10 Natural Home Remedies for Your Child's Cough

10 Natural Home Remedies for Your Child's Cough

It's that time of year again when sniffles and sneezes spread like wildfire, and kids seem to catch everything in sight. This unfortunately means watching your child suffer a bout with the cold or flu every now and then — a worrying experience for any parent. 

But fear not.

There are plenty of natural remedies you can try at home to help with your child's cough and congestion. Here, we'll explore 10 of them to speed up your child's recovery and get them back to being their happy and healthy selves.

Cozy Up With Chicken Soup

One timeless remedy for the common cold is a comforting chicken broth. 

Beyond its delicious flavor, chicken soup has long been known for its healing properties. 

But how and why does this actually work? 

Chicken broth contains a natural amino acid called N-acetyl cysteine, a powerful antioxidant that helps strengthen immunity. It's a natural and easy way to help your child's body fight off viruses and clear up their cough. Additionally, the warmth from the soup helps to soothe and moisten an irritated throat. 

Bonus tip: try adding some herbal ingredients such as thyme and turmeric, which are also known for helping to relieve cold and flu symptoms.  

tea

Sip A Cup of Soothing Tea

A warm cup of tea can also work wonders to ease your child's cold symptoms.

The gentle steam from a hot drink provides a soothing effect for their throat and respiratory passages. This helps relieve the irritated muscles in the throat that cause frequent coughing. 

For even more benefits, try infusing the tea with ingredients such as honey, ginger, and lemon — all known for having therapeutic properties, which we'll explore further in the next section.

And for another bonus, consider adding tea time to their nightly routine (just make sure that it’s caffeine-free). It’s a cozy and comfortable way for your child to wind down from a tough day, promoting relaxation and easing them into a good night’s rest. 

Infuse Recipes With Honey, Ginger, and Lemon

Honey, ginger, and lemon are three simple yet powerful ingredients. You can easily add them into a warm cup of tea or mix them into any other drinks and dishes.

Honey boasts natural antioxidant properties, and studies show that just a single dose can help reduce mucus production and coughing. 

Ginger, an age-old herbal remedy, is well-known for its anti-inflammatory healing benefits, providing powerful relief for the cold and flu.  

Lemon, which goes great with honey, is an excellent source of Vitamin C as well other immune-boosting nutrients such as potassium and Vitamin B.

Whether combined or used separately, these everyday ingredients provide a natural way to ease a persistent cough.

(Note: While honey is generally safe and healthy, the CDC recommends not to feed honey to children under 12 months, due to a risk for infant botulism). 

probiotic

Enjoy Probiotic-Rich Foods

While probiotics won't directly suppress your child's cough, they play an important role in balancing gut bacteria to boost their immune system and speed up recovery.

Recent studies have shown that probiotics are effective in the prevention and treatment of respiratory infections in children. 

While some helpful probiotics such as Lactobacillus are available in supplement form at drugstores, many common foods also contain these beneficial bacteria.

Some examples include yogurt, miso soup, kombucha tea, and cottage cheese — natural sources of probiotics to keep your child healthy all throughout the winter season.

Take a Hot Shower

Taking a hot shower or hot bath is a quick and easy cough remedy for your child.

The steam helps to soothe irritated airways by breaking up mucus and making breathing much easier. It also helps to moisturize the throat and nasal passages, soothing the scratchiness that triggers coughing. 

On top of that, the warmth from the hot water promotes blood circulation and simply provides a relaxing feeling for your child — an instant comfort for when they're feeling under the weather. 

pillow

Prop Up the Pillows

Another simple trick to ease your child's cough: prop up the pillows. 

That's because slightly elevating the upper body allows gravity to work its magic. Sleeping in a tilted position helps prevent mucous and post-nasal drip from accumulating in the throat, which triggers cough symptoms. 

Additionally, raising the head and chest promotes better airflow and breathing throughout the night, which allows your child to sleep soundly through the night instead of waking up with fits of coughing.   

Try a Saltwater Gargle

It's easy — just mix a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water, and have your child gargle for a few seconds before spitting it out. 

The tried-and-true remedy of a saltwater gargle is a proven way to provide relief for cold and flu symptoms and soothe that nasty cough.

A saline solution works to soothe irritation and reduce inflammation in the throat, which can help prevent coughing episodes and alleviate other common symptoms. Additionally, it helps kill bacteria and break up mucus, aiding in a faster recovery for your child.

water

Drink Plenty of Water 

Staying hydrated is the simplest and most effective way to support the body's natural defenses against illness. 

Check up on your child regularly to make sure they're consuming plenty of fluids throughout the day. Water helps to soothe the scratch of a cough and loosen up mucus in the back of the throat. 

Drinking lots of water also supports your child's immune system by delivering essential nutrients throughout the body. It also supports healthy kidney function, which helps to flush out toxins and harmful germs from the body. 

Hydrate With a Cool-Mist Humidifier

It's important to stay hydrated when coming down with an illness, but that doesn't just stop at drinking water. 

Dry indoor air can irritate your child's throat and nasal passages, making cold and flu symptoms even worse.

A cool-mist humidifier can be a great help in soothing your child's cough and making them feel better overall. This device adds moisture into surrounding air to soothe irritated airways, loosen up nasal congestion, and reduce coughing, allowing your child to breathe more easily. 

Additionally, the increased humidity can create a more comfortable environment in your child's room, promoting a better night's sleep to help with their rest and recovery. 

sleep

Get a Good's Night Sleep

Lastly, don't underestimate the power of a good night's sleep. It gives your child's body the time it needs to rest and recover.

When your child is sleeping, their immune system gets busy fighting off germs and nursing them back to good health. And when they're in a deep slumber, they're less likely to cough through the night, giving them — and you — a well-needed break during the night. 

So encourage your child to get plenty of rest in a comfortable and cozy environment. This way, they'll wake up in the morning feeling healthy and refreshed.