How to stop a tickly cough

Updated April 17, 2017

A tickly cough can be an annoying and persistent condition. Putting up with seasonal colds is tolerable in most cases, but when that dreaded tickling in the back of the throat begins and the coughing starts, you wonder if it's going to last a few days or a few weeks. Air irritants can also cause tickly coughs. Sometimes you can find relief at the chemist's shop, other times not. What works for one cough may not help another. The next time you find yourself with an unfortunate cough, you may have to try several remedies before you find relief.

Slice the half lemon and place it in a medium-sized saucepan.

Add 2 to 3 cups of water, a clove of minced garlic and fresh sliced or grated ginger.

Bring the ingredients to the boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain into a large mug and stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons of honey.

Keep a supply of cough drops in your pocket or purse to moisten your throat and provide temporary relief.

Gargle often with warm water and salt.

Buy a cough suppressant containing dextromethorphan or pholcodine and use according to the directions on the box. They can help to suppress the coughing reflex. If your dry cough is extremely persistent, a cough medicine containing codeine may help to control your cough.

Drink plenty of water to keep well hydrated. Warm or hot water is generally more effective in managing a cough. Add a slice of lemon or a tablespoon of honey if you have some.

Use a humidifier in your home during the day and a vaporiser in your bedroom at night when you sleep. Many times, a dry cough is because of a lack of moisture in the air, especially during the winter when your central heating is on.


Do not give throat lozenges to children under the age of 3 as they could present a choking hazard.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium-sized pan
  • Half a lemon
  • Fresh ginger
  • Garlic clove
  • Honey
  • Water
  • Cough medicine
  • Salt
  • Humidifier
  • Vaporiser
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About the Author

Adrienne Davis lives in the Hudson Valley and has been a freelance writer and blogger since 2009. Her work regularly appears in various online publications and blogs. Davis' writing expertise comes from a real estate and professional home-staging background and includes design and decoration as well as social planning. She studied radiology at Fanshawe College.