Natural Remedies for a Tickly Cough

A tickly cough is a nuisance for the sufferer and the people they are around. Constant, ticklish coughing can cause gagging, stomach soreness, throat irritation, and not to mention the sleepless nights where you wake up to body-racking coughs. Chances are high that you will probably suffer from a bit of embarrassment as well, especially if you burst into a coughing fit during a movie or over the buffet table at a restaurant. Before you head to the store to pick up some cough medicine, you might want to try some of the remedies listed below that could help to cut back on your tickly cough as well as other symptoms that might be caused by it.

Ginger Root

Ginger root is an amazing thing. Yes, it can add a tasty kick to your favorite sir fry, but when brewed as a tea or eaten as a crystallized candy, it can actually cause a number of health benefits. Coughing can sometimes be caused by inflammation in the throat which may have been triggered by a cold or the flu. This inflammation can make your throat feel gritty or itchy, as if a little feather lies in wait and tickles your throat at random. This feeling may also be accompanied by general soreness, hoarseness when you speak, and a bit of swelling. Ginger root can help to reduce inflammation in the tissues of the throat and allow them to mend a little faster. Ginger tea is quite popular and you probably won’t have to look hard to find pre-manufactured ginger tea bags. If you want a really strong brew then you can always grab a stick of ginger root from your grocery store and make it yourself. Cut off about an inch of the ginger, peel it, and drop it into a pot of boiling water. Allow it to boil for about 10 minutes to make sure that it’s nice and strong. Pour the ginger tea through a strainer and into a tea pot or your favorite mug. For a nice, lemony twist, drop a slice of lemon into your cup and lace it with honey for a bit of sweetness.


If your tickly cough is caused by an obnoxious gathering of mucous, then lemon may be just the remedy for you! Although lemon juice on its own will likely irritate some spots in your throat that have become raw from coughing, diluted lemon juice is perfect for cutting through the excess mucous in your throat. Lemon juice can be added to boiling water and drank like a tea or you could have your lemon juice in the form of a glass of lemonade. You could also try to add lemon juice or slices to other beverages that you enjoy, such as a mug of hot tea, a glass of iced water, or iced tea. Bear in mind that while lemon juice will help relieve your throat of excess mucous, overusing this remedy could cause throat dryness which can worsen a tickly cough.

Garlic and Honey

Both garlic and honey have been used in as healing aids throughout history and they certainly have a place when it comes to coughs. One of the main health benefits of garlic is that it is a natural antibiotic—this means that it can help clear up bacterial infections. This is a great thing to have on hand if you suspect that some nasty bacteria have decided to take up residence in your throat.

Honey also has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, but the most helpful benefit that honey has to offer when you’re suffering from a tickly cough is its thickness. Honey is sticky and thick which allows it to cling to and protect your sore throat. This is especially great if you’re suffering from an unproductive cough, that is, one that doesn’t produce mucous. There are tissues that usually coat the throat and trigger coughing whenever a foreign or unexpected object enters the throat; however excessive coughing and illnesses can prohibit these tissues from working properly which results in the unnecessary trigger of coughing spells.

The best way to get both garlic and honey working to soothe your cough is to take a clove of raw garlic and put it in a glass jar filled with honey. It’s best if you use a jar that has a lid, such as a mason jar or a (clean) jam jar. Allow the honey to absorb the garlic for at least 24 hours and then remove the clove from the honey. As soon as you get up in the morning take a spoonful or two of the garlic-infused honey and anytime throughout the day when you start to feel the tickle coming on in your throat.


Sometimes a tickly cough can arise as the result of breathing in too much dry air. Does the air in your house seem less humid than normal? This is very common in the winter months when home heating systems remove too much moisture from the air. A humidifier is a great way to put moisture back into the air; however a humidifier’s effects are limited to only one room at a time. You could also pour boiling water into a large bowl and lean over the bowl to take several deep breaths of the steam rising off of the water. For the best results, cover your head and the bowl with a towel so that you can capture the steam for a longer period of time.