onions for dry cough

How to Use Onions to Get Rid of Dry Cough

Coughing is a normal body reaction to expel irritants in the airways from your lungs through the throat and nose. A persistent cough can be caused by factors such as flu, cough and cold is a very common phenomenon. 

Other serious conditions like asthma and pneumonia can also cause cough which requires immediate medical attention.

Onion is an excellent home remedy for certain types of cough, particularly dry cough and cold. Check it out if one or more of the following methods of using onion can get rid of your cough or not.

Why Onions are Good for Dry Cough?

They bring tears to your eyes, but onions are loaded with nutrients. It is not only good for all kinds of cough and cold but also offers many other health benefits.

  • Onions absorb bacteria thus help in curing the sick person
  • Vitamin C and many phytochemicals in onions help to improve immunity
  • Raw onion reduces cholesterol and blood sugar
  • Strong compound called quercetin in onions helps to reduce probabilities of cancer
  • Onions neutralises free radicals to protect you from gastric ulcers

How to Use Onions for Dry Cough?

onions for cough infographic

You can use onions in many different ways to get rid of your dry cough. In fact onions will treat any cough. Use the method or methods that suit you from the following choices.

1. Onion tea

This is a simple and fastest preparation of onion based remedies for dry cough.

  • Put one tablespoon of finely chopped red onion in a cup
  • Pour boiling water to fill the cup
  • Let it rest for 15 minutes
  • Stir well and strain the onions out
  • Sip and enjoy the tea
  • Drink it thrice a day


2. Onion Soup

  • Chop one large red onion or two medium size onions in small wedge shaped pieces
  • Put them in a bowl and add enough water to cover the onions completely
  • Cut a clove of garlic in small pieces and add to the onions
  • Pour all in a pan and boil them
  • Add two tablespoons of olive oil in another pan and heat it on low heat for 2-3 minutes
  • Pour the boiled onions in the olive oil and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Add salt to taste
  • The most basic form of onion soup for dry cough is ready.
  • Enjoy the soup

3. Onion Steam

  • Chop one onion and place it in a pan
  • Add 2 cups of water
  • Bring it to boil
  • Put the pan on a table
  • Sit on a chair keeping your head 6-10 inch above the pan
  • Put a towel on your head in such a way that it covers the pan as well
  • Now slowly inhale the steamed onion fumes
  • Do it at least 2-3 times a day.

Use the next method to inhale fumes at night.

4. Onions Fumes

This is perhaps the best remedy for cough particularly at night when the bouts of dry cough increases and are at their worst

  • Chop a medium size red onion in small pieces
  • Put it in a bowl and keep it on one side of your pillow before going to the bed
  • The fumes emerging from onions will sooth your dry cough
  • Discard the onions in the morning

5. Onion Syrup

Children love this remedy for dry cough. You need sugar and red onion.

  • Cut the onion in 4 to 5 mm thick slices
  • Keep one of the 5 slice on the bottom of a jar and cover it with a layer of sugar
  • Add one more slice over the sugar and then make another layer of sugar and so on until all slices are used
  • Allow it to sit for 12 hours
  • Juice in the form of syrup will settle at the bottom.
  • Strain and store the syrup and discard the rest of onions and sugar
  • Take one tablespoon of the onion syrup three times a day.


6. Onion and Honey Syrup

Honey soothes an itchy and irritated throat. It is also a natural antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal product. Though has nothing to do with dry cough the other two properties are extremely important in treating the cough early.

  • Add ½ cup of water in a heating pot
  • Chop one red onion in small pieces and add them to the pot
  • Keep a lid on the pot and heat it on a low flame for 5 minutes.
  • Let it cool to room temperature
  • Now add ½ cup of honey and mix it well
  • Leave it overnight.
  • Strain the onions out and store the liquid in a sealed jar.
  • Take one tablespoon of honey onion syrup three times a day to get rid of your dry cough

7. Onion Garlic and Honey

Like onion, garlic is also a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory agents.

  • Slice One red or yellow onion in thin size - 3-5mm thick
  • Slice 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • Place the sliced onions and garlic at the bottom of a jar
  • Pour 1 cup of raw organic honey in the jar to cover onion and garlic
  • Put the lid of the jar to seal the content
  • Let it sit for at least 12 hours overnight before use
  • Shake the jar thoroughly to mix the liquids from onion and garlic to mix evenly in the morning
  • Take one tablespoon of the syrup three times a day.

You can add sugar if you prefer. If you decide to add sugar then add half cup of sugar in layers with honey over the onion and garlic. Put the first layer of honey over sugar and then honey and so on.

Children will prefer and enjoy the taste of this onion garlic cough syrup if sugar is added.


Onion is a very safe food item. There are no side effects. However you should take the following precautions.

  • If none of the above methods solve your dry cough problems then you must consult a doctor.
  • If you have heartburn problems, then avoid onions
  • If you are pregnant and have pregnancy related acid reflux then also avoid it.
  • Avoid sugar and honey based onion remedies for cough if you have diabetes. Use other onion remedies. Just leave out honey and sugar.

Never keep the cut onion and store them as they absorb bacteria quickly. You will be consuming harmful bacteria when you eat previously cut onions
Always cut onions fresh just before eating. If you want to use cut onions for later use then cut them and soak them in water