3 Traditional Remedies for Asthma and Coughs

There are several home remedies that can support medical treatment, if authorized by the professional.
3 Traditional Remedies for Asthma and Coughs

Written by Editorial Team

Last update: 10 December, 2022

Asthma and coughs are two of the most common health problems around. Fortunately, both are treatable you only have to go to see your doctor. In addition, there are some traditional remedies for asthma and coughs that can help alleviate symptoms.

It’s common for people, at some point in their lives, to try the typical remedies from grandma’s medicine cabinet made with natural ingredients. Although the efficacy of many of them is only anecdotal, others do have some scientific backing. Of course, most of the time their effectiveness ranges from mild to moderate.

3 natural remedies for asthma and cough

Before telling you the best traditional remedies for asthma and coughs, remember that they are not a substitute for medical therapy. Their use is always complementary, as far as possible always under the knowledge of the specialist. Let’s see what you can use to obtain symptomatic relief.

1. Natural onion remedy for cough

Cebolla para los esguinces.

One of the main remedies recommended in the popular field to relieve asthma and coughs is made from a very common ingredient in the kitchen – the onion.

A paper published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2021 found that onions provide tracheal smooth muscle relaxant effects, which, in turn, translates into bronchodilator activities and relief of obstructive respiratory diseases.

Onions have been used to treat induced asthma in animal experiments, and they’re known to relieve symptoms such as coughing in lung infections. Let’s see how you can take advantage of it.


  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cups of water (500 ml)
  • ½ kg of red or purple onions
  • 7 tablespoons raw bee honey (175 g)


  • First, cut the onion into slices, squeeze the two lemons and set aside.
  • In a frying pan, preheat the sugar over a medium heat. Stir constantly until golden brown.
  • Then add the onion, cook for a couple of minutes, and add the water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat until the water is reduced by one-third. Let it cool down.
  • Add the honey and lemon juice to the mixture and stir well.
  • Let it sit overnight and, in the morning, strain the liquid and store it in a glass jar.
  • Consume in moderation while you have discomfort, in order to obtain relief. Try to avoid taking more than 3 tablespoons a day.

2. Ginger-based remedies for cough

Ginger is also an option to relieve cough naturally. It is known that some of its compounds, such as polysaccharides, can provide timely relief from coughing episodes. In addition, there’s evidence that its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties can be used for respiratory conditions.

If you want to take advantage of the benefits of ginger, you can consume it in several ways. Here are three that we propose:

  • Chewing fresh ginger.
  • Drinking an infusion of ginger (with a touch of lemon).
  • Preparing a honey syrup with ginger.

Honey and ginger syrup is perhaps one of the best-known and traditionally used ways to take advantage of its benefits.


  • 1 teaspoon of honey (7.5 g)
  • ½ teaspoon powdered ginger (2 g)
  • Optional: lemon juice, fresh garlic cloves.


  • Mix the ginger well with the honey so as not to inhale it when you consume it.
  • When you have a homogeneous product, take a teaspoon before each meal.

Note: ginger may be contraindicated in some cases, especially if you are taking any drug treatment, so it is advisable to consult your doctor first before starting to consume it.

3. Radish and honey remedy for asthma and coughs

Rodajas de rábano.
Radish slices are the traditional form of its consumption, but there are many other preparations.

Radish has been used in combination with other ingredients as a therapy for asthma episodes. It has been suggested that it may inhibit inflammatory responses, so it’s emerging as a complementary treatment for respiratory complications. Honey in combination with other agents is known to provide symptomatic relief from asthma,


  • 1 black radish
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons of honey (75 or 100 g)


  • First of all, you’ll have to wash the radish well and let it dry. Remove the lower part and cut off the upper part.
  • Put the radish in a suitable container and add 3 to 4 tablespoons of honey.
  • Cover the cut top. Let it stand overnight.
  • Consume in moderation.

What else can you do about asthma and coughs?

As we have already mentioned, traditional remedies can contribute to the relief of problems such as asthma and coughs when taken as a complement to the doctor’s indications and good lifestyle habits. They are not a cure, nor do they treat the main cause itself.

Thus, the best way to control both these problems is through medical care. Consult with a specialist on how to approach each case, and never use these remedies as substitutes. Both coughs (dry, acute, chronic and others) and asthma can be treated, and this will be done by your trusted specialist.

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.

  • Abbas AS, Ghozy S, Minh LHN, Hashan MR, Soliman AL, Van NT, Hirayama K, Huy NT. Honey in Bronchial Asthma: From Folk Tales to Scientific Facts. J Med Food. 2019 Jun;22(6):543-550.
  • Beigoli S, Behrouz S, Memar Zia A, Ghasemi SZ, Boskabady M, Marefati N, Kianian F, Khazdair MR, El-Seedi H, Boskabady MH. Effects of Allium cepa and Its Constituents on Respiratory and Allergic Disorders: A Comprehensive Review of Experimental and Clinical Evidence. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2021 Sep 11;2021:5554259.
  • Bera K, Nosalova G, Sivova V, Ray B. Structural Elements and Cough Suppressing Activity of Polysaccharides from Zingiber officinale Rhizome. Phytother Res. 2016 Jan;30(1):105-11.
  • Dorsch W, Ring J. Anti-inflammatory substances from onions could be an option for treatment of COVID-19-a hypothesis. Allergo J Int. 2020;29(8):284-285.
  • Jafarzadeh A, Jafarzadeh S, Nemati M. Therapeutic potential of ginger against COVID-19: Is there enough evidence? Journal of Traditional Chinese Medical Sciences. 2021 Oct;8(4):267–79.
  • Lee KD, Shim SY. Anti-Inflammatory Food in Asthma Prepared from Combination of Raphanus sativus L., Allium hookeriAcanthopanax sessiliflorum, and Dendropanax morbiferus Extracts via Bioassay-Guided Selection. Foods. 2022 Jun 27;11(13):1910.
  • Oliveira TT, Campos KM, Cerqueira-Lima AT, Cana Brasil Carneiro T, da Silva Velozo E, Ribeiro Melo IC, Figueiredo EA, de Jesus Oliveira E, de Vasconcelos DF, Pontes-de-Carvalho LC, Alcântara-Neves NM, Figueiredo CA. Potential therapeutic effect of Allium cepa L. and quercetin in a murine model of Blomia tropicalis induced asthma. Daru. 2015 Feb 21;23(1):18.

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