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Ginger for cough

January 15, 2021
prepare ginger tea for cough

Although sometimes a cough is no more than a mild symptom of a cold or flu, it can sometimes turn into something more serious. Acute cough causes discomfort , sore throat , headache , difficulty falling asleep , among other complaints. Considering that most conventional cough medications tend to cause drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, and blurred vision, many people prefer to find relief using home remedies. If that is your case and you are looking for a natural alternative to treat a cough, be sure to try ginger. With anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antitussive and expectorant properties1 2 ,ginger rootcan be all you need to warm the body, cleanse the respiratory system, and control spasms that cause coughing.

Read on below for benefits , uses , popular recipes , helpful tips , and precautions to keep in mind.

Ginger Cough Remedy: Why Does It Work?

The ginger is a good remedy to relieve and suppress cough naturally because of its:3 4

  • Analgesic and anti-inflammatory power . First of all, it relieves the sensation of tickling, scratching and inflammation in the throat, this being a common cause of uncontrollable coughing. On the other hand, it helps soothe the harsh pain and the resulting irritation.
  • Hot effect on the body . The spicy compounds in ginger have a warming effect on our body, hence they help to cleanse and decongest the respiratory system; In many cases, the main cause of coughing is the accumulation of mucus in the lungs. Ginger is also a muscle relaxant that can relieve spasms associated with a severe cough.
  • Ability to fight germs . Helps strengthen the immune system, fights the proliferation of bacteria / viruses and promotes recovery in cases of cold or flu.
  • Oleoresin content . In addition to the main medicinal compounds in ginger, known as gingerols, shogaols and zingerones, the Asian root contains a very particular type of essential oil: oleoresin. Oleoresin has been studied for its antitussive ability, hence some researchers have recognized its potential to treat cough and other accompanying symptoms.

These properties are effective in addressing any cough, especially wet cough and dry cough .

Specifically, coughing up phlegm can be relieved by drinking ginger tea several times a day. This will loosen the congestion and cause you to begin to expel excess mucus that has accumulated in your chest and throat quickly. An alternative to ginger tea is to chew a thin slice of the fresh root, repeating 2-3 times a day.

Likewise, ginger is excellent for calming dry coughs or unproductive coughs . Unlike a productive cough, this type of cough is often caused by air pollution, viral infections, allergies, and anxiety. When you have a constant cough, it is best to take a warm infusion of ginger to reduce irritation, reduce inflammation of the nasal passages and drag possible germs.

Note : Chronic dry cough can be the sign of a serious illness; If your cough persists, see a doctor as soon as possible.

It may interest you: 15 Benefits and Healing Properties of Ginger – What is it for?

How do you prepare ginger tea for cough?

Drinking a freshly brewed tea is the fastest and most effective way to find relief when a cough doesn’t leave you feeling calm. The 3 basic ingredients in ginger antitussive tea are:

  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root, or ½ teaspoon ground dried ginger
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey


  • Put about 6 cups of water in a container and bring to the fire to boil.
  • Once it has reached the boiling point, turn off the heat, add the grated ginger and let it rest for 10-15 minutes to release the natural compounds and oils of the tuber.
  • After that time, strain the infusion while transferring it to another container, squeeze the lemon juice, add the honey and stir very well until completely diluted.
  • Serve and drink 1 cup of this hot tea, reserving the rest to repeat throughout the day.

A good recommendation is to always drink ginger, honey and lemon tea before going to sleep , as this will help relax the airways, provide a fresh feeling in the chest, calm coughs and irritated throat, and allow you to get a better rest. during the early morning.

Many people often combine ginger with other soothing teas, for example with chamomile. If you want to make a chamomile and ginger cough tea , just add the chamomile and 2-3 thin slices of ginger to 1 cup of very hot water; let it sit for 5 minutes and drink while it is still warm. The sedative effect of chamomile along with the analgesic properties of ginger will help you cough less and soothe throat irritation.

For other popular combinations, visit Ginger Tea

Other uses

Although tea may be the most popular and easy to prepare, ginger can also be used in other ways to relieve coughs.

Ginger cough syrup

In this recipe we will be reusing the same ingredients of the infusion (honey,  ginger and lemon ), but we will apply a different way of preparation. The goal is to obtain a concentrated mixture that helps us treat several symptoms at the same time , not just the cough.

We will need:

  • The peel of 2 lemons (zest)
  • ¼ cup ginger, peeled and sliced ​​(or ½ teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of honey
  • ½ cup of lemon juice


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon zest, the ginger slices, 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Once it reaches the boiling point, lower the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes; then remove the saucepan from the heat and let it rest for 5 more minutes. Now strain the mixture to remove the pieces of ginger and the remains of lemon zest.
  3. Rinse the same saucepan and pour the cup of honey into it. Bring to a simmer to heat, but do not allow the honey to boil. Next, add the ginger infusion that you had reserved and the lemon juice.
  4. Keep stirring this mixture until its volume has reduced slightly and has the consistency of thick syrup. Remove from the fire and let cool.
  5. Finally, pour the ginger, honey and lemon syrup into a clean glass jar with a lid.

It is advisable to let the syrup sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours before using it. You will notice that the acidity of the lemon can dilute the honey slightly.

Note : this syrup has a shelf life of approximately 2 months.

The recommended daily dose is 1-2 tablespoons ; It can be taken directly, diluted in a cup of warm water or mixed with tea.

The main benefits of ginger syrup for cough are: 5 6 7

  • Stimulation of the salivary glands
  • The release of mucus through the airways
  • Antibiotic and antiviral action on the respiratory system
  • The contribution of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that strengthen the immune system

* The consumption of honey is not recommended in children under 1 year due to the risk of infant botulism. 8 9

Orange juice with ginger

Like lemon, orange is a citrus fruit rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants that help boost our immunity and speed up recovery from colds and flu.10 Drinking orange juice with ginger can be aconvenient and delicious way to fight a cough, especially if you find it difficult to drink hot infusions.

Add the juice of 2 oranges, ½ glass of water and 2 thin slices of fresh peeled ginger to the blender; Blend until the root is completely disintegrated and drink immediately. You can add ½ teaspoon of honey, but considering the natural sweet taste of the orange, this is usually not necessary.

Another alternative to this recipe is to add ½ teaspoon of ground ginger to 1 glass of orange juice, stir with a spoon to mix well, and drink instantly.

Ginger candy for cough with sore throat

Ginger candies are usually a very popular treat, but they can also be a good remedy for a constant, dry cough . Although it is possible to find candies of this type in pharmacies and supermarkets, it is best to prepare your own candies at home.

How do you make gingerbread cough drops?

Here we suggest a basic recipe , which uses few ingredients and does not require much preparation time.

You will need to:

  • 1 fresh ginger root, peeled
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 1 cup of water
  • The juice of ½ lemon


  • Cut the ginger root into small pieces (about 1 cm wide). Put them aside for now.
  • Put the honey, lemon and water in a saucepan and bring to the heat for a few minutes to prepare a syrup. Stir the mixture and make sure it doesn’t burn.
  • When you have the friend ready, add the ginger pieces and let them cook over low heat until they have slightly softened. Stir every few seconds.
  • Once the ginger has lost its crunchiness, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to sit overnight.
  • The next morning, you just need to roll the ginger pieces onto a surface on wax paper so that they finish hardening. Finally, store them in a glass container that closes hermetically.

You can suck or chew 1-2 ginger candies during the day to ease a cough and sore throat. They are a comfortable alternative, easy to take anywhere and I assure you that they have a delicious intense flavor.

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Ginger patches

Ginger patches are a perfect remedy to soothe the coughs, congestion, and sneezes so common in the winter months. Although they can be done in different ways, here is a simple method to prepare cough suppressant patches in a few minutes .


  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger or freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of wheat flour

You will also need 1 napkin, gauze, and tape or tape.


  1. In a bowl, combine the honey and flour to form a paste.
  2. Add the coconut (or olive) oil to this mixture and stir until completely integrated. Now add the ginger and continue stirring to obtain a homogeneous mixture (it should not have a liquid consistency, but rather pasty).
  3. Place the mixture on an extended napkin and wrap in a square or rectangular shape. Then place the napkin inside a cheesecloth and wrap it again to give it a patch shape.

At this point, the ginger patch is ready to use. You can place it on the chest or back, fastening it to the skin with tape or a bandage. This alternative can be especially helpful at night , when coughing and congestion keep you from falling asleep. The natural warmth of honey and ginger will make your body relax, help you breathe better and cough less at dawn.11 12.

Although it is not common to experience side effects with this remedy, some people may experience mild skin irritation. If that’s the case, we recommend adding more honey and less ginger.


As with eucalyptus, ginger inhalations are effective in calming most cold symptoms , including nasal congestion and coughing up phlegm. The procedure is very simple but effective; You just have to bring a saucepan of water to a boil, add several slices of fresh ginger and let it infuse for several minutes before beginning to breathe in the vapors.

It is important to keep your head covered with a towel and stick as close to the saucepan as possible so that the steam does not escape, being careful not to burn yourself. Inhale deeply for at least 10 minutes to allow the aromatic ginger oils to penetrate your airways.

Taking ginger inhalations 1-2 times a day is ideal to reduce coughing, promote the expulsion of phlegm, reduce inflammation and clean the entire respiratory system13.

Ginger oil massages

Another way to relieve a persistent, dry cough is to massage your chest and back with ginger oil. A quick option might be to buy ginger essential oil from a pharmacy or health food store. In that case, it is recommended to mix 20 drops of this oil with 4 ounces of a carrier oil, such as castor oil, coconut or sweet almond oil. Stir well to integrate both ingredients, place a small amount of the mixture in your hand and begin to gently massage the bare chest. Repeat several times and let the ginger compounds soak in for quick relief from a cough and tight chest14.

Note: pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid using this remedy.

If you don’t have a commercial oil, you can make your own ginger cough oil at home.

You will need to:

  • A piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • A baking dish
  • A cheese grater
  • A clean gauze


  1. Pour the olive oil into the oven safe container.
  2. Grate the peeled ginger root, add it to the oil and mix well.
  3. Take the container to the oven and cook over low heat (150 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1 hour.
  4. Then, transfer the mixture to another container, filtering with the help of cheesecloth (it is important to remove the remains of the zest).
  5. Let cool slightly and transfer the ginger oil to a clean glass jar.

If stored in a cool, dry place, homemade ginger oil can last up to 6 months.

It may interest you: Where to Buy Ginger? Good Quality and at the Best Price

Can ginger be used to relieve coughs in babies and children?

Common cold, flu, and allergy symptoms are often devastating for any adult, but this is undoubtedly much worse when it comes to children. Excess mucus, clogging, fever, and coughing make little ones grumpy, lose their appetite, and can’t sleep at night.

Many parents wonder if using traditional home remedies, such as ginger , is still safe to relieve coughs in their children . The first thing to keep in mind is that the use of herbal remedies in babies and children is not recommended without first consulting with a doctor or pediatrician.

In the specific case of ginger, it appears to be safe to use as long as it is administered in small doses . The antioxidant, antibacterial, antihistamine and decongestant properties of this tuberous root help to strengthen immunity, relieve cough and fight the flu, however it is important to use it correctly, paying attention to the following recommendations:

  • Ginger consumption should be avoided in infants under 2 years of age. According to statements from the University of Maryland Medical Center15 , in the United States, the spicy taste and potency of some of its substances can be very irritating, and even toxic, to the developing digestive system of young babies.
  • Raw ginger is less hot and spicy than dried ginger, which is why the former is a better option for children.
  • The amounts must be controlled very well, making sure not to exceed the daily dose of ¼ teaspoon of grated ginger, either in the form of tea or mixed with food.
  • In case of using ginger syrup for cough, it is recommended to administer ½ – 1 teaspoon every 2 hours in children between 2 and 5 years; 1- 2 teaspoons every 2 hours in children from 5 to 12 years old and 1-2 tablespoons every 4 hours in children over 12 years old.
  • When applying a ginger patch to relieve cough and decongest the chest, put it on for 2-3 hours and remove it before the child goes to bed. It is not recommended to leave it on overnight.
  • If a child is taking ginger and shows signs of allergy on his body, its use should be stopped immediately and a doctor should be consulted.
  • If your child has a high fever or severe persistent cough, be sure to see a pediatrician to rule out a serious infection.

Contraindications and possible side effects

Excessive ginger consumption can cause heartburn and other stomach disorders, such as diarrhea, nausea, ulcers. 16

The active compounds in this tuber can interact with various medications. Do not take ginger for a cough if you are using blood thinners, and proceed with caution if you are taking medications for high blood pressure or diabetes.17

Ginger can be irritating to some sensitive skin. Before using ginger oil to give a chest massage or apply a cough patch, be sure to test it first on a small area of ​​skin.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consume ginger in moderation, always with the approval of their doctor. For more details, visit Ginger in Pregnancy .

Continue reading in: Ginger Contraindications – Side Effects and Correct Dosage



My name is Louise Hammond, and I am the creator of this website, a place to find information about tubers, bulbs and medicinal roots. In I show the properties, benefits, characteristics, photos and images, ways of growing and how to make delicious meals from starchy vegetables.