The weather is changing, which people with sensitive noses know is the sign of cold and flu season coming up. People with busy workweeks know how a cold can make their lives difficult. Those of you with kids dread the thought of sick days home from school where everyone’s schedule gets thrown off and nothing gets done.

If you feel a cough coming on or you already have one, you may be on medications to get rid of it. But you can only take those so often. These 5 natural remedies to help with a cough are far more pleasant than cough syrup and help your body rehydrate and fight inflammation as well as treat your cough. Use these natural remedies strategically to avoid coughs from yourself or to give sick kids a natural and pleasant way to take their “medicine.”


1.   Increased fluid intake

Fluids are your body’s army against invading cold and flu germs. If you have a cough, room temperature fluids (and lots of them) can help with throat soreness and calm down your cough.

Many people have found that hot beverages are even more soothing than room temperature ones. Water, herbal teas, and broths are traditional remedies that work wonders to give you the fluids you need. Even fruit juice tastes better warmed up, especially for kids who don’t like warm broth.


2.   Tea with honey

Honey, especially dark, raw honey, is a miracle substance when it comes to relieving coughs, often outperforming over-the-counter cough-suppressants. The taste factor is a bonus.

My go-to cough remedy is a cup of warm marshmallow root tea with honey. The honey tastes great and reduces cough-related inflammation while the marshmallow coats your throat to help you feel less sore.


3.   Ginger

Ginger is well-known as a powerful natural anti-inflammatory. Coughs cause all kinds of inflammation and ginger helps your throat relax, especially if the cough is dry. If you’ve got flu-related nausea or pain, ginger can help settle your stomach too.

The best way to take ginger is naturally. Buy some whole root, thinly slice about an inch of it, and drop it into boiling water for about 5 minutes. Get some honey and lemon in there too for added effects.


4.   Peppermint

Menthol is the ingredient in peppermint that gives it a cooling sensation. It also reduces inflammation in your throat when you’ve been coughing, which not only relieves some pain but also reduces your urge to continue coughing.

Peppermint also has antibacterial, antiviral, and decongestive properties, so it’s got a lot going for it. Peppermint lozenges or teas could be a big help when you’re coming down with a cough and peppermint essential oil also makes for great decongesting aromatherapy, if you’re into that.


5.   Pineapple

Pineapple isn’t on everyone’s list of must-buys for cold and flu relief, but it should be up there with orange juice, especially for coughs. That’s because pineapple is packed with bromelain, which loosens up mucus and suppresses your urge to keep coughing.

Bromelain can be bought as a supplement, but it might be easier (and tastier) to opt for a fresh slice of pineapple or glass of fresh pineapple juice when you’re sick. As a bonus, kids can’t turn down a piece of pineapple, even when they’re under the weather.


The Takeaway

With cold and flu season on the way, coughs are a looming threat that could make life harder for you and your family. Medications could be a lifesaver, but they’re not an end-all solution to a cough. These 5 natural remedies help you recover from coughs by reducing inflammation, suppressing your urge to cough, and soothing your throat.

You’ll be happy to sip on honey ginger tea instead of cough syrup. And kids that refuse to take medicine might be convinced by some of these tasty alternatives as well.