Relieve irritating coughs and soothe that dry tickle at the back of your throat with our pick of the 7 best herbal teas for a cough.
People have used herbs to treat coughs at home for thousands of years. One of the best ways to embrace these traditional remedies is by brewing up a delicious cup of your favourite herbal tea.
Herbal tea is a great choice when you are sick because the liquid helps you to stay hydrated, which is essential when your body is trying to fight off an infection. The comforting warmth is also a lovely way to help you relax and unwind when you are feeling under the weather.
However, herbal teas can do more than just give you a few minutes of self-care. Many herbs have properties that help to relieve your cough and support your immune system, so you can recover faster.
Choosing the Right Herbal Tea for Your Cough
Although it might not feel like it, some coughs are actually helpful. They keep your lungs and throat clear of mucous and help get rid of the pathogens causing your cold or flu symptoms. If your cough feels wet and brings up mucous, you don’t want to suppress it too much, since it is doing useful things for your body.
If your cough is wet, the warm liquid from a cup of herbal tea can help to loosen the mucous and clear your lungs. To get the best effect, you want to look out for expectorant herbs that will help you get rid of the mucous more easily.
On the other hand, if your cough is dry and irritating, you want to choose a herbal tea that will help to soothe it, especially if it is disturbing your rest.
Demulcent herbs are those that produce mucilage (goo) that coats the back of your throat. Although it might sound a bit gross, this is ideal when you have a dry cough. The mucilage helps to soothe that tickle at the back of your throat and relieves inflamed or irritated tissues – excellent news if your cough is accompanied by a sore throat.
The 7 Best Herbal Teas for a Cough
There are plenty of natural herbal remedies for coughs available. We’ve chosen 7 of our favourites to help you recover faster.
1. Liquorice Root
Liquorice root tea has plenty of benefits, including its naturally sweet flavour. As well as having antiviral and antibacterial properties, which help your body fight off germs, liquorice root is both a demulcent and an expectorant. It’s traditionally used to relieve coughs and soothe irritation in your throat.
We use liquorice root in many of our herbal tea blends. For cough relief, we recommend our NutraDefence tea – you’ll find liquorice root combined with other herbs that boost immunity and soothe the symptoms of coughs and colds.
Delicious peppermint is best known for soothing digestive issues and nausea, but it is also a great herbal tea to choose when you have a wet, productive cough. The menthol in peppermint acts as an expectorant, helping to loosen mucous and clear your airways.
Peppermint is also naturally anti-viral, which means it can help to kill off the pathogens causing your cough.
Calming chamomile is always a favourite before bedtime – a cup of this soothing herb will help you to relax and drift off to sleep, which is always a bonus if your cough is keeping you from a good night’s rest.
However, chamomile is also antispasmodic, which means it can help to suppress the cough reflex. While this might not always be ideal, if your cough is unproductive or stops you from sleeping, a cup of chamomile tea might be just what you need.
Like chamomile, thyme is antispasmodic and has been used to relieve coughs for centuries. As an expectorant, it also helps to loosen phlegm and mucous. When your cough is accompanied by a wet, bunged-up feeling, a herbal tea blend that contains thyme is an excellent choice.
Thyme is one of the key ingredients in our NutraDefence blend. Like many of the other herbs in this tea, it is anti-viral and anti-bacterial, so it supports your immune system in fighting off illness.
A popular herbal remedy, calendula has many uses, including treating persistent coughs. Its antimicrobial properties mean it might help you to shift a cough that’s outstayed its welcome, by killing off the pathogens responsible for causing the illness.
As an anti-inflammatory and demulcent, calendula also helps to soothe the irritated tissues of your throat, calming those annoying little tickles that keep making you cough.
Aromatic eucalyptus is often found as an ingredient in chest rubs and other decongestants because it helps to shift mucous and clear our airways. The dried leaves can also be used as a herbal tea to relieve coughs and other cold symptoms.
A natural anti-inflammatory, eucalyptus also contains active ingredients that help to improve lung function. Plus, it is a natural antimicrobial, so it might help you to recover faster from illness.
Last but not least, mullein is a favourite among herbalists for its ability to relieve dry, irritable coughs, especially when taken as a tea. Both an expectorant and a demulcent, it soothes your throat and helps to get rid of phlegm. It also provides support to our lungs, strengthening and healing the lung tissue after an infection.
Like liquorice root, thyme, calendula, and eucalyptus, mullein is found in NutraDefence, our immune-boosting tea designed to relieve the symptoms of coughs and colds.