How to Calm Cough (Everything you need to treat your child’s cough may already be in your kitchen!)

1.       Pediatric Tuina Massage

Whether your child has a wet, dry, hacking, or croupy cough Tuina massage techniques work by stimulating the body to heal itself while simultaneously treating the cough. Kids love it, it feels great and it makes them feel better. The best part is its safe, effective, and can be used at any age.

There are five basic tuina massage techniques you can use to treat your child’s cough. Robin Ray Green our teacher explains them well in her article Pediatric Tuina Massage for Cough

2.       Honey & Lemons

Honey because it’s officially recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for cough, but you don’t want any ordinary highly processed honey bear. What really works is raw, dark amber honey. Buckwheat honey has received the most research for cough, buy you can use any dark amber raw honey like avocado or blackberry.

       Honey Dosage for Cough

       For children ages 2 to 5 years use ½ teaspoon, for children between 6-12 use 1 teaspoon and for children    

       12 years and older use 2 teaspoons. It can be given 2 – 4 times daily as needed for cough.

       CAUTION: For children 12 months or younger honey is not recommended.

     Lemon and Honey tea is a great way to soothe a sore throat and calm a cough. Honey helps break

     up mucous and the astringent nature of lemon juice does the same thing while also providing Vit C.

3.       Eliminate Dairy

Why give up dairy? It creates or adds to mucous production. Even if your child can normally tolerate dairy, take it out of their diet while they are sick, especially if they have a wet phlegmy cough. It will lessen the phlegm and the burden of getting rid of it through coughing.

4.       Herbal Tea

       Herbs like licorice root, mullein, sage leaves, wild cherry bark and slippery elm can be made into a tea with a little honey to calm a cough. If you’re in a rush or you don’t have these herbs on hand you should be able to pick up a tea call Throat Coat by Traditional Medicinals from most Health Food Stores, Grocery Stores and Pharmacies. Throat Coat has many of the herbs recommended above and it’s formulated with kid’s safety and tastes in mind. It’s not only good for coughs but works for sore throats too.

5.       Slippery Elm and Honey Lozenges

       You can make these with your kids! It’s a fun, easy, and educational activity for them to be apart of as well they associate relief after making them. Use 1 TBSP of slippery elm powder and 1.5 tsps of honey. Roll the honey around in a small bowl while it starts sticking to the slippery elm. You want to start pulling it apart and rolling it into balls that are about 1.5cm in diameter. They are ready when the outside of the lozenge is covered in a light amount of slippery elm. Place aside in another small bowl to let it dry out. Keep in a covered container once they have sat out for the night.

6.       Essential Oil Chest Rub

Essential oils can help break up chest and nasal congestion when used in a chest rub. You can mix a drop each of eucalyptus, peppermint, and sage essential oils in about 2 TBSPs of organic olive oil and make your own herbal oil. If you prefer a premade salve, you can pick up Badger Balm Aromatic Chest Rub from your local health food store. Rub the oil or salve on your child’s chest or upper back throughout the day and right before bed to help clear air passages.

7.       Essential Oil Steam Bath

A warm steamy bath can also help a nighttime cough. Start a hot bath using the show, close the bathroom door and let the room get steamy. Add a few drops of eucalyptus or sage into the tub to soothe a cough and open up the chest.

8.       Organic Poached Pears with Cinnamon

This is a remedy for dry, tickly coughs. Eat 1.2 to 1 pear before bed. It’s delicious and feels great on a dry, scratchy throat.


1.       Wash & core the pears.

2.       Halve pears lengthwise.

3.       Sprinkle flesh with cinnamon and put a cinnamon stick in the core.

4.       Put in a pyrex glass baking dish with the fleshy part + cinnamon stick down.

5.       Add about 1/2’” of water to the pan.

6.       Bake at 350 degrees until the pears are soft and the skins are easy to pull off (20-30mins). Will store in the fridge for 3-4days.

Factors to always consider. If a cough lasts longer than a week it is important to get checked out by the child’s family doctor to rule out any other serious illnesses. If a cough comes on suddenly with high fever, restlessness, difficulty breathing, wheezing, lethargy, chest tightness and/or difficulty swallowing your child may need immediate medical attention. Always important as well to call 811 to discuss with a nurse and follow protocol.

By Nicole Stevens, R.AC