How to Relieve a Dry Hacking Cough

A dry, hacking cough can be very persistent and be very painful if not treated with some form of medication or herbal remedy 12. Along with the classic cough remedies like antitussive syrups and herbal tea, there are many remedies for suppressing a cough 12.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.


Dry air is very detrimental to the air passages in the body. Without proper lubrication, the esophagus and lungs can become brittle and dried out over extended periods of dry air inhalation. A very easy way to avoid and treat dry air passages is by adding a humidifier to your house. Humidifiers will increase the humidity in your house, stopping dry coughs from the get go.


Garlic is one of nature's cure alls. It can help you battle just about any sickness you can throw at it. This includes a dry cough 12. Chop or mince an entire clove of raw garlic and place it into a bowl. Mix a few tablespoons of honey in with the chopped garlic and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Allow this mixture to marinate overnight and take a tablespoon when needed. The honey will absorb the healing qualities of the garlic which will then lubricate the throat on its way down, thus soothing the driest of the throats enough to cure the cough.

Licorice Root

Licorice root is the dried root of the licorice plant. You can buy it whole, chopped or in a powder. For the purpose of suppressing a dry cough, the powdered form will be the best way to go 12. Mix about 5 g of the licorice root powder with a small amount of honey. The licorice root will sooth the inflamed throat and the honey will once again coat the throat with a layer of lubrication. Do this three times a day for as long as the cough lasts 2.

Classic Treatments

Taking a medicated cough syrup, or antitussive, is also a great way to battle a dry cough 12. The antitussive syrup will coat the throat, lubricating it enough so that the cough is stopped. There are also centrally acting medications available to stop a dry cough 12. The suppressants are codeine and dextromethorphan. These drugs slightly numb the vagus nerve which connects the lungs to the brain stem. This prevents certain communications between the two to occur, like coughing.