Having a cough once in a while is not alarming, but it can be very annoying. Having an uncontrollable urge to cough and living with a nasty itch in one’s throat is disturbing, especially when you’re up for a huge presentation at the office, a big test, or an important appointment.

Luckily, there are natural and home-sourced remedies to help get you through the day or days. Here are some of the tried and tested natural ways to relieve coughing.

1. Black pepper tea

Black pepper is known in Chinese and New England folk medicine to be effective in stimulating mucus flow and circulation. By combining it with honey, which is a natural cough suppressant, and making a tea out of it, you can help get rid of wet coughs sooner than later. This might not be effective for dry cough, though.

2. Thyme tea

Thyme made into a tea is an effective cough remedy. Its flavonoids are known to relax ileal and tracheal muscles, which are the most busy when you have a coughing bout. It also helps reduce headaches and inflammation.

3. Orange juice and almonds

Ancient medicine favors mixing crushed almonds with fresh orange juice as a natural cough treatment. This concoction is also known to be effective in dealing with other types of bronchial problems.

4. Fresh lemon with pepper and salt

It’s extremely sour, yes, but sucking on a fresh lemon that’s been sprinkled with some salt and pepper provide quick relief.

5. Oregano oil

Like thyme, oregano is also a natural remedy for cough. It is usually sold as a food-grade essential oil, which you can add to your tea or place in your diffuser to calm your throat and stop you from hacking.

6. Turn the humidifier on

Your humidifier can help get rid of the dry air that may be irritating your throat and making your cough worse. It is recommended that humidity levels stay at 30 to 50 percent. If you don’t have a machine, you can just pour hot water into a bowl and breathe the vapor in. 

7. Steer clear of irritants

Get rid of any allergens, smells or other irritants that can trigger a coughing fit. If you have an important meeting coming up, be sure to have your venue someplace where you won’t have it worse.

8. Steamy shower

Same with using a humidifier, steamy showers can help calm the throat and clear irritants. Taking one before a big event or prior to going to sleep helps a lot. 

9. Warm milk and honey

This one-two-punch remedy for cough is said to be as effective as taking levodropropizine and dextromethorpan — and is certainly much easier on the palate. To prepare, mix two tsps of honey into 1/3 cup of milk. 

10. Drink plenty of water

This is the most inexpensive cure amongst all of what’s available in your home. Water can help you recover from a lot of illnesses, not just cough, because it flushes out the bad stuff from your system. This gives the body a better chance at recovering—and fast.

Tea Having a cough once in a while is not alarming, but it can be very annoying. Luckily, there are natural and home-sourced remedies to help get you through the day. Pictured: A member of hotel staff pours cups of tea at the Kensington Hotel in London Photo: Getty Images/Justin Tallis