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Last updated: Jun 05, 2024

10 best herbal tinctures for cough

Herbal tinctures for cough are concentrated liquid extracts made from herbs that have medicinal properties.

They are used to alleviate various types of coughs, such as dry, wet, or spasmodic coughs. Herbs like licorice root, wild cherry bark, and thyme are often used in tinctures to soothe inflamed throat tissue, reduce irritation, and relax the cough reflex.

These tinctures can be taken orally, often in small doses, and can provide quick relief. By using herbal tinctures, individuals can avoid the side effects of over-the-counter cough medicines and benefit from natural remedies.

For example, a person with a persistent dry cough may find relief with a licorice root tincture, allowing them to sleep better and have more energy during the day.

A summary of the 10 best herbal tinctures for cough is provided in the following cheatsheet.

herbal tinctures for cough cheatsheet.jpg

The following article describes in detail the most important tinctures for cough, including medicinal properties, parts of herbs to use, and recipes for preparations.

1. Monkshood tincture

Monkshood tincture helps with cough because it contains alkaloids, such as aconitine, which have been found to have expectorant and anti-tussive properties.

These compounds work by relaxing the muscles of the respiratory tract, thus reducing coughing fits and making it easier to expel mucus from the lungs. Additionally, monkshood has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help soothe irritated throat tissues and reduce the frequency and severity of coughing.

However, it is important to note that monkshood is a highly toxic plant and should only be used under the guidance of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

cough herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in monkshood tincture that aid with cough.

The list below shows the primary parts of monkshood tincture used to make tinctures for cough.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic monkshood tincture for cough.

  1. Harvest monkshood roots (Aconitum napellus) from a matured plant, ensuring they are at least two years old, then rinse and chop them into small pieces.
  2. Fill a clean jar with chopped monkshood roots, filling it up to 3/4, then add 80-proof vodka until the jar is full.
  3. Seal the jar tightly and store it in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks, shaking it gently every few days.
  4. After 4-6 weeks, strain the liquid using a cheesecloth into a clean jar or bottle, squeezing out the excess liquid.
  5. Label the tincture with the ingredients, date, and recommended dosage (2-5 drops in water, up to three times a day).

2. Bryonia tincture

Bryonia tincture helps with cough because it contains properties that can reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract, making it easier to breathe.

It also works as an expectorant, helping to expel mucus and phlegm from the lungs. Additionally, bryonia has antitussive properties, which means it can help to suppress a persistent cough. Its astringent properties can also help to soothe a sore throat and reduce irritation.

All of these factors make bryonia tincture a valuable tool in managing coughs and promoting respiratory health.

cough herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in bryonia tincture that aid with cough.

The list below shows the primary parts of bryonia tincture used to make tinctures for cough.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic bryonia tincture for cough.

  1. Chop 2 ounces of dried Bryonia root into small pieces and place in a clean jar.
  2. Add 1 pint of 100 proof vodka or grain alcohol to the jar, ensuring the root is completely submerged.
  3. Seal the jar and store in a cool, dark place for 2-4 weeks, shaking daily.
  4. Strain the mixture using cheesecloth, squeezing out the liquid and discarding the solids.
  5. Store the resulting tincture in a tightly sealed glass bottle in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

3. Round-leaved sundew tincture

Round-leaved sundew tincture helps with cough because it contains mucilage, which soothes the throat and reduces irritation.

Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties that help to loosen and expel mucus from the respiratory tract. Furthermore, it contains compounds that have been shown to have antitussive effects, which can help to suppress coughing. Its antibacterial properties may also help to fight off respiratory infections that can cause coughing.

All of these properties make round-leaved sundew tincture a valuable tool in managing coughs and promoting respiratory health.

cough herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in round-leaved sundew tincture that aid with cough.

The list below shows the primary parts of round-leaved sundew tincture used to make tinctures for cough.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic round-leaved sundew tincture for cough.

  1. Harvest round-leaved sundew plants (Drosera rotundifolia) from a clean, organic source, ensuring the leaves are fully grown and healthy.
  2. Rinse the harvested leaves gently in cold water, then chop them finely and place them in a clean, dry glass jar, filling it up to three-quarters.
  3. Pour 80-proof vodka or pure grain alcohol into the jar, completely covering the chopped leaves and leaving a 1-inch headspace.
  4. Seal the jar tightly and store it in a cool, dark place for four to six weeks, shaking it gently every few days.
  5. Strain the tincture using a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer, squeezing out the liquid from the leaves, and store the final tincture in a dark glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid, away from direct sunlight. Recommended dosage for cough: 30 drops, 3 times a day.

4. English ivy tincture

English ivy tincture helps with cough because it contains therapeutic compounds that have been shown to reduce inflammation and mucus in the respiratory tract.

The plant's saponins and flavonoids work together to soothe irritated membranes, ease congestion, and alleviate persistent coughing. By reducing inflammation, the tincture helps to calm the cough reflex and provides relief for those experiencing irritating, dry, or phlegmy coughs. Its expectorant properties further support respiratory health by promoting the expulsion of mucus and easing breathing.

Ultimately, English ivy tincture offers a natural and effective solution for managing coughs and promoting overall respiratory well-being.

cough herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in english ivy tincture that aid with cough.

The list below shows the primary parts of english ivy tincture used to make tinctures for cough.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic english ivy tincture for cough.

  1. Harvest English ivy leaves, ensuring they are fully grown and free from pesticides; rinse and dry them.
  2. Chop or grind 2 ounces of dried ivy leaves, placing them in a clean glass jar.
  3. Pour 1 pint of 80-100 proof vodka or rum over the chopped leaves, ensuring they are fully submerged.
  4. Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place for two to four weeks, shaking it daily.
  5. Strain the liquid using cheesecloth, discarding the leaves, and store the tincture in a tightly sealed glass container for up to one year. Recommended dosage is 1-2 mL, three times a day.

5. Henbane tincture

Henbane tincture helps with cough because it contains powerful alkaloids, such as hyoscyamine and scopolamine, which have antitussive and expectorant properties.

These alkaloids work by relaxing the muscles in the respiratory tract, reducing the cough reflex, and thinning mucus, making it easier to expel. Additionally, henbane has been used historically to treat respiratory conditions like bronchitis, asthma, and whooping cough. Its soothing effects on the throat and airways make it a popular natural remedy for coughs and other respiratory symptoms.

However, it is important to note that henbane should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as it can be toxic in large doses.

cough herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in henbane tincture that aid with cough.

The list below shows the primary parts of henbane tincture used to make tinctures for cough.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic henbane tincture for cough.

  1. Harvest fresh Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) leaves and flowers, ensuring they are free from pesticides and other contaminants.
  2. Chop the herbs finely, then fill a clean glass jar up to 3/4 full with the chopped herb.
  3. Pour 100-proof vodka or grain alcohol into the jar, covering the herbs and leaving a 1-inch space at the top.
  4. Seal the jar tightly and store it in a cool, dark place for 2-4 weeks, shaking it gently every few days.
  5. Strain the mixture using cheesecloth, squeezing out the excess liquid, and store the tincture in a dark glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Recommended dosage for cough is 1-2 mL, 3 times a day.

6. Indian tobacco tincture

Indian tobacco tincture helps with cough because it contains natural anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties.

The herb, Lobelia inflata, also known as Indian tobacco, has been traditionally used to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, and coughs. The tincture works by relaxing the muscles in the airways, reducing inflammation, and thinning mucus, making it easier to expel.

This allows for clearer breathing and relief from persistent coughing. Additionally, the tincture can help soothe a sore throat and reduce irritation in the respiratory tract.

Overall, Indian tobacco tincture provides a natural and effective way to alleviate cough and promote respiratory health.

cough herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in indian tobacco tincture that aid with cough.

The list below shows the primary parts of indian tobacco tincture used to make tinctures for cough.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic indian tobacco tincture for cough.

  1. Chop 1 cup of dried Indian tobacco leaves and place them in a clean glass jar.
  2. Pour 2 cups of 80-proof vodka or rum over the leaves, ensuring they are fully submerged.
  3. Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place for 2-4 weeks, shaking it daily.
  4. Strain the mixture using cheesecloth, squeezing out the liquid and discarding the leaves.
  5. Store the tincture in a tightly sealed glass bottle and use 1-2 mL up to three times a day for cough relief.

7. Horehound tincture

Horehound tincture helps with cough because it contains active compounds like marrubiin, flavonoids, and diterpenes that have expectorant, antitussive, and anti-inflammatory properties.

These components work together to soothe the throat, thin and loosen mucus, making it easier to expel, and reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract.

As a result, horehound tincture can provide relief from both dry and productive coughs, making it a popular natural remedy for respiratory ailments.

cough herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in horehound tincture that aid with cough.

The list below shows the primary parts of horehound tincture used to make tinctures for cough.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic horehound tincture for cough.

  1. Chop 1 ounce of dried horehound herb into small pieces and place in a clean glass jar.
  2. Pour 2 cups of vodka or rum with at least 40% alcohol content over the herbs, ensuring they are fully submerged.
  3. Seal the jar and store in a cool, dark place for 2-6 weeks, shaking it gently every few days.
  4. Strain the mixture using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, discarding the spent herbs and keeping the liquid.
  5. Store the finished horehound tincture in a tightly sealed glass bottle in a cool, dark place for up to a year, taking 1-2 ml as needed for cough relief.

8. Plantain tincture

Plantain tincture helps with cough because it contains mucilage, tannins, and flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and soothing properties.

These compounds work together to reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract, thin and expel mucus, and soothe irritation in the throat and lungs. As a result, plantain tincture can help alleviate symptoms of both dry and productive coughs, making it a valuable natural remedy for respiratory ailments.

Additionally, plantain tincture is easy to use and can be taken directly or added to water or tea, making it a convenient option for those seeking relief from cough symptoms.

cough herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in plantain tincture that aid with cough.

The list below shows the primary parts of plantain tincture used to make tinctures for cough.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic plantain tincture for cough.

  1. Harvest plantain leaves (Plantago major or lanceolata) from a clean, pesticide-free environment, ensuring they are fully grown and free from damage.
  2. Chop or grind 2 ounces of fresh leaves or 1 ounce of dried leaves into small pieces, then place them in a clean, dry jar.
  3. Pour 1 pint of 80-100 proof vodka or rum over the plantain leaves, ensuring they are fully submerged, then secure the jar with a lid.
  4. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 2-6 weeks, shaking it gently every few days.
  5. Strain the mixture using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, discarding the plant material, and store the resulting tincture in a dark glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid for up to a year. Take 1-2 ml as needed for cough relief.

9. Pasque flower tincture

Pasque flower tincture helps with cough because it contains anti-tussive and expectorant properties that work to soothe the throat and reduce the frequency and intensity of coughing.

The herb's active compounds, such as pyrrolizidine alkaloids, work to relax the muscles in the respiratory tract, making it easier to expel mucus and phlegm from the lungs. Additionally, pasque flower has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, which can help alleviate any pain or discomfort associated with coughing.

By reducing inflammation and promoting the expulsion of mucus, pasque flower tincture can help provide relief from both dry and productive coughs.

cough herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in pasque flower tincture that aid with cough.

The list below shows the primary parts of pasque flower tincture used to make tinctures for cough.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic pasque flower tincture for cough.

  1. Harvest pasque flower (Pulsatilla patens) blooms, ensuring they are dry and have just opened, typically in late spring or early summer.
  2. Chop or grind 2 ounces of dried pasque flower blooms to increase surface area for extraction.
  3. Combine the ground herb with 1 pint of 80-100 proof vodka or grain alcohol in a clean glass jar, ensuring the herb is fully submerged.
  4. Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place for 2-6 weeks, shaking the mixture daily.
  5. Strain the tincture using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, squeezing out the liquid and discarding the spent herb material. Store the finished tincture in a dark glass bottle, away from heat and light.

10. Yellow dock tincture

Yellow dock tincture helps with cough because it contains anti-tussive and expectorant properties that soothe irritated throats and loosen phlegm.

Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties also help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract and fight off infections, providing relief from persistent coughing.

Additionally, yellow dock tincture stimulates the production of bile, which aids in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, supporting overall immune function and promoting recovery.

cough herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in yellow dock tincture that aid with cough.

The list below shows the primary parts of yellow dock tincture used to make tinctures for cough.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic yellow dock tincture for cough.

  1. Harvest the yellow dock roots, cleaning them thoroughly, and chop into small pieces.
  2. Fill a clean jar with chopped roots, filling about 3/4 full, then add 80-proof vodka until roots are completely covered.
  3. Seal the jar and store in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks, shaking daily.
  4. Strain the liquid using cheesecloth into a clean jar, squeezing out excess liquid.
  5. Label the jar with the name, date, and dosage (typically 1-2 mL up to three times a day) and store in a cool, dark place.

How to best treat cough with herbal tinctures?

The best way to treat cough with herbal tinctures is by selecting the right herbs for your specific cough type.

For a dry, hacking cough, consider using licorice, wild cherry, or marshmallow root tinctures. These herbs soothe the throat and reduce the urge to cough.

For a productive cough, try elecampane, thyme, or ginger tinctures. These herbs help loosen mucus and promote its expulsion.

Always follow dosage instructions on the tincture label and consult a healthcare professional if your cough persists for more than a week or is accompanied by other symptoms.

What ailments similar to cough are treated with herbal tinctures?

Ailments similar to cough that are treated with herbal tinctures include bronchitis, laryngitis, and sore throats.

Tinctures made from thyme, licorice, and marshmallow root can help soothe irritated mucous membranes and reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract. Echinacea tincture can boost the immune system, making it easier for the body to fight off infections that cause coughing. Ginger tincture can also be used to alleviate symptoms of respiratory ailments, as it has natural anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties.

It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before using herbal tinctures to ensure safe and effective use.