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Homemade Cough Remedies

Category Home Remedies
You can develop a cough in conjunction with a cold or flu or even as the result of allergies. There are a plethora of medicines you can buy at the pharmacy, but often a homemade remedy will work just as well. This is a guide about homemade cough remedies.


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January 20, 2011

Some of you may already know this, but believe it or not this really works. Whenever I have a cough, I put Vicks on the soles of my feet and then put socks on. My cough stops. Yes, it really does. If you don't believe me, try it on yourself or someone in your family. Good luck, and no coughing.

By Karen Jensen from Woodland Hills, UT

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By 2 found this helpful
October 28, 2011

When my son was little, I always gave him 1 teaspoon of honey with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice for his cough syrup. It always worked!

By Sweezykay from Knightstown, IN

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September 8, 20093 found this helpful

If you get any cough while you are sleeping, try to wash your throat with any salt water. You can make salt water that adding 1 teaspoon of salt with 1/2 a glass of water. Also salt reacts against germs. It gives immediate relief and you can continue your sleep without disturbances. This has been experienced by my family and friends.


By butterfly20 from Bahrain

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February 9, 2017

Cough associated with itch in the throat can be very annoying. Sometimes coughing gives you a headache and makes you restless, especially at night. Based on personal experience, I have tried using lime to relieve myself from this annoying itch which I think could be a type of allergy, maybe. It keeps coming and it makes me cough most of the time.


What I did was grill the whole lime in an open fire for about 2-3 minutes, just like how you put marshmallows on bonfire. Then I cut it open and squeezed the juice in a tablespoon. I took it directly just like a cough syrup and, after a few minutes, the itch went away and I was able to sleep well. I also found out after a few search on google that it is also good with honey.

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January 4, 20170 found this helpful

These little drops are easy to make and come in handy during cold season. This is a guide about making homemade cough drops.

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February 6, 20120 found this helpful

Colds, coughs and sore throats are among the most common seasonal complaints. Although coughing sounds unhealthy, it is actually the body's highly effective way of keeping our lungs and airways clear. Coughing flushes out mucus when we've caught colds and helps us to catch our breath when food or drink goes down the wrong pipe. Unfortunately, many of today's over-the-counter cough medications serve to hinder our body's natural ability to eliminate toxins. For example, nose drops dry up nasal secretions - our body's way of excreting germ-laden mucus. Cough syrups suppress our cough - another natural way of getting rid of toxins and clearing air passages. Homemade cough remedies are designed to offer short-term relief of uncomfortable symptoms, without interfering with your body's natural ability to heal itself. They should always be used in conjunction with medical care and with your doctor's approval.


When to See Your Doctor:

Because coughs can also be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, you should seek medical attention immediately if:

Avoid Mucus Producing Foods:

Certain foods can aggravate your cough by stimulating mucus production. If you are suffering from a cough, avoid the following foods:

Foods that help with the reduction of mucus include garlic, onions, watercress, horseradish, and mustard.

Home Remedies:


The application of pressure on specific points on the body can help control certain symptoms. Acupressure (similar to the concept of acupuncture, but without needles) on the chest can help relax the body and relieve coughing. Just below your throat, there are two protrusions of the left and right sides of your collar bone. Using the middle fingers of both hands, apply pressure to depression points directly below these protrusions. Continue pressing on these points for a few minutes until your cough subsides.


Ayurveda is India's traditional, natural system of medicine. Practiced for over 5,000 years, it provides an integrated approach to preventing illness through natural therapies. If your cough is accompanied by a hoarse voice, mix 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper into 1 teaspoon of ghee of clarified butter (see recipe below), and take the mixture on a full stomach.

For a cough without hoarseness, mix 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper with 1 teaspoon of honey instead, also taking the mixture on a full stomach. Take the mixture appropriate for your symptoms, 3 times a day for 3 to 5 days.

Recipe for ghee:

  1. Melt two pounds of unsalted butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
  2. As soon as the butter begins to boil and foam, reduce the heat to a simmer. Keep the heated butter at a steady simmer until it is golden in color and no foam remains on top.
  3. Stir occasionally after the whitish curds sink to the bottom. When these curds turn light tan, the ghee is ready.
  4. Cool the mixture and strain it into a sterile quart jar. Discard the curds from the bottom, as they are almost pure cholesterol.

Herbal therapy:

Certain herbal teas, including eucalyptus, fenugreek, peppermint, anise and fennel, stop coughing by increasing saliva production, causing you to swallow more frequently and suppressing the cough reflex. To make a tea from one of these herbs, steep one to two teaspoons of the herb in a cup of boiling water for the appropriate amount of time:

Roots: steep for 15 minutes
Seeds: steep for 10 to 15 minutes
Leaves: steep for 3 to 10 minutes

After steeping for the appropriate time, strain the mixture to remove the dried herb, and let the tea cool to a drinkable temperature. Drink 3 to 4 cups a day, or if using a tea bag, follow the dosage recommended on the product.

Slippery elm is another anti-cough herb that stops the cough reflex by forming a protective and soothing layer around the irritated mucous membranes of your throat. Another remedy for dry coughs is to combine the juice from 3 garlic cloves with some honey and milk, and warm the mixture on the stove (do not boil). Take two teaspoons of the liquid in morning and evening. A few other anti-cough herbs, like horehound, are what herbalists call expectorants - herbs that thin the cough-causing mucus so that you can expectorate (spit) it out. You can find slippery elm teas and horehound lozenges, as well as the herbs listed above, in most health food stores.


Inhaling steam can help relieve throat irritation and loosens mucus in the lungs. Boil a pot of water on the stove and remove it from the heat. Let it cool long enough so active boiling is no longer taking place, plus an additional 1 to 2 minutes. (Caution: If the water is boiling or still too hot, you can scald your face and respiratory tract.) Hold your face 12 to 18 inches above the pot, and cover your head and shoulders with a towel to trap the stream. Inhale for up to 30 minutes. For a soothing effect, add a few drop of eucalyptus oil to the water. Other options include sleeping with a warm humidifier running or taking a steamy sauna.

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December 29, 2006

Dry, tight coughs are the worst and they can lead to further bronchial problems. Loosen up that dry phlegm - yes, uck, so you can get rid of it - by breathing in steam deep into your lungs by inhaling the steam of a large cup of hot tea.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
February 27, 2005

I am looking for a natural cough remedy using brandy. I've been pretty much using it mixed with water. It's the only relief I have found yet. Could anyone suggest other ingredients to add to this mixture? I've had this cough for a week and as soon as I lie down the coughing begins. The brandy works for about 4 hours and then it begins again.

Cindie from South Carolina


By Melissa (Guest Post)
February 28, 20050 found this helpful

My dad used to mix it with a little bit of honey and lemon. I am not sure what the ratio is. Good luck.

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February 28, 20051 found this helpful

In my family we make this remedy, we call it a Hotty Toddy. Heat up about 4 ounces of brandy as warm as you can drink it. Add 2 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and either spearmint or peppermint (1 sprig) or if you only have essential oils 1-2 drops. If it's a real nasty cough add a pinch of cayenne or chili powder.

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By Ela (Guest Post)
February 28, 20050 found this helpful

Why don't you infuse the brandy with some horehound? That's what I use ...

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By syd (Guest Post)
February 28, 20050 found this helpful

Add a little honey to it.

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By dgrams (Guest Post)
February 28, 20050 found this helpful

http://www.drin  name=category:12

Try this for hot toddy mix. There are people that swear by this... Good luck. I love it as my grammy use to make it with orange juice.

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By wen1 (Guest Post)
February 28, 20051 found this helpful

My Mom used to give my brother whiskey, honey, and lemon juice, ( i'm sure brandy would be the same) and the ratio is easy, just three equal parts..and the dose would be about the same as regular cough medicine...I'm sure this would brother had asthma very bad when he was young and he would get the nasty croop coughing and the mixture seemed to work great for him..get well soon Wen

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March 1, 20050 found this helpful

If you are only coughing when you lie down at night, and especially if you are older you should seek medical advice.



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By Sunny (Guest Post)
June 25, 20070 found this helpful


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By Christina Cornette (Guest Post)
November 27, 20070 found this helpful

Put some honey & lemon juice in it. Also, you can crush up peppermint candy & put it in there as well.

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April 28, 20090 found this helpful

Hi, do you use this for children? I have a 2 year old daughter with a nasty cough. Would this be used for her? Thanks, Mary.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 1, 2009

I have nasal drainage and a bad cough, when I cough it gets to the point of choking. I can't get oxygen to the brain, what do I do?

By susan from Charleston, SC


September 1, 20090 found this helpful

Buckwheat honey is the way to go! My 3 1/2-year-old son has been suffering w/ a cough for 6 months. I was told it was possible asthma, allergies, some combination thereof. He was on Singulair, Claritin, Pulmicort nebulizers, and I found myself still very dissatified. Like most parents, I don't want my kid on daily medication if I can help it. 2 weeks ago, I found myself reading these posts and willing to try just about anything. I tried the Vicks on the feet (no success), then went on to honey. I worked him up to 1 tbsp of honey twice a day (locally-made stuff) and it worked.

I haven't yet weaned him from the Claritin, but his cough has lessened dramatically even from what it was with the Claritin alone (which was the one drug I couldn't get away from. Off the Claritin, coughing all night!). We talked to our pediatrician this a.m. and he said honey is great b/c not only does it reduce inflammation, but it also increases the ciliary action in the lungs. However, he said I should switch to the Buckwheat variety instead of locally made. I highly recommend this to anyone whose kid is suffering through a really bad cold or even if they're like mine and have this unexplained chronic cough.

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September 1, 20090 found this helpful

I would also check around the house for hidden sources of mold. Vents, etc.

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September 1, 20090 found this helpful

My suggestion is only for adults. It works for me but may not work for you. OK, at bedtime and I get a coughing spasm, I get out some 80 proof (or better) bourbon and pour my self a shot. Then I drink it down, swallowing slowly! It does burn a bit going down (grin). I figure it's just burning out the phlegm in my throat. Yep, just the straight bourbon with NO water, no mix, no nothing. And yes, out of curiosity I did try different things including gin, vodka, whiskey, scotch and the only one that worked for me was bourbon. Don't take more than a shot and don't drink and drive! For me, it stopped the coughing long enough for me to get to sleep.

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September 6, 20090 found this helpful

Never give honey to an infant under 1 yr old, however. Some honey has botulism spores that could be fatal to a baby.

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October 16, 20090 found this helpful

Thanks to all guys who posted the remedy of honey and lemon and also rubbing the feet with vicks and putting the socks on.
My 7 year old son woke me up at 4 in the morning now, he's been coughing since 2 days but today was severe. It was continuous. So searched google and found this wonderful site with wonderful people responding. I squeezed 2-3 tbsp of fresh lime and 1 Tbsp. of honey, mixed well and gave it to my son, but only after rubbing his both feet with Vicks and putting his socks on, his cough seems to be gone miraculously and he's sleeping comfortably. Thank you.

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October 24, 20090 found this helpful

My 7 yr old son has had a cold with a terrible chesty cough that would erupt at bed time. As I didn't find cough relief medicine to work I've decided to search the web for home made cough remedies. I did come across this site; I have tried the honey & lemon, didn't help much, tried the Vicks on his chest and on his feet with the socks on - it hasn't worked. Tried infusion of hot water & Olba oil - no results. Then I made an appeal to my friends, and two of them advised me to try the following:
Boil 1 onion for 10 minutes, pour the liquid in a cup, mix it with 2 tsp honey, let it cool down a bit... when is warm give it to the child. It worked wonders!
ps. I added few drops of squash just for flavouring.

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November 12, 20090 found this helpful

FYI, fellow North americans: the "squash" for flavoring the recipe is not a vegetable; it's what they call drink concentrates in the UK.

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December 3, 20090 found this helpful

The sure way to stop coughing is to turn on shower, hot water, let steam up bathroom, sit for 15 min, It will stop the cough. Got this tip from a nurse, when my then 5 year old granddaughter was coughing and would not stop. Called the hospital, and I was told to do this. It really worked. Put her to bed, she never coughed the whole night.

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December 4, 20090 found this helpful

My 18 month old daughter had a chronic cough for months. The doctors gave us so many different times of medicine and nothing worked. She would stay up all night coughing and crying. One day I decided to do research on home remedies, I noticed that a lot of people used honey so one night, she was crying and absolutely miserable and of course I wasn't getting any sleep, i decided to give her a tsp of honey, within 2 hours she fell asleep and didn't cough for the rest of the night! The 6 month cough finally came to an end!

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February 6, 20100 found this helpful

My three year old son had been coughing alot in bed. I had heard from a friend and my dad about rubbing Vicks on the feet and then putting on socks. I tried it and no kidding it worked! After about 15 minutes or so, coughing stopped. He slept through the night without a single cough.

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January 30, 20130 found this helpful

My father has been suffering from cold and cough from 30 years with lots of phlegm. Due to the cough, my father is now having a pain in his chest and stomach. They did not find any types of problems, such as BP or blood sugar issues. Please can someone suggest a solution, any supplement, or syrup that might help.

By Geeta

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 2, 20090 found this helpful

Looking for an old recipe for a cough remedy that has whiskey and rock candy, but not sure what else if anything?

Zan from Charlotte, NC


Homemade Cough Remedies

To answer your question, it is Jim Beam Rock and Rye Whiskey. Make up a tea using a tea bag, honey, fresh lemon, and rock and rye. Heat it as hot as you can stand it and drink it as fast as you can, then get under the covers. It really helps stop the night coughing. (06/10/2008)

By Butterfly

Homemade Cough Remedies

A spoon of honey melted into warm lemonade with a tsp of sugar. Clears that cough right up and cheap and soothing. I have it all the time. Tastes nice too. (07/06/2008)


Homemade Cough Remedies

A guaranteed cure to stop coughing is to rub Vick's salve on the bottom of your feet (while laying down, or in bed), then put socks on over you feet. It won't be long and the cough will disappear. I'm not sure how it works, but it does. Now you won't have to worry about your child's cough anymore. (08/02/2008)

By Bill R

Homemade Cough Remedies

Take 1 tsp of honey with 1 tsp of brandy, heat and have in the night before sleeping. This works for kids as well as adults. Also you can boil 1/2 cup coca-cola and drink it 3 times a day. (08/18/2008)

By Suresh A

Homemade cough remedy

When I was a small girl and had laryngitis, my mother's Mennonite maid made a syrup from onion, sugar and I think some honey. I took a spoonful or so and my voice came back to normal in no time at all. A miracle.

By Jeanne C

Homemade Cough Remedies

Warm milk, honey, and rock candy (09/24/2008)

By jasmine

Homemade Cough Remedies

Mix Aloe Gel, honey, 1/4 onion and Lime in a blender. Drink a large tablespoon every 2 hrs. Make some green tea with lime, drink it hot. Vapor rub in chest, back, and feet and you will sleep like a baby. For those of you hooked on the whiskey and rum, be careful if you have a fever with dehydration, lots of orange juice with pulp is the best. Do not drink milk if you have a cough. (10/04/2008)

By Jesus

Homemade Cough Remedies

Scroll to Patricia and her husband's Grandma. Wet, cold washcloth on the neck, hand towel around it and I'm telling you that stuff works! My girl (7) was hacking away the 2nd night in a row. My husband, a medic, of course tried the OTC and to no avail. 15, yes, 15 minutes after I tried this, as a last resort before going to squeezed lemon, honey, thyme and all the other good stuff. IT WORKED! 90 min later and she is still asleep, not a beep out of her. I am so grateful! Thanks so much for another great remedy that was delivered from the past. (11/12/2008)

By Christina

Homemade Cough Remedies

Very good one. My hubby got the flu after taking the flu shot & got Claritin from the Dr. I made him this; 1/3 cup of lemon juice,1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Mix well in a 16 oz water bottle, finish filling it with water. Drink as needed day & night, good luck. (11/30/2008)

By kathleen williams

Homemade Cough Remedies

Mexican people use this, and it's very effective: my child and I had a very loud cough in 2007 winter. Our neighbor (an old Mexican lady) told us to boil 2 cinnamon sticks and then serve in a cup with lime juice (not lemon) and drink it hot! That remedy works. I use it every time. (12/24/2008)

By jimmy.

Homemade Cough Remedies

You should not give honey to any child under the age of two. (12/27/2008)

By me

Homemade Cough Remedies

My 8 year old son has had a hacking cough for 3 days. After giving him the maximum dose of cough medicine with no relief, I tried Patricia's recipe from her husband's grandmother (scroll down). I placed a cold wet cloth on his throat and covered it with a dry towel. He stopped coughing instantly and has not coughed once since. Amazing! (12/28/2008)

By Lynn

Homemade Cough Remedies

I am absolutely amazed at the results of Patricia's remedy! I've had a chesty, congested cough for about two days now. Tonight, none of my prescribed meds worked at all. So about an hour ago, in desperation, I crawled out of bed and Googled HERBAL REMEDIES. ha ha. I ended up eating some honey, but the cough still lingered. In even more hopeless desperation, I tried Patricia's remedy as a last resort, and it works. By gum, Does it work. I'm amazed. Patricia, I owe a good nights sleep to you! (01/08/2009)

By Caitlin

Homemade Cough Remedies

Patricia's remedy doesn't work for everyone. Tried it on my 7 year old and she's coughing worse than ever. Different strokes for different folks. (01/14/2009)

By Carl Barkema

Homemade Cough Remedies

My 7 year old started coughing earlier this evening and I tried to have him sip hot water with a little sugar, honey and lemon but he didn't want to drink it. So I just put a tablespoon of honey and a few drops of lemon juice mixed in and had him swallow it in one spoonful and here we are about 15 minutes later and no cough! It really did work immediately. I didn't have fresh lemon so I had to use the sour juice in the container that is shaped like a lemon, but it worked. At least now he can get some sleep. (01/31/2009)

By Tara

Homemade Cough Remedies

My mom has been coughing for the past 2 weeks, turns out that she has pneumonia. The doctors have her on about 4 different prescriptions, and they all work fairly well. But at night, it's really bad, she can't lay down or she will start coughing. She has tried some of the home remedies and they have worked pretty well, but I am desperately seeking help from anyone who is willing to give me some. So thanks to everyone who has posted some of your own home remedies, I will be making a list of some of the ones she should try. Thank you so much!

If you can help me, you can E-mail me at SaraMuFFin88 at(@) AOL dot(.)com
(sorry my E-mail address looks kind of weird, but I was following the directions for putting your E-mail on this comment thing.) (02/02/2009)

By Sara From WI.

Homemade Cough Remedies

In warm milk, add turmeric powder and salt, drink it right before going to bed at night. Let it sit, do not drink water for couple hours. It works and it's safe. (02/12/2009)

By pinal

Homemade Cough Remedies

(Submitted via email)

Mr. Boston Rock and Rye. I bought it at my local liquor store. This is the drink with the rock candy in it.
Tammy. (02/14/2009)

By Sally

Homemade Cough Remedies

I have been reading the comments and suggestions concerning the coughing regarding specifically 6-7 year olds. I tried the spoonful of honey first. I'm waiting 15 min. Not working yet. Okay on to the next, cold wash cloth on neck with towel over it..okay I'm waiting to see, it's a no go. I think this is weird but I'm desperate. Baby chest rub on her feet with socks...waiting, 10 min. later, thank you Jesus! Poor thing, I know she was going to start coughing blood any moment from how hard she was coughing. Oh, I forgot to say that before all of this I gave her a teaspoon of prescription cough syrup that of course did not work. 15 mins, still nothing from the bedroom. All is well. Thanks to all! (02/17/2009)

By Lori

Homemade Cough Remedies

The mixture of 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, and 2 tbsp water is the best remedy I've found. Just made it for my son (it's 3am) who has been coughing every night for weeks now. Tonight was the worst. Within minutes of taking 2 tsp of this mixture he was asleep. He wouldn't let me rub the Vick's on his feet, though I know it works quite well. And we did not want to use OTC commercial products. HURRAY! (02/19/2009)

By Cathy, AZ

Homemade Cough Remedies

It's a miracle, thank you thank you. My 2 year old grandson has had a bad cough for two days now and has had no sleep from coughing so bad. My daughter and I just tried the remedy of putting Vick's Vapor rub on the bottom of his little feet and covering them with socks. To our amazement he stopped coughing within 15 minutes and has finally fallen asleep. What a wonderful and safe remedy. (02/21/2009)

By Suzanne

Homemade Cough Remedies

A lot of great ideas! Just a note, never, ever give little children raw honey (under 1-2 years). Raw honey often contains botulism bacteria. The levels are quite low so that an older person's natural intestinal bacteria wipe them out before they cause harm. But babies haven't developed their natural flora yet and can't protect themselves.

By Paige

Homemade Cough Remedies

I've had a horrible and constant cough for about a week. I tried a tsp of sugar, a big glob of honey and a few squeezes of a fresh lemon and poured boiling water over. I'm sitting here 10 minutes later not coughing at all and I think I've found my new favorite drink. It tastes so yummy. (02/25/2009)

By Kait

Homemade Cough Remedies

When I was a child, we were pretty poor. My parents always got the generic version of Vick's and smeared it on a long tube sock. They safety-pinned it to my neck, like a scarf. When I woke up, I almost always never had the symptoms. This worked for cough and cold (and especially chest congestion). This also ensures your child won't get any Vick's in his or her eyes or mouth through the night. (03/04/2009)

By cortney

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September 1, 20090 found this helpful

My son is 2 years old. I am looking for a homemade cough remedy. He coughs when he cries and he gets a cough during the day that can last about an hour. I took him to the doctor and he said it was allergies. He gave him medicine but it didn't work.

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June 4, 20080 found this helpful
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May 6, 20080 found this helpful
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