A Natural Onion and Garlic Cough Remedy

It's considered that both onion and garlic have expectorant, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, they're considered a useful treatment for coughs.
A Natural Onion and Garlic Cough Remedy

Last update: 28 July, 2022

Today, we’d like to talk about a natural onion and garlic cough remedy. It’ll act as a good complement to any prescribed treatment from your doctor or pharmacist.

Coughing can be really annoying, especially when you’re sick and all you want to do is sleep in order to feel better. Therefore, people tend to look for all sorts of cough remedies.

The most common methods are home remedies with ingredients such as onion and garlic. Indeed, they’re usually traditional recipes with natural ingredients considered to be beneficial.

Both onions and garlic have been attributed with antibiotic, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory properties. These are responsible for giving relief, helping in the expulsion of phlegm (if there is any), and, of course, fighting a cough.

You might also be interested to read: 5 Teas for a Cough

Natural onion and garlic cough remedy

The combination of onions and garlic has long been seen as a simple cough remedy. Drinking a mixture of these two ingredients not only hydrates the throat (thus reducing irritation) but also helps eliminate the pathogens that caused the associated illness.

It’s believed that, due to their content of allicin and sulphur compounds, both onion and garlic act as antibiotics and therefore help relieve the cough.

Furthermore, it’s believed that if you drink this natural onion and garlic cough remedy, you’ll avoid taking too many other medications and also help hydrate yourself. This will also play a key role in your recovery process.

The benefits of onions for relieving a cough

Onions have been one of the most frequently used vegetables in cooking for many years. This isn’t only due to their flavor but also to their high nutritional value.

According to data from the Spanish Nutrition Foundation, onions contain protein, potassium, vitamin C, and various sulfur compounds. In addition, they’re rich in flavonoids.

Some studies support their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant properties. They’re also seen as having a relaxant effect on the tracheal muscle and are modulators of the immune system.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of onion extract for the treatment of problems such as common colds, coughs, asthma, and bronchitis.

The benefits of garlic as a cough remedy

Garlic is used a great deal in cooking. It also has many health benefits.

Garlic has also played a huge part in hundreds of cultures around the world for centuries. Like the onion, several medicinal properties have been attributed to it.

Garlic has antibiotic, expectorant, and anti-bactorial effects. These help to eliminate the germs that cause coughs. In addition, it’s thought that garlic helps to strengthen the immune system by increasing the production of the antibodies that destroy viruses and bacteria.

How to make a natural onion and garlic cough remedy

This onion and garlic drink is really easy to make. Although it’s not a miracle cure, you can drink it as a complement to a healthy diet and any medication prescribed by your doctor.

Some people use white onions while others prefer brown as they give a different taste. Choose the variety that you like most and give this natural remedy a try.


  • 2 cloves of garlic.
  • 1/2 medium onion.
  • 2 cups of water (500 ml).


  • Put the water in a pan and boil it over medium heat.
  • Chop the onions and slice the garlic.
  • When the water boils, add the onions and garlic.
  • Turn down the heat and leave it to simmer for 2 or 3 minutes.
  • Let it stand until it reaches room temperature.
  • Strain and drink it in moderation.

How to drink it

Drink the onion and garlic remedy several times a day to improve your cough.
  • Serve half a cup and take small sips at the first sign of a cough.
  • Drink it as part of the treatment prescribed by your doctor, never as a substitute. Also, remember you must maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Some people add a little honey to the mixture to soften the strong taste of the onion and garlic. In fact, this could be a positive move, as some studies have shown that a spoonful of honey before going to sleep reduces coughs in children with upper respiratory tract infections (only to be used for those older than one year).

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Beigoli S, Behrouz S, et al. Effects of Allium cepa and its constituents on respiratory and allergic disorders: a comprehensive review of experimental and clinical evidence. Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. 2021. 5554259.
  • Fundación Española de la Nutrición. Cebolla.
  • Gloria García, Alimentos Que Ayudan a Prevenir y Combatir Enfermedades. Palibrio, 2012.
  • Goldman R. D. Honey for treatment of cough in children. Official Publication of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Diciembre 2014. 60 (12): 1107-1110.
  • Jean Carper. Los alimentos medicina milagrosa. Editorial AMAT, 2012.
  • Majewski M. Allium sativum, facts and myths regarding human health. Roczniki Panstwowego Zakladu Higieny. 65 (1): 1-8.
  • Salehi B, Zucca P, Erdogan Orhan I. Allicin and health: a comprehensive review. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 86.
  • Simeon Margolis, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Johns Hopkins Symptoms and Remedies: The Complete Home Medical Reference. Pennsylvania University.2009.
  • Wolde T, Kuma H, et al. Anti-bacterial activity of garlic extract against human pathogenic bacteria. Journal of Pharmacovigilance. 2018. 6:1.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.