HomeHealth articlescoughHome Remedies to Get Rid of a Cough in Five Minutes?

Home remedies can relieve coughing in five minutes. Read the article below for remedies and instructions on how to get rid of a cough.

Written by

Dr. Saberitha

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Aishwarya Ilavarasan

Published At November 29, 2022
Reviewed AtFebruary 14, 2023


A cough is a reflex elicited by the body to expel irritants or mucus. A productive cough clears the bronchial tubes or air passages. It disturbs sleep and daily physical activities. The cells present in the airway trigger the immune system to produce a cough. If the inflammation is reduced, there will be relief from the symptoms of cough.

What Are the Home Remedies to Get Rid of a Cough in Five Minutes?

  • Honey - Honey is a natural ingredient that is used to treat cough. It can be mixed with lukewarm water or tea. Drink this mixture twice a day. Two teaspoons of honey are used to treat dry cough. It is the best remedy for cough in adults and children above one year.

  • Ginger - Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to treat dry cough or cough due to asthma. The inflammatory ingredients reduce the irritation in the air passages and relax the breathing muscles. Add two to three small pieces of ginger to herbal tea or hot water. Boil it for a few minutes and allow it to be steep. Add a few drops of lemon to the mixture. This helps to soothe the throat and relieves the cough.

  • Marshmallow Root - Marshmallow is rich in mucilage content. Due to its thick and viscous consistency, it coats the throat and relieves the sore throat. It is available as a dried herb. Add the dried herb to hot water and allow it to cool. The mucilage is produced in the water from the dried herb. Drink excess plain water after drinking marshmallow herb.

  • Pineapple - Pineapple has anti-inflammatory and mucolytic properties due to the presence of an enzyme called bromelain. Pineapple juice helps to reduce mucus and relieve cough. It is useful to expel mucus during a productive cough. Avoid chilled pineapple juice as it may trigger a cold and cough.

  • Thyme - Thyme has medicinal properties and is used to treat inflammation of the air passages, sore throat, and cough. It is rich in antioxidants. Add two teaspoons of dried thyme to water, heat, and steep the mixture for eight to ten minutes. Strain it before drinking.

  • Elm - Elm contains high mucilage content. It is available in dried form. Add one teaspoon of elm to water and heat it. It is available in powder or capsule form. Consult a physician before taking elm tea as it interferes with drug absorption.

What Are the Instructions to Follow to Relieve the Symptoms of Cough?

  • Stay Hydrated - It is important to stay hydrated during flu or dry cough. Drink plenty of water to prevent dryness in the throat because dryness produces irritation and induces a cough reflex. Drink lukewarm water to soothe the sore throat.

  • Take Steam - Steam inhalation can reduce the thickness of the mucus and helps to expel it. Take steam inhalation for five to seven minutes to get relief from the cough. Add herbs like eucalyptus or rosemary oil to the hot water. It helps to relieve nasal congestion.

  • Take Hot Shower - A hot shower or wiping the face with a towel dipped in hot water helps to relieve congestion. The phlegm is usually discarded after a hot bath. It gives relief from coughing, and the individual feels fresh after a hot shower.

  • Gargle - Saltwater can be used to treat sore throat. It is a natural ingredient that is used against respiratory infections. Add one teaspoon of rock salt to lukewarm water and gargle it for 30 seconds. It reduces the mucus in the airways. Repeat the same procedure many times a day.

  • Change the Food Habits - Acid reflux may cause cough in some individuals. The foods that trigger acid reflux are citrus fruits and spicy and fried foods. The drinks such as caffeine and alcohol also enhance acid reflux. So avoid eating foods that trigger acid reflux until recovery from a cough or respiratory illness.

What Are the Medications to Treat Coughs?

  • Dextromethorphan - Dextromethorphan can be used to suppress the symptoms of cough. It reduces mucus production in the lungs. It can also be used to treat the flu and the common cold. Do not take any drug without the advice of a medical professional.

  • N-Acetylcysteine - It can be used as a daily supplement. It lessens the severity of wet cough and reduces the frequency of mucus production. The patient with bronchitis or inflammation in the bronchi can intake N-acetylcysteine. It decreases the inflammatory response. It reduces mucus buildup and prevents airway obstruction.

  • Probiotics - Probiotics cannot be used for the treatment of cough. But it can be used to boost the immune system. It helps the body fight against infections and allergies. A bacteria named Lactobacillus is used to prevent common colds. They are available in supplements. Foods like yogurt and kimchi are rich in probiotics.

What Are the Necessary Precautionary Measures to Prevent Coughing?

  • Try to stay away from sick people to prevent illnesses like the flu and cough.

  • The individual must wash their hands regularly to avoid allergies. Alcohol-based sanitizers are proven to be effective against microbial infections. So use it during travel and work.

  • Do deep breathing exercises to relax the breathing muscles. Stress can affect the immune system of the body. Meditation helps to relieve stress and boosts the immune mechanism. Have regular sleep of six to eight hours to keep the body healthy.

  • Take supplements that are rich in zinc and vitamin C. It alleviates the immune system and reduces respiratory illnesses such as colds, wet coughs, and flu.


Do not ignore the long-lasting cough. Consult a physician if the cough is present for more than three to four weeks. Chronic cough may be due to underlying systemic diseases. So it is better to treat systemic diseases to get rid of cough. Stay away from allergens, dust, and pollen to avoid cough symptoms. Get regular flu shots to prevent respiratory illness.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of a Cough?

Some home remedies and over-the-counter medicines can help get rid of coughs in the fastest way possible. Home remedies include the consumption of ginger, honey, marshmallow root, thyme, and elm tea. Medicines include Dextromethorphan and N-Acetylcysteine. Apart from these, taking steam, drinking lots of fluids, and taking warm saline gargles also aid in relieving coughs quickly.


What Is the Average Duration of a Cough?

A cough can occur for various reasons. It can be due to bacteria, viruses, or allergies. The duration of the cough depends on the cause of the cough. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a common cold cough usually lasts up to ten to 14 days. The flu cough lasts longer than the common cold. It usually stays around for 14 days or more. Chronic bronchitis cough lasts around three weeks. Pneumonia cough lasts up to six weeks. Allergic cough may persist for weeks to months, depending on the allergen.


How to Cure Dry Cough in Five Minutes?

To cure a dry cough in five minutes, try these remedies:
- Take one tablespoon of honey.
- Drink hot water and hot ginger tea.
- Suck on a hard cough lozenge.
- Using a humidifier can also help.
- Warm saline gargles multiple times a day.


How To Cure Cough At Night?

To get rid of a cough at night for a night of sound sleep, try these tips:
- Use an extra pillow to keep the head elevated.
- Before going to bed, take honey or menthol lozenge.
- Before bedtime, take steam. Additionally, one can use a humidifier because a humidifier can make the surrounding air moist. 
- Use a saline nasal spray.
- Have hot fluids like tea or soup.


Which Foods Should Not Be Eaten When Having Cough?

Foods that should be avoided while coughing are citrus fruits, fried foods, and spicy foods. Apart from this, cold beverages or ice cream should be avoided. Drinking alcohol and smoking can worsen the cough, so they should be avoided. Milk, yogurt, and sugary foods can stimulate mucus and should be avoided.


What Makes Cough Worse at Night?

When someone has a cold, a sinus infection, or the flu, mucus from their congested nose or sinuses may drip into their throat as they lie down to sleep. People might cough more at night because of this. Apart from these common conditions, some underlying medical conditions can also cause coughing at night. These are asthma, allergies, heartburn, or gastroesophageal reflux disease.


What Foods to Eat While Coughing?

The foods that are good while coughing are chicken soups, ginger tea, broccoli, kale, green tea, garlic, blueberries, coconut water, honey, and green leafy vegetables. These foods are rich in the essential nutrients required to cure coughs.


Is It Okay to Have Milk While Coughing?

It is a common belief that milk should be avoided while coughing. And it can stimulate mucus production. However, research has not proven it; insufficient evidence supports this belief. 


What Kind of Cough Is Serious?

A cough that persists beyond four weeks or a long-lasting cough should not be ignored, as it may be a sign of tuberculosis. Additionally, blood in the cough, difficulty breathing while coughing, or pain in the chest with a cough indicate serious issues.


Does Coughing Benefit the Lungs?

Coughing is a reflex that protects the airway and lungs from irritants. When individuals cough, air and other particles can be expelled from their lungs and pharynx at rates close to 50 miles per hour. It is normal to cough occasionally because it helps clean one's throat and the airways of bacteria, mucus, and dust.


Does Sleeping Help With a Cough?

Yes, getting plenty of rest and sleep helps with coughing, as the body needs rest to recover. It is suggested to get lots of sleep, as the body can heal from coughs and colds with the aid of sleep. Using a humidifier while sleeping can have advantages.


What Causes a Cough to Get Worse?

Dry air inside the room can make the cough worse. Additionally, sipping up cold beverages or foods that trigger a cough and not taking enough liquids and rest aid in the cough. 
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Dr. Aishwarya Ilavarasan
Dr. Aishwarya Ilavarasan


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