Is Honey And Lemon Good For Coughing?

Is Honey And Lemon Good For Coughing?

Honey And Lemon For Cough

What Is The Cough?

A cough, also called tussis, is an important voluntary or involuntary defensive reflex that helps clear the throat and breathing passages from irritants. The irritants can be smoke, mucus, and allergens such as mold, pollen, and dust. By forceful expulsion of air from the lungs, cough, helps the body get rid of the irritant.

Coughing can be a symptom of many health conditions and illnesses and mostly clears up on its own with no medical attention. The characteristics of the cough can give an indication of its cause.

There are several natural ways of treating cough that has proven benefits among which the combination of honey and lemon for cough is the most effective.

[Also Read: Types of cough]

Causes Of Cough

Viruses are the major cause of most coughs. Coughs can be acute or chronic.

Causes Of Acute Cough

Acute coughs start suddenly and last for 2 to 3 weeks.

An acute cough infection mostly occurs in the upper respiratory tract, affecting the throat. These are referred to as upper respiratory tract infections. The causes include;

  • Common cold
  • Flu
  • Laryngitis

If it is a lower respiratory tract infection, lungs are infected and/or the airways below the voice box. The causes include;

Another cause of acute cough is hay fever.

Causes Of Chronic Cough

Chronic coughs are referred to as those that persist for over 2 to 3 weeks. A chronic cough is mostly a symptom of an underlying condition. The causes include;

  • Cigarette Smoking
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Sinus problems and postnasal drip (extra mucus felt dripping down the throat)
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease)
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Throat disorders like croup in young children
  • Medications such as ACE inhibitors

Other less common causes of chronic cough include TB (tuberculosis), lung cancer, and fungal infections of the lung.

Is Honey And Lemon Good For Coughing?

Yes, honey and lemon form a perfect combination weapon that fights off a cough. While honey helps with soothing, the lemon juice helps with congestion. Studies show that honey is more effective for cough relief than over-the-counter medicines.

Benefits Of Honey And Lemon For Cough

Honey and lemon for cough and sore throat is a traditional and natural treatment. Each ingredient is powerful in curing cough. When used as a combination, the benefits double giving highly effective results.

Benefits Of Honey

According to WHO, honey is highly effective in the treatment of cough because of its chemical and nutritional composition. The antibacterial properties of honey help to get rid of the harmful bacteria, causing a cough.

Honey is packed with important nutrients like potassium, copper, calcium, phosphorus, and manganese. These are vital for the normal and healthy functioning of the body and help to repair and stimulate tissue growth. Honey also contains antioxidants that help to eliminate the harmful free radicals from the body.

Benefits Of Lemon

Lemons contain strong antibacterial and antiviral properties. Lemons are rich in vitamin C that helps to build the immune system. It also contains antioxidants that repair and prevent cell damage.

The Effectiveness Of The Combination Of Honey And Lemon

The sweetness of honey is shown to trigger the salivary glands to produce more saliva. This lubricates the airways and induces the release of mucus through the airways, easing cough. The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of honey help break the mucus and reduce or prevent further formation of the mucus, providing complete relief from coughing.

Lemon, on the other hand, works by improving immunity against these infections. When you consume a concoction of honey, lemon, and hot water, it breaks up and loosens mucus, helps calm the throat, and clears the irritating airways.

How To Prepare Honey And Lemon For Cough

Honey and lemon can be used in combination with several ingredients to fight off a cough effectively. The best ones include;

1.The Basic Honey And Lemon Tonic- Is The Best And Most Effective


  • Organic honey
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Warm water


  • Mix one small cup of honey with three tablespoons of lemon juice.
  • Add warm water (about 1/4th cup or more) to it and stir until the honey and lemon are mixed completely. Avoid boiling water as honey loses its natural healing properties.


One tablespoon of honey and lemon mixture twice a day eases cough. You can consume once during the day, and once before going to bed.

You can refrigerate the remaining mixture of lemon and honey. This can be used for up to a month.

2. Honey, Lemon Juice, And Glycerin

Glycerin has excellent moisturizing properties and is used in combination with honey and lemon for relief from a raw and itchy throat.


  • Whole lemon
  • Honey - 2 tablespoons
  • Glycerin - 2 tablespoons


  • In a saucepan, boil one uncut lemon in water for 10 minutes.
  • Add two tablespoons each of honey and glycerin.
  • Squeeze the juice from the boiled lemon and remove it to get a solution.


One teaspoon of solution twice or thrice a day for good relief from throat irritation and cough.

You can store the solution in a glass bottle and refrigerate it.

3. Honey, Lemon Juice, And Garlic

Honey and lemon juice combination with garlic works best in case you also suffer from congestion in the chest. Garlic helps to clear the chest by breaking down phlegm that causes congestion.


  • Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
  • Honey - 1 tablespoon
  • Grated garlic - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Water - 1 cup


  • Add lemon juice and garlic to a saucepan.
  • Add water and boil the mixture by covering the ingredients.
  • Transfer this mixture into a cup, add honey, and stir the solution.


Consume the mixture once every day for instant relief.

The other combinations of honey and lemon juice are;

  • Honey, lemon, and ginger
  • Honey, lemon juice, and coconut oil
  • Honey, lemon juice, and olive oil
  • Honey, lemon, and bourbon whiskey
  • Honey, lemon, and cinnamon
  • Honey, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar

Honey And Lemon For Cough- Who Can Use?

Honey and lemon juice for cough can be used by;

Side Effects Of Honey And Lemon For Cough

Here are a few side effects of honey and lemon that you should be aware of before opting for honey and lemon for a full-fledged cough treatment;

  • Studies show that honey contains bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. This bacterium causes botulism, a fatal form of food poisoning in children. The Centers for Disease Control has advised that honey must be avoided for infants or babies below the age of 1 year.
  • In case of fever and coughing up green mucus, you must immediately visit your healthcare provider. These are severe symptoms that can lead to serious consequences.
  • If you are facing difficulty breathing or trouble swallowing, honey and lemon in hot water may suppress cough but will not serve to cure the cause of illness resulting in cough. Visit your doctor in such circumstances.
  • You must avoid honey and lemon juice if you are allergic to these ingredients.
  • You should avoid honey and lemon juice for treating cough if suffering from a gallbladder problem.

Honey and lemon for cough is very effective, economical, and easy to prepare tonic at home with absolutely no side effects.


Vasavi Attada

Vasavi Attada specializes in creating content for the Medical/healthcare domain. She has written articles for Indian Health Organization (IHO), American Diabetes Association, and for magazines such as India Today and Dignity Dialogue.

Vasavi Attada holds a Master’s degree in Microbiology from Bangalore University.