Home Remedies for Cough in Kids


Dry Coughs in Kids and Home Remedies

Is you baby/infant having dry cough from many days? Well, dry cough in children of 2 years – 3 years old and above in India is very common. Mainly due to dusty weather and increased pollution. Dry cough only at night is sign of allergic cough in toddlers. But don’t worry Ayurveda has given us many home remedies for treating dry cough in kids. We will learn some home remedies for cough to get instant relief. We will also learn how to avoid dry cough and improve immunity in children.

A Visit to the Kitchen for Natural Remedies for Cough in Infants

Some well tested grandmaa’s kitchen recipes that has survived through centuries are given below. I share them because I believe that they have actually survived through centuries because they work. And not to forget, me being a mom of two having used them time and again and can swear by them.

1. The Best Gharelu Nuskha (Home Remedy)

Warm 4 tbsp of mustard oil in an open pan with 4 cloves of crushed garlic and half a teaspoon of onion seeds also known as kalonji.
dry cough remedy two

Boil the mixture till the garlic chars black. Let it cool down. The mixture can be stored for over a month if stored in a sealed bottle. Everytime you want to use it, pour the required quantity in a metal container, warm it and use it.

How to use it?

Take small quantity in your palm and rub it under their feet vigorously till you feel crackling, burning heat between your palm and his foot. Sock his foot immediately before it cools down. Do it on both feet and palm. Let the palm be uncovered so as not to make him uncomfortable while he sleeps. Rub some of it in his chest and back gently, and a little under his nose. Keep him warm, not hot, and please do not suffocate him. Use it at night before bedtime. I like to put my son in bed, rub it on him and tuck him there after immediately thereby not letting him come in contact with the drought anymore. He will wake up fresh in the morning and will cough mush less at night. This massage can be very tiring and will hurt your arms, but trust me, this pain will be worth taking!

2. Tulsi, ginger and honey

You will find these ingredients in most of herbal cough syrups.
Crush and extract 4 tbsp of tulsi juice, mix 2 tbsp of ginger juice and 2 tbsp of honey and let the child sip it four times a day. Finish the concoction within the day. Make a fresh mix the next day. (Note: babies below 1 year old must NOT be given honey)
dry cough remedy two

3. Turmeric and Carom Seeds

In a cup of tea-warm water mix a tsp of turmeric powder also known as haldi, and a spoon full of carom seeds, better known in India as ajwain. Let it settle for two minutes and make the child drink it. If the child can take in the ajwain, it’s absolutely great. If not, let it settle at the bottom. Do not force feed. Please note Turmeric and Ajwain even though very effective cough remedies, are also body heat inducers so please use moderately.
dry cough remedy three

4.Green Tea

Mix a spoonful of honey in a cup of warm green tea and let the child have it. Three times a day would be wonderful. It is believed that this concoction is much better than any over the counter cough syrup. Try it. OK. Just a reminder; NO honey to babies under age 1.
Please note that green tea contains caffeine; hence give a little amount and limit the use of green tea with children.
green tea

5. Thyme tea

. Thyme is easily available these days in the market. So lightly pound some thyme twigs and soak it in a tea-hot cup of water. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes and then sip it. You can add a squeeze of lemon or honey for taste. Two to three times a day, especially at bedtime is wonderful.

Now let us see some other measures to treat dry cough.

Care and Natural Cure for Dry Cough

If you child is prone to dry cough try these at home first –

1. Inhale Steam

Don’t put anything into the steam. Let it be just water and let the temperature be comfortable to the kid. Make him inhale it for atleast 20 minutes.

2. Steam in Bathroom

If your baby or toddler is below 5 years or you think he will not be able to inhale steam in the regular method, try closing the bathroom and running hot water in it. The hot water in the enclosed area will make steam. Sit there with the kid for at least 20 minutes. Read him a book or find some way to keep him there.

3. Gargling

Gargling with Luke warm water with a pinch of salt always helps with dry cough. The kid can do that even if he is not coughing. It can be a preventive measure, especially if his cough is allergic.

4. Sipping warm water

Make him drink warm water periodically while the kid is at home is a huge cure as well as preventive method.
warm water

5. Keep Kids Away from Cold Wind

Guard the kid from sudden exposure to cold wind, especially during morning hours when the body susceptible.

6. Fluid intake

Lots and lots of it is actually a cure. If you can make him take warm liquids in plenty amount, you will find much respite.

7. Chicken soup

Add good amount of garlic in it as it has anti-bacterial properties. Chicken soup works like magic. Make it in the morning and let the kid sip through it 5-6 times a day in small quantities. You will observe a stark difference in his condition.
chicken soup

8. Garlic

Ok. I need to mention garlic some more. Garlic has great anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. So even when the kid is fine and not suffering, if you can make him chew on some garlic, it would be great.

9. Ventilate

. A suffocating closed bedroom can be the only cause of your child’s nagging cough. And if he is already coughing, a closed room will only help aggravate. So when I say ventilate, I mean let the air circulate. However do not let the room become cold.

10. Humidifier

. You can buy it from a pharma shop. That would be good. If you are staying in a dry weather area, a humidifier is just what you need to keep a dry cough at bay. If you are not going to buy a humidifier, you can hand a wet towel instead in the room somewhere. It will do him good.

Above 10 tips are not only used as treatments but you should use them regularly to avoid cough in your toddler.

So, why do kids have dry cough?
Number of reasons. And hence it is absolutely necessary for the parent to understand why her child is coughing, the particular trigger and its prevention and treatment. The pattern of the child’s cough can have several variations, which the parent should be aware of and give a clear account of it to the doctor. Here I will try to address a few questions that usually picks at the parent’s brain. See if this article answers any of your questions.

Why do Children have Dry Cough?

Here are some of the reasons I researched and listed below –


Cold flu is a common occurrence in babies and toddlers and can linger for an annoying duration. The child coughs all day with noticeable aggravation at night, during sleep and morning hours after they wake up. The sun, on the other hand, tones it down. The cough may be dry, wet, hacking or might have a barking sound to it. Parents are advised to please differentiate between these patterns and discuss with the doctor accordingly.


Your child might be allergic to something, like dust, pollution, smoke, cigarettes, pollen etc. There is also something called the morning allergy, where the child seems to cough or sneeze several times first thing first in the morning. There is this sunset allergy where around that time the child might start coughing. As a parent, your first duty towards your child is to make a note and draw a pattern, because only then will a successful treatment can be triggered.
My observation has been that these days it seems allergic cough rules supreme among children, and atmospheric pollution is reason numero-uno! Talking to a few paediatricians of different streams of medicines, they too confirmed that atmospheric-pollution, and an in general sedentary lifestyle accompanied with junk, and packed food is one of the causes of low immunity in children these days. Their resistance power is less and hence cough and cold a household phenomenon.
There are other reasons like Asthma, Pneumonia or Bronchitis. All these causes dry cough, and hence, before we go into administering home remedies to cure a dry cough, it is best to seek medical advice and find out the real reason. Because Asthma, Pneumonia or Bronchitis will not cure with home remedies. They will require proper medical intervention.

All these natural remedies for cough in children are time tested and the wonderful thing about them is that they have absolutely no side-effects. Many times kids get consistent dry cough, so homemade cough remedies are safer than long term use of syrups. So try them. But only after you have visited your paediatrician, especially if the child has fever, a visit to the doc is a must. Let the child take lots of rest and fluid. He should be just fine. Find time to sip some tea, wriggle your toes and catch up on your favourite TV show. Take care!


About Author


Devasmita Dey has worked as a budding journalist and a TV and radio presenter. Now she is a mother of two wonderful kids and enjoys writing.


  1. Avatar

    Oh.. loads of information. I will have to read it again to remember all. A printable image would have been great.

  2. Pingback: Homemade Cough Syrups for Children | GoMama 24/7

  3. Avatar

    where can i buy an inexpensive humidifier in India. I do not live in a metro city so please suggest accordingly?

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