Herbal teas can provide significant relief. But how do you choose the right herbs? Some coughs are a response to overly dry mucous membranes. Others serve to remove the mucus that’s irritating your respiratory passages. Different types call for different herbs.
If your cough is dry and your throat is scratchy:
- Licorice tea excels at soothing mucous membranes. Place 1 teaspoon of the dried root in a cup of water. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink 1–2 cups per day.
- To a cup of hot water, add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon honey, and a few grains of cayenne pepper. Lemon juice and honey help moisturize. Cayenne increases local circulation to the throat and is strangely soothing.
If your cough is wet and rumbling:
- Place 1 teaspoon of dried ginger powder and 1 cup water in a pan. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
Osha root clears mucus and slightly anesthetizes the throat. Place 1 teaspoon of the chopped, dried root in 1 cup water. Cover and simmer 5 minutes, strain and drink. If the resulting tea is too bitter or spicy, include 1/4 teaspoon licorice root when you make the next cup.