ginger, honey, and lemon tea have proved itself during many flue epidemics over and over again, it’s a bomb for bacteria. It’s amazing how nature takes care of us. Thanks for sharing this fantastic information.

    • Hi Ivan!

      Yes, I also use ginger, honey, and lemon tea every time I have a cough and flu, it works really well. Thanks for your comment!

      -Joonas

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