Health Digest Survey: What's People's Go-To Natural Remedy To Get Rid Of A Cough?

Between seasonal allergies, cold weather viruses, and just having a tickle in your throat, having a cough can feel almost unavoidable at times. And when a cough is persistent, it can feel never-ending.

Whether you have a dry cough or a cough that gets mucus out, coughing generally happens when there's something irritating the breathing passageways (via Penn Medicine). Forcing air out through the throat clears the irritants and helps you to breathe again comfortably. Coughs are considered acute when they last no more than three weeks. If they last three to eight weeks, they're subacute, and if they go beyond eight weeks, coughs are considered chronic. Coughs can usually be attributed to allergies, postnasal drip, asthma, common colds and the flu, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and pneumonia or bronchitis. They could also be caused by certain medications, smoking, or lung cancer.

While cough suppressants are widely available, sometimes it can be helpful to know how you can get rid of a cough at home without medication. In a Health Digest survey, we asked readers what their go-to natural cough remedy is, and here are the top treatments.

The most popular ways to treat a cough naturally

In a survey of 612 people, results showed that the least popular choice for healing a cough at home was using a neti pot, or a saline rinse. Just 29 people, or 4.74% of respondents, said this was their go-to remedy. With 72 votes for gargling saltwater, this accounted for 11.76% of respondents. This is similar to a nasal rinse, but rinses the throat instead. An almost equal number of respondents chose steam as a means to treat a cough, making up 73 of the total answers, or 11.93%.

The top answers included drinking herbal tea, which came in third place. 15.52% of respondents, or 95 people, said they did this to get rid of their cough. In second place was using menthol and peppermint, making up 17.65%, or 108, of the total answers. Menthol is the active ingredient in peppermint, which can thin mucus and help to break up a cough (via Mount Sinai). Eating honey came in first place, and was the top cough-curing remedy for 235 of respondents, or 38.40%.

Other at-home remedies include taking a hot shower, drinking lots of fluids, sucking on cough drops, and using a vaporizer (via Penn Medicine). If your cough is related to a chronic condition, isn't going away, or you're having trouble breathing, contact your doctor for treatment.