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Home Remedies For A Sore Throat And Dry Cough

Easing a sore throat and dry cough is entirely possible, even from the comfort of your home. In this blog, we discuss how to alleviate these discomforts and share some red flags to look out for to seek timely medical attention

Home Remedies For Sore Throat And Dry Cough


Causes of throat ailments include infections, allergies, GERD, dry air, and smoking.

Honey, saltwater gargles, steam inhalation, and humidifiers can offer relief.

If you have trouble swallowing or breathing along with a fever, see a doctor. 

Did you know?
Honey has been scientifically proven to possess antimicrobial properties, thanks to its natural production of hydrogen peroxide!

Ever found yourself in a battle against the sneaky duo of a sore throat and a persistent dry cough? Wondering how to outsmart these troublesome twosomes without resorting to a pharmacy raid? In this blog, we look at several drug-free alternatives to get relief from a sore throat and dry cough.

Let’s begin by understanding the causes of these symptoms!

What Causes A Sore Throat And Dry Cough?

The main culprits behind an irritated throat are:

1. Viral Infections: The most common cause of a sore throat and dry cough is a viral infection, like the common cold or flu. These respiratory infections irritate the throat and airways, leading to inflammation and coughing.

2. Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infections, like strep throat, can also cause a sore throat and dry cough. These infections usually require antibiotic treatment and their symptoms can be alleviated at home.

3. Allergies: Allergies to pollen, dust, pet dander, mold, or other environmental allergens can irritate the throat and airways, leading to symptoms like a sore throat and dry cough.

4. Postnasal Drip: This occurs when excess mucus drips down the back of the throat, leading to throat irritation and coughing. Postnasal drip can be caused by allergies, sinus infections, or colds.

5. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): GERD occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation. This can lead to symptoms like a sore throat and dry cough.

6. Dry Air: Especially during the winter months when indoor heating is used, dry air can irritate the throat and airways, leading to soreness and coughing.

7. Vocal Strain: Excessive talking, shouting, or singing can strain the vocal cords, leading to a sore throat.

8. Smoking: Using tobacco or even exposure to secondhand smoke can irritate the throat and airways, leading to symptoms like persistent coughing.

9. Underlying Medical Conditions: Certain conditions, like asthma, chronic bronchitis, or laryngitis, can cause a sore throat and dry cough as symptoms.

It’s essential to determine the underlying cause of a sore throat and dry cough in order to find the appropriate treatment course. So in the next section, let’s take a look at some home remedies you can try for relief!

Home Remedies For A Dry Cough And Sore Throat

Home Remedies For A Dry Cough And Sore Throat

Here is a selection of well-established remedies that have been effective:

1. Hydration: Drink plenty of fluids, like water, herbal teas, broths, and clear soups, to keep the throat moist and prevent dehydration. Staying hydrated can also help thin mucus and ease coughing.

2. Honey: Honey has natural antibacterial and soothing properties. Add a teaspoon of honey to herbal tea or warm water with lemon to soothe a sore throat and calm coughing. Honey can also help coat the throat and alleviate irritation.

3. Saltwater Gargle: Mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle several times a day. Saltwater gargling helps reduce inflammation, soothes the throat, and alleviates coughing.

4. Steam Inhalation: Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water or taking a hot shower can moisten and soothe the throat, providing relief from dry cough and soreness. Adding essential oils like eucalyptus or peppermint can enhance the soothing effect.

5. Humidifier: Using a humidifier in your bedroom can add moisture to the air and prevent dryness, which exacerbates throat discomfort and coughing. Clean the humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

6. Elevate Your Head: Use an extra pillow while sleeping to reduce throat congestion and postnasal drip, which exacerbate coughing and throat irritation. Consider a bolster pillow like our Cuddling whose satisfyingly-squashy MelofoamTM ensures that your neck remains supported throughout the night.

7. Avoid Irritants: Avoid exposure to environmental irritants like smoke, dust, and pollutants, which worsen throat irritation and trigger coughing.

8. Rest Your Voice: Avoid speaking loudly or for extended periods if possible. Resting your voice can help reduce strain on the throat and promote healing.

9. Warm Compress: Applying a warm compress to the neck area can help relax muscles and soothe throat pain and coughing.

Next, let’s explore some herbal remedies to complement these tips. Herbal remedies can offer additional relief by targeting specific symptoms of sore throats and dry coughs, providing a holistic approach to healing.

Natural Herbal Solutions For A Dry Throat

Here are several well-established herbal remedies that are worth considering for alleviating sore throats and dry coughs:

1. Licorice Root: This remedy has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe a sore throat and reduce coughing. Brew licorice root tea by steeping dried licorice root in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Drink it warm and add honey for additional throat-soothing benefits.

2. Marshmallow Root: This contains mucilage, a gel-like substance that coats and soothes the throat, providing relief from dry cough and soreness. You can make marshmallow root tea by steeping dried marshmallow root in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and drink the tea warm.

3. Honey and Lemon: A combination of honey and lemon is a classic remedy for both sore throat and dry cough. Honey has natural antibacterial properties, while lemon provides vitamin C and helps thin mucus. Mix a teaspoon of honey with fresh lemon juice in warm water or herbal tea and sip it slowly.

4. Ginger: This root has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help alleviate throat irritation and suppress coughing. You can make ginger tea by steeping fresh ginger slices in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Add honey and lemon for extra soothing effects.

5. Peppermint: This contains menthol, which has a cooling effect on the throat and can help alleviate coughing. To make peppermint tea, steep fresh or dried peppermint leaves in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Drink it warm and inhale the steam for additional relief.

6. Thyme: This plant contains compounds with antimicrobial properties that can help relieve coughing and throat irritation. Make thyme tea by steeping fresh or dried thyme leaves in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and drink the tea warm.

7. Sage: With its astringent (tightening tissues) and antiseptic (fighting germs) properties, sage can soothe a sore throat and lessen coughing. You can make sage tea by steeping fresh or dried sage leaves in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes, followed by straining and drinking the tea warm.

8. Turmeric: This root contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can alleviate throat inflammation and reduce coughing. To make turmeric tea, add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to hot water or milk. Add honey and black pepper for enhanced absorption.

9. Slippery Elm: Slippery elm contains mucilage, similar to marshmallow root, which can help coat and soothe the throat. You can make slippery elm tea by mixing slippery elm powder with hot water until it forms a thick, gel-like consistency. Drink it warm for relief from sore throat and dry cough.

10. Chamomile: With its anti-inflammatory and relaxant properties, chamomile tea helps calm throat irritation and reduce coughing. Make chamomile tea by steeping fresh or dried chamomile flowers in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Drink it warm before bedtime for a soothing effect.

If you have never tried any of these herbal remedies before, consult with a healthcare professional before use. This is especially crucial if you have any underlying health conditions, are taking other medications, or have any allergies. And remember, while these herbal remedies can provide relief for mild sore throat and dry cough, they are not a substitute for medical treatment if symptoms persist or worsen.

Next, let’s look at natural essential oils that can be used along with these herbal remedies.

Essential Oils To Use For A Sore Throat

Here are several essential oils that can be used in a diffuser, for steam inhalation, or applied topically for relief:

  1. Peppermint oil has a cooling effect that can help soothe throat irritation.
  2. Eucalyptus oil is known for its antimicrobial properties and ability to clear congestion.
  3. Tea tree oil has strong antiviral and antibacterial properties, making it effective against infections.
  4. Lavender oil has calming effects and may help reduce inflammation in the throat.
  5. Lemon oil contains antioxidants and vitamin C, which can support the immune system.
  6. Thyme oil has antibacterial properties and may help alleviate cough symptoms. 

You can add a few drops of any of these oils to a diffuser or inhale it directly for quick relief. Alternatively, you can mix the oil with a carrier oil and apply it to your chest or throat.

Remember to dilute essential oils properly before use and perform a patch test on a small area of skin to check for any allergic reactions. If you have any underlying health conditions or are pregnant, consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils for medicinal purposes.

In the following section, let’s see how natural remedies for sore throats differ by age.

What Is Good For A Sore Throat, By Age?

What Is Good For A Sore Throat, By Age?

Home remedies for cough can vary based on age groups, as seen below:

For Kids: Honey and lemon water (for children over one year old), warm fluids like herbal teas or broth, and steam inhalation in a bathroom with a parent or guardian can provide relief. These remedies help soothe the throat, hydrate the body, and loosen mucus, making it easier for children to breathe and feel more comfortable as they recover from their cough.

For Adults: In addition to the remedies suitable for children, there are other options available. These include over-the-counter cough suppressants or expectorants, and lozenges or throat sprays for soothing throat irritation. Additionally, adults can consider using essential oils in a diffuser or applying them topically for added respiratory support.

For Older Adults: Older adults may benefit from gentle remedies like warm tea with honey, steam inhalation, and humidifiers. They should avoid over-the-counter medications that may interact with existing medications or exacerbate underlying health conditions.

Next, let’s look at some tell-tale signs that you may need more than home remedies for your sore throat or dry cough.

When To See A Doctor

It’s essential to know when to seek medical attention for a sore throat and dry cough. Here are some indications that you should see a doctor:

1. Persistent Symptoms: If your sore throat and dry cough persist for more than a week or two, despite trying home remedies and over-the-counter treatments, consult a doctor.

2. Severe Symptoms: If your sore throat and dry cough are accompanied by severe symptoms like high fever (above 101°F or 38.3°C), difficulty breathing, chest pain, swollen glands, or extreme fatigue, seek medical help immediately.

3. Difficulty Swallowing or Breathing: If you have difficulty swallowing or breathing due to throat pain or coughing, see a doctor right away. These symptoms could indicate a blockage in the airway or a serious infection that needs immediate medical attention.

4. Recurrent Infections: If you experience frequent sore throats and dry coughs that keep coming back, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue like allergies, sinusitis, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

5. Persistent Hoarseness: If your voice is persistently hoarse or you have difficulty speaking due to throat pain or irritation, see a doctor. Hoarseness could be a sign of vocal cord issues, laryngitis, or other throat conditions that require medical evaluation.

6. Underlying Health Conditions: If you have underlying health conditions like asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), diabetes, or immunodeficiency disorders, seek medical advice for any new or worsening symptoms of sore throat and dry cough. These conditions can increase the risk of complications from respiratory infections.

7. Concerns about COVID-19: If you have symptoms of sore throat and dry cough along with other COVID-19 symptoms like fever, loss of taste or smell, body aches, or recent exposure to someone with COVID-19, you should get tested for the virus and follow the recommendations of healthcare authorities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If you’re unsure whether to see a doctor for your sore throat and dry cough, err on the side of caution and seek medical advice.


Managing a sore throat and dry cough can be effectively addressed with a range of home remedies and herbal solutions. From hydration and honey to saltwater gargles and herbal teas, these remedies offer soothing relief. However, it’s crucial to recognize when medical attention is necessary, especially for persistent or severe symptoms that are accompanied by a fever.