Herbs for Coughs

We are all familiar with the cough that accompanies some colds and flus. Some last only as long as the other symptoms. Others hang on with a dry tickling cough long after the other symptoms have gone. Here are some herbs that can help with both types.

canstockphoto21041785 hyssop

Hyssop is an herb I discovered while in school. We received a recipe for home made cough drops containing hyssop.
Hyssop is an expectorant. According to MedicineNet.com an expectorant is a medication that helps bring up mucus and other material from the lungs, bronchi and trachea. During a cold it is important to remove this material from your respiratory system so that your lungs stay clear.

Hyssop can be drunk as a tea 2 or 3 cups per day to assist with this. A bonus with hyssop tea is that it will also soothe the inflammation of the bronchi.

There are no interactions for hyssop. There is a warning against consuming hyssop while pregnant and breast feeding. I personally think that since one of the actions of hyssop is to assist in lowering blood sugar, people with diabetes should only use hyssop tea if their doctor approves it.

canstockphoto3542047 honey

Here is a cough suppressant that most people already have in their pantries. According to the Mayo Clinic a study with children 2 and older showed that honey was as effective as the common cough medicine ingredient dextromethorphan. In addition honey will help soothe a sore throat and some studies have shown that it will actually assist in strengthening your immune system.
The bonus with honey is that it is sweet and delicious. Honey is not recommended for children under 2 years of age.


My friends will groan at this addition. They know it is one of my favourite herbs for coughs that just never seem to go away. You know, that cough that lingers even after antibiotics.

Studies on mullein indicate that it is extremely beneficial for tuberculosis. It is excellent for asthma and other respiratory ailments. For more info please see my blog here.

Mullein is an expectorant which helps remove mucus and keep the bronchi and lungs clear. It is also antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and analgesic. It eases the pain of sore throats and coughs.

One recommendation that I always make is that because mullein clears toxins from your body, it needs a way to get rid of them. By drinking water, you help clear these toxins by urination. There are no known interactions for mullein and the warnings are for pregnancy and breast feeding.


The best way to avoid coughs is to eat healthy and take care of your immune system. This isn’t always possible, so for the times when you find yourself with a cough I hope this information helps.