8 Natural Filipino Cough Remedies

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Update Date 12/07/2020 . 5 mins read
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With the onset of every cough, it’s natural to seek over-the-counter medication. But did you know a cure could be found in your own home or garden? Filipino remedies for cough, which are often made from natural ingredients, have been used and passed down for generations.

Here are some of the best natural Filipino remedies for cough that you may find at home, without having to visit your doctor or your nearest drugstore. But as always, it advised that you consult your doctor before taking any “medication” to treat an ailment. 

What are the types of cough?

There are two types of cough: non-productive, or what we commonly refer to as dry cough, and productive or wet cough

Individuals with non productive cough experience an itchy sensation in their throat, which could be a response to certain allergies, irritants like dust and pollen, or side effects from medication. Phlegm is not present.

On the other hand, those with productive cough have phlegm or mucus, which could be a response to an infection or certain viruses. Distinguishing between the two types can help you source the proper natural remedy for your symptoms.

What are the common causes of cough?

Some of the most common causes for both dry and productive cough are the following:

  • reactions to irritants such as dust or pollen (especially those who live near fields, are situated outdoors, or who are exposed to construction areas where an abundance of dust can be present in the atmosphere)
  • allergic reactions to pets like cats and dogs
  • post-nasal drip—which is described as an uncomfortable sensation of mucus secretions dripping from your nasal cavity down to your throat. This can also be an onset of flu or the common cold.

If you are experiencing chronic cough that lasts for more than 3 weeks, do not self-medicate and seek professional help when you can.

Chronic cough can be an indication of another underlying condition such as bronchitis, pneumonia, primary complex, or tuberculosis. These must be urgently attended to.

Chronic Cough: What You Need to Know

Some ways to relieve cough

Continuous coughing can lead to some discomfort like headaches or the inability to fall asleep. You can prevent and relieve some of the discomfort by making sure you clean your home regularly.

It is advised that you replace curtains, bed sheets, and other furnishings regularly, especially coverings that may not be consistently dusted. Also, vacuum and sweep away hair and pet fur, which may accumulate on carpets and furniture. A lint roller works best for this type. 

To help you get a good night’s rest, you may also opt to diffuse some oils like lavender. Humidifiers are also a great way to diffuse scents, while purifying the air around you.

Lastly, make sure that you keep your head in an elevated position when sleeping. 

Now that we’ve established the basics, here are some of the best natural remedies you can try at home. 

Popular Filipino Remedies for Cough

The Republic Act 8423 (Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act – TAMA of 1997) states that through scientific research and product development, traditional and healthcare methods can be used and advocated to treat simple cough.

Here are some of the most widely used cough remedies in the Philippines.

Ginger tea or salabat

Ginger contains antibacterial and antiviral properties, best used for relieving itchy throat or sore throat. Simply slice ginger into thin strips, boil in water, and enjoy some homemade ginger tea.


This is a well-known medicinal plant in the Philippines.

Lagundi is one of the most potent medicinal plants promoted by the Department of Health (DOH). Boil its leaves and flowers in hot water, and drink it as tea. 

Lagundi as Herbal Medicine for Cough and Asthma


The leaves of this common houseplant have a minty taste and smell. When steeped in hot water like tea, oregano can help soothe cough symptoms. You can also inhale the steam to relieve clogged sinuses.

Tea with honey and lemon

Another popular remedy in the Philippines is honey, which is a natural cough suppressant. It can also relieve sore throat. Mix this with lemon in hot water for the perfect cup of warm tea.

Though honey one of the top Filipino remedies for cough, it should not be administered to infants less than a year old, as it may cause constipation, dehydration, and pneumonia.

Water with salt

If you are coughing and experience some sore throat or tonsillitis, gargling with salt in water can help cleanse and relieve swollen glands.

It’s best to gargle using clean, drinking water. You need to ensure water potability and reduce the risk of swallowing chemicals and bacteria that may be found in tap or well water.

Apple cider vinegar

As mentioned above, cough can be your body’s response to virus or bacteria.

Vinegar, which is one of the long-held Filipino remedies for cough, can help kill the bacteria that may be causing your cough. Apple cider vinegar is a kitchen staple that is very easy to source at most grocery stores.

Aside from being a good cough remedy, it also promises a number of health benefits, like reducing inflammation and managing blood sugar levels.

The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Aloe vera

This common houseplant offers many medicinal benefits. Use its juice as a hair or face mask, or consume it for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can help soothe itchy throat and reduce cough symptoms.

Calamansi juice

Calamansi, or Philippine Lime, is one of the more common Filipino remedies for cough. It contains vitamin C, which also boosts your immune system.

It also serves as an expectorant as it helps loosen stubborn phlegm. Best to drink it warm to help soothe your throat. Honey can also be added to help improve taste.

You may try these to soothe a cough. But if symptoms persist or worsen over time, do consult your doctor. 

Are Filipino remedies for cough as safe as over-the-counter drugs?

There are certain risks we face when we heavily rely on over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. Some drugs cause side effects, such as nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also advises against the use of OTC drugs especially for children, as unwanted side effects may lead to accidental overdose if combined with other medications.

Parents also need to regulate and monitor the accessibility of cough medicines, as some of these have habit-forming properties.

Beware of giving medication without the advice of a doctor to infants 6 months and below. Aspirators and saline solutions are best to keep the cough (and colds) at bay.

Key Takeaways

Unless there are severe symptoms that may require you to head to the hospital, you can try Filipino remedies for cough. Not only are these safe to ingest, but they are also a cost-efficient way to treat yourself without relying too much on medication.

Learn more about respiratory health, here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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