Naturally Calm a Child’s Cough

by Susan Willets on July 3, 2008

Natural Cough Remedies

There are many ways to treat a cough using items that many people already have available in their homes. With the concerns over side effects of cold medicines rising, more parents are turning to natural remedies to help ease their children’s coughs and to help them get some much needed rest.


Although considered an old-time remedy, according to studies published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine on December 3, 2007, honey calms coughs better than both medicines and using nothing at all. It states that children who were given a spoonful of buckwheat honey just before bedtime were able to sleep deeper and coughed less. Some options are to mix it with tea, milk, or offer it straight up. Remember that children under the age of 15 months should not have honey as it poses a danger of contracting botulism.


Pears contain a high level of flavonoid, which has been shown to improve lung function. This fruit is safe for children of all ages and is said to be great to reduce phlegm.

Herbal Tea

Drink herbal tea with cinnamon to stop a cough. Be sure the tea is not too warm or too strong when serving to children.


Squeeze the juice from half a lemon and mix with a little bit of water. This first option can be repeated as often as necessary throughout the day. If it’s too tart for your child, remember - a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down! Add a teaspoon of honey to the mixture. This honey option should be given 2-3 times per day.

Upright Positions

By keeping the child in a more vertical position, with the head above the heart, you can ease congestion. This is an easy fix for children who are old enough to sleep on a pillow. For younger babies, they may require a night of TLC, being held in a more upright position while they sleep.

Dark Chocolate

Yes, chocolate has been shown to be more effective than over the counter medicines in suppressing coughs. A study conducted by researchers in London showed that theobromine, an ingredient found in cocoa, was more effective than codeine in stopping coughs induced by capsaicin. Capsaicin is a colorless, crystalline compound, made from capcisum, that produces a strong irritating effect on the skin and mucus membranes. The study was published in the online Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal on November 17, 2004. Dark chocolate is preferred because it contains the most theobromine per ounce.

What remedies have worked for you and your little ones? Share them by posting a comment below!

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