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Best Home Remedies for a Sore Throat and Dry Cough

Finding home remedies for a sore throat and dry cough that work well are good to have in your "remedy handbag". Whether you or a loved one are not feeling well now or if you are preparing ahead for a possible dry cough or sore throat in the future, these tried and true remedies are simple and work.

home remedies for a sore throat and dry cough

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Knowing what to grab or what to have on hand for when a cold strikes is a must.  However, it is also important to know what home remedies for a sore throat and dry cough will work most effectively.  Dry coughs are difficult to deal with.  Each additional cough makes your sore throat feel like it is on fire.

Dry coughs and sore throats happen for reasons beyond a cold, and it is certainly not any better to deal with. This post addresses some of these reasons and what to do in all cases.

We have tried and use these remedies ourselves.  Dealing with a nagging cough and an irritated throat needs to be dealt with quickly.  Below are some home remedies for a sore throat and dry cough that are helpful, but remember, these are not to replace the advice of a knowledgeable and reputable medical professional.

This post is all about the Most useful and effective home remedies for a sore throat and dry cough that you must know about.

What causes a cough and sore throat?

There are different reasons why people develop a dry cough that can lead to soreness in the throat.  The causes can range from a respiratory infection, cold and allergies to environmental conditions, particles and debris in the air, or underlying health conditions.

A cough that is persistent often will easily develop a sore throat.  The sore throat comes from the inflammation and irritation from infection, elements that are inhaled or from the coughing action itself.

I remember a friend of mine having a dry cough that seemed to last forever.  I do not recall if she went to the doctors for it.  I do recall though that she could barely do anything but breath in and cough out a spout of dry air. A cough like that can negatively impact the way you function in your daily life in a hurry.

Back then I was young and had little knowledge of what to do in that type of situation.  Today, however, I know I would not want any of my loved ones to have to bare with that.  There are natural solutions that are extremely helpful in dealing with a nagging cough and sore throat and below are several that you will find beneficial for you when the time arises.

Best Home Remedies for a Sore Throat and Dry Cough

#1  Herbal Teas for colds

There are certain herbs very beneficial in healing the body when it comes to dealing with cold symptoms. These herbs can be combined different ways to create an herbal cocktail that is pleasing to your taste pallet.  

We will go over the benefits each herb contributes to curing your cough and sore throat, and further below there are herbal tea recipes that we have used when fighting a cold.

The herbs provided are chosen specifically based on how well they work as well as the precautions to be aware of concerning herbal usage and their specific attributes.

Marshmallow Root tea

This herb can be found along banks of rivers and in marshy and damp areas.

Marshmallow Root is a very soothing herb great for coating the throat.  This root comes from the Marshmallow plant.  It has been used for many years in soothing mucous membranes that are inflamed. This study here shows the possible beneficial effects of marshmallow root on a dry cough.

Also, this herb contains the element A. officinalis, which according to this study, shows to be beneficial against a dry cough. Marshmallow root is safe to use as well as effective.

Purchase Marshmallow Root Here.

Mullein tea

This herb is fuzzy stemmed herb with yellowish flowers.  It was used during the middle ages as a cold remedy for both dry and wet coughs.

Mullein's expectorant and demulcent attributes have been used by herbalists to treat dry coughs, whooping cough and infections in the respiratory tract.  

Some of mullein's other properties included antioxidant and antiviral as well as antihistamine properties.  The glycosides it contains make it good for also reducing inflammation.  It is coating and soothing which make it an effective herb for treating a cough and sore throat.

Purchase Mullein Here.

Linden Flowers tea

Linden Flowers have been used in Europe for centuries.  They have a sweet smelling aroma and a cream-like color.

This study discusses linden flower's mucilage properties.  Mucilage is linked to being effective against cold symptoms.  

It has antibacterial and calming properties which make it a useful herb for fighting colds, coughs, and sore throats.  It has been used for centuries for as a remedy against coughs and sore throats as well as other cold symptoms.  

Interestingly enough, however, studies have not been performed to confirm its effects although European folklore found favor in it which has carried to today. 

This herb can be interchanged with the hibiscus recipe if you choose to.

Purchase Linden Flowers Here.

Hibiscus Tea

This has a stronger flavor and a vibrant, reddish color.  Hibiscus is high in vitamin C, contains mucilage, pectin and antioxidants that are all beneficial in the healing process of cell membranes.  The vitamin C and mucilage are what make it effective for relieving cough symptoms.  

Hibiscus was brought to the United States by slaves.  Originally, it has been thought to originate somewhere in southern Asia.

Hibiscus is generally regarded safe to use.  However, consult a doctor if using diuretics or have high blood pressure or heart disease.  Recently a friend of mine began taking hibiscus to help reduce his blood pressure and said it was remarkable.  He has never had something work so well.  You must consult a knowledgeable professional to see if this would fit your needs.

Purchase Hibiscus Flowers Here.

Licorice Root tea

Licorice root is known for its abilities to help sore throats and fight colds and coughs.  It has been used since ancient Greek times.  

This herb contains thick mucilage as well which as stated prior, is known as a soothing and coating agent.

Licorice comes with some precautions according to herbalists.  Those will blood pressure issues, pregnant, breastfeeding or potassium issues should consult a doctor prior to use.

Purchase Licorice Root Here.

Slippery Elm Tea

This herb was used by the Native Americans and were adopted by the early American settlers for medicinal use.  It is another soothing remedy useful for easing throat and cough irritation as well as irritations in the digestive tract.

The flavor of slippery elm is quite distinct though.  Using it alongside other herbs or with other ingredients is how I prefer to use this herb.

Interestingly, from 1820 to 1936 slipper elm was used as an official drug in the United States.  It is regarded as a safe herb to use and is used often where inflammatory conditions persist.

Slippery Elm is not used in the tea recipes below, but it can be stirred into either tea recipe for an additional health benefit.  You will want to be careful of how much you add though since slippery elm's taste is distinct.

Purchase Slippery Elm Here.

Here is a tea to purchase with individual tea bags for colds and sore throats.  You may want to add honey to mellow out the taste because although the tea is very beneficial, I think it taste strong.

Two Tea Recipes For a Sore Throat and Dry Cough

Scroll further down to see more home remedies for a sore throat and dry cough.

home remedies for a sore throat and dry cough

Hibiscus, Lemon, Marshmallow Root and Honey Tea

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes

Ease a dry, irritated cough and sore throat with this sweet tasting healing tea.


  • 1 tsp. Dried Organic Hibiscus Flowers
  • 1 tsp. Marshmallow Root (1/2 tsp powder form is okay too)
  • 1-2 tsp. Squeezed Lemon
  • 1 tsp. Honey


  1. Heat an 8 oz. glass of water just until it just begins to boil.
  2. Add the dried hibiscus flowers and marshmallow root using a tea ball or tea bag.
  3. Squeeze in 1 to 2 tsp. of lemon juice.
  4. Add 1 tsp. of honey, or to taste, after the tea has cooled slightly.
  5. Mix and enjoy!


This is a sweet tasting tea. The honey helps to balance it.

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home remedies for a sore throat and dry cough

Mullein, Licorice, and Slippery Elm Tea

Yield: 8 oz.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

A soothing tea for a dry cough and sore throat.


  • 1 tsp. Dried Organic Mullein
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried Organic Licorice
  • 1/2 tsp. Slippery Elm


  1. Bring 1 (8 oz.) cup of water to a boil.
  2. Combine dried mullein leaves, licorice and slippery elm bark into a tea ball or tea bag. Alternatively you can use slippery elm powder.
  3. Add the dried herb mixture to the hot water and let set for 10 - 15 min.
  4. Remove the herb mixture from the water.
  5. Mix and enjoy!


I prefer not to add honey to this one because we enjoy as is. Feel free to add it if you that is your preference.

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#2  Honey Home Remedies for a sore throat and dry cough

Honey has so many amazing benefits for the body and helping to heal a dry cough and sore throat is one of them.

It has antibacterial and antiviral properties that make it an ideal candidate to add to a cough remedy.  Studies have 

As can be seen above, both of the tea recipes I included use honey.  It adds a nice sweetness amongst all of its other healing benefits.  

The quality of honey you purchase is very important, and you want to make sure you buy it from a reputable source.  There are different varieties and colors of honey to purchase as well dependent on the time of year and flowers used.  My personal favorite to use is wildflower.  I get mine from my local health food store because their wildflower honey is so, so good. Here is another reputable source to purchase your honey from in case your are looking.

Ways to Use Honey For Cough and Sore Throat:

  1. Mix 1 Tbsp. of honey and 1 Tbsp. of Apple cider Vinegar and warm slightly in a pan on the stove.  You do not want to overheat because you want to maintain the honey's healing properties.  Sip the mixture down.
  2. Add unfiltered honey to a tea like shown in the recipes above.
  3. Take a honey supplement-  I cannot highly recommend this honey spray enough for colds, sore throats, or any time you feel your body is not quite right.  My mom swears by taking this as soon as she feels a cold hitting.  Every time it is no longer a problem. They have a kids' version as well at a lower dosage.  Kids 1.5 or younger should NOT be given honey.  We keep it on hand all of the time!

home remedies for a sore throat and dry cough

#3  Gargling remedies

  1. Salt and Water-  Mix  cup distilled water (8 oz.) with 1 tsp. salt.  and gargle with it for a minute or so.  Repeat the process several times.
  • According to this dentist, bacteria in the throat will not thrive in a salty environment.  Gargling with salt water creates a non-acidic environment working against the harmful bacterial causing the throat discomfort. The salt also kills bacteria in the throat.

     2. Fennel Tea InfusionInfuse 3 tsp. of dried, organic fennel leaves or 3 tsp. of crushed fennel seeds         in 1 cup of hot distilled water for 15 minutes.  Allow the infusion to cool to a comfortable temperature            before gargling with it.  Once cooled, gargle with the infusion.  Repeat the gargling process several                times.

  • Fennel is effective at relieving sore throats, aiding fresh breath as well as healing gum infections. This herb is regarded as a safe herb.  However, pregnant women should eat fennel found in foods only as a precaution according to some herbalists.

Purchase Fennel Herbs Here.

home remedies for a sore throat and dry cough

#4  Garlic Home Remedies for a sore throat and dry cough

Garlic is antiviral and antibacterial which make is very useful when fighting cold symptoms.  It can be harsh on the stomach and should be used with caution if you have a sulfation issue.

Garlic is a wonderful ingredient to use in so many healing remedies, and many people have it on hand.  The allicin in garlic is the bacterial killing compound in garlic.

  1. Take a galic supplement.   We personally have taken this one when needed and love it.  It is a great company.
  2. Crush 1 clove garlic (or dice finely) and add to a spoonful of applesauce and swallow.  Allow the crushed garlic to sit for 10 minutes or so to maximize the allicin benefits.
  3. Add 1 clove crushed garlic to a small amount of honey to swallow. Do the same thing with the garlic and let it rest first. 

Here is a great tool for crushing garlic if you don't feel like chopping.

Be careful of adding too much garlic at a time since it is harsh on the stomach.  I remember my mom telling me that she told my uncle to take a clove of garlic for his cold.  He ended up taking the whole compound bulb by mistake.  He was complaining of his stomach bothering him but he said his cold was knocked out.

This post is all about the most helpful home remedies for a sore throat and dry cough.

Disclaimer:  No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, a qualified clinician or other qualified health care professional.


  1. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/linden
  2. Turker, Arzu & Ekrem, Gurel. (2005). Common mullein (Verbascum thapsus L.): recent advances in research. Phytotherapy research : PTR. 19. 733-9. 10.1002/ptr.1653.
  3. Bonaterra, Gabriel A et al. “Anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidative Effects of Phytohustil® and Root Extract of Althaea officinalis L. on Macrophages in vitro.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 11 290. 17 Mar. 2020, doi:10.3389/fphar.2020.00290
  4. Mahboubi M. Marsh Mallow (Althaea officinalis L.) and Its Potency in the Treatment of Cough. Complement Med Res. 2020;27(3):174-183. English. doi: 10.1159/000503747. Epub 2019 Nov 26. PMID: 31770755.
  5. https://clearwatercosmeticdentist.com/salt-water-mouth-rinse/

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