Turmeric Benefits in Cough and How to Use It

I am very sure every one of us has suffered from cough sometime or other. It is a common condition in cold weather.

In this article, I highlight what basically is a cough and how turmeric can be used to treat it (home remedies / ayurvedic remedies).

Benefits of Turmeric in Cough

Cough is a medical condition that develops due to hidden disease such as allergic rhinitis, a bacterial infection of upper respiratory tract, sinusitis, asthma, pneumonia or reflex of stomach contents.

A cough can be acute or chronic.

Cough initiated by allergic reactions or by a bacterial infection can result in a myriad of symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, sore throat and post nasal drip all of which cause discomfort.

Hence, the cough should be treated without delay by identifying the exact cause.

Generally, the use of conventional medicine demands you to use multiple drugs to treat different symptoms associated with a cough.

Some of these drugs cause weakness and other side effects. How would it be to replace all these drugs with one single herb? Wonderful right!

Turmeric is one such herb that treats cough initiated by any of the listed hidden medical conditions.

Turmeric scientifically named as Curcuma longa is a rhizome belonging to zingiberaceae family. It is a yellow colored herb with medicinal properties. Curcuma longa is cultivated and used widely in India.

Traditional Chinese medicine and the Ayurvedic medicine use turmeric for the treatment of various ailments. Use of turmeric for cough is one of the popular home remedies for cough.

The antibacterial and antiviral action of turmeric makes it the best remedy to treat cough and cold naturally.

How turmeric treats a cough?

Medicinal value of turmeric is due to the compound curcumin.

There are three different curcuminoids present in turmeric they are diferuloylmethane, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin.

Of the three diferuloylmethane is present in higher amounts and is responsible for the color and medicinal value of the herb. Curcumin serves as an anti-inflammatory agent and also possess anti-bacterial and anti-viral action.

These properties of turmeric aid in the treatment of bacterial and viral in actions such as cough and cold

. The anti-inflammatory action of curcumin aids in relieving the chest congestion that develops in people suffering from chronic cough.

Use of volatile oil extracted from turmeric for cough is also very promising in relieving cough by getting rid of phlegm.

Using turmeric for cough

  • Cough associated with running nose can be relieved by drinking hot water mixed with turmeric.
  • Smoke emitting from burnt turmeric serves as a strong expectorant.
  • Chronic cold and cough can be relieved by keeping a small piece of turmeric in mouth all-night.
  • Roast the turmeric root and ground it into powder. Take about 1-2 gm of this roasted turmeric powder along with honey thrice a day to obtain relief from dry persistent cough.
  • Mix 1-2 tsp of pure curcumin powder in warm milk, mix thoroughly. Using this concoction twice a day offers relief from cough in just two days. This remedy works better for cough caused by bacteria.
  • Add pure turmeric powder to boiling water and inhale the vapors. This relieves cough as well as sinus congestion. Covering you with a blanket while inhaling vapors aids in easy inhalation of the vapors.

Turmeric for chronic cough

If cough problems are not treated for a long time, they become chronic.

Chronic cough is a difficult situation for the patient as there is no relief from the coughing, even a sound sleep is not possible in this case. It also leads to tiredness and stressing for the patient.

Turmeric can be useful in treating chronic cough too. Here is how you can prepare a turmeric cough remedy at home:

  • Take 1 gm of roasted turmeric powder and keep it within betel leaf and 0.25 gms of Javakhar (Potassii carbons). Keep this in the patient’s mouth and ask him to keep sucking it gradually. This should be done twice a day – one in the morning and another after dinner.
  • Apart from the above, the patient should be given goat milk along with turmeric. The way to prepare this milk is – add turmeric powder to milk and then boil it. Allow it to cool down and then drink it. Note: turmeric should be added while boiling the milk and not after it.

One very important part of Ayurveda is diet related restrictions based on the disease. In the case of chronic cough, the patient should avoid oily and spicy food.

Also, he should not overeat. Foods such as dates, papaya, wheat flour based food, etc. should be taken.

Tricks to improve curcumin absorption

Curcumin is not absorbed properly. Curcumin can be made available to the body cells to best utilize its therapeutic benefits by following these techniques.

  • Make a microemulsion by blending together a tablespoon of curcumin powder, 1-2 egg yolks and one or two teaspoons of coconut oil.
  • Add one tablespoon of curcumin powder to a cup of boiling water and allow it to boil for another ten minutes. This makes a concentrated solution of turmeric. Drink the solution within four hours to obtain all its therapeutic benefits.

Precautions to be followed while using turmeric for cough

  • Make sure that turmeric does not fall down as it discolors the surfaces permanently.
  • Avoid using curry powder for turmeric as it contains very little amount of turmeric.
  • Choose curcumin powder from reputed manufacturers to avoid adulterated products. If you have an option of buying raw turmeric do that. It is not tough to make a powder out of it.
  • Use organic turmeric if that is available

How to remain away from cough and cold naturally

In my childhood days, I always used to have a cough and cold.

Not only that there were other issues related to it which really caused a lot of trouble for me.

Due to blockage of my nose, I used to have sticky water coming out of my eyes and whenever I used to wake up in the morning, I had to spend so much of time to just open my eyelashes which use to stick to each other – I used to splash water and use cotton to remove clogging.

We consulted an Ayurvedic doctor and he suggested that I start taking turmeric and milk daily and continue for about a year. I used to hate turmeric milk but I took it.

Today, thanks to that I rarely have cold and related issues.

I think what natural remedies do is that they develop immunity in the body rather than just killing the bacteria or virus responsible for it.

Now, I have developed taste for turmeric milk and take it anytime without putting even sugar in the milk. Today, the moment I the get cough and cold, the first thing I do is to take turmeric milk!

Who should avoid turmeric?

Turmeric as a spice is very safe but if you plan to take turmeric supplements to be careful. Supplements are not recommended when you are pregnant.

Those with gall bladder problems, diabetes or are to undergo surgery must avoid turmeric. Turmeric could slow blood clotting. Hence, those taking blood thinners must be careful.

About the Author

Shruti (BE Biotech. & PGD Clinical Research)

Turmeric for Health's writer team consists of passionate writers from the fields of biotechnology, pharmacy, nutrition, Ayurveda & microbiology.Our writers are highly qualified with many having Ph.D., M.Tech & MSc degrees while others having B.Tech, BSc, B.Pharm. Our differentiation lies in researching and presenting ONLY FACTUAL SCIENTIFIC information. We spend 10s of hours to write a single article. Info of our articles is sourced from reliable scientific sources which are also provided as a link alongside for readers to refer if they want. You can read more about our team in the " About us" section.

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  1. Avatar You said turmeric is the best remedy for cold and coughs,but people with diabatiesand and who take blood thinnrrs can not or avoid turmeric,but sir most of the seniors including my self gave both broblems,what is the solution. says:

    Please tellme i suffer with diabates which is controlled with diet and i take medicine for my blood presser,can i take turmeric for cough and other sympoms.thank you

  2. Hi thank you for such a good blog. Turmeric does help a lot with cough and cold but most of the time turmeric alone doesn’t work for me so I would usually drink it with pepper which helps with the cough as well. I recently came across a turmeric blend called Lakadong Ker from Zizira which tases very good as well as smells good. You guys can try it too!

  3. What is Javakhar (Potassii carbons)? Is it Potassium carbonate? I have a dry chronic cough. If I don’t have Potassii carbons but only turmeric powder will it work? Is betel leaf only used to store turmeric powder?

  4. Is turmeric an expectorant? I seem to be producing more phlegm after taking it. Or perhaps it was something wrong I ate during the day?

    1. I too seen to be coughing more and a little phlem as well. Can anyone advise if this is how Turmeric works? I am hoping this is a good sign, as I have had this cough fior months.

      1. Hi. How long have you been taking turmeric and what dose? Turmeric may help your body in eliminating the mucus and work as an expectorant but if it is highly unbearable then its advised that you reduce the dosage or discontinue its use.

        1. I use pure capsules containing ginger and black pepper. Taken 1 in the mornings and 1 about 5pm daily as I also take a antacid capsule fit night time.
          Only Started this 6 weeks ago, but struggling with this chronic cough and not sleeping. : (

  5. I’ve been taking tumeric for menopausal arthrirus. Hip and knee pain is gone. In doing so, I have also eliminated sinus pressure and headaches associated with it. I am reading today about it’s benefits for a cold virus. I simply take it with water.

    1. Janis, thank you for sharing your experience with turmeric. Curcumin found in turmeric is not soluble in water so take reap more benefits of turmeric please take it with black pepper and/or oil

  6. My Mum has a chronic chest complaint with cough, the antibiotics appear to have got rid of the phlegm with turmeric, but cough persists, shall I keep giving her turmeric in milk and honey?

  7. works best for me too. I have 4 and 2 years old children both were diagnosed with allergic rhinitis which will eventually become a chronic cough and then asthma, taking too much antibiotics and antihistamines, which could only last for 2 weeks and the runny nose is back once again , over and over again for like over a year, until I’ve decided to have an alternative herbal option. I made this concoction at home 1 tsp pure turmeric powder, 8 pcs calamansi as we are living in the philippines and we don’t grow lemons here, 8 tsp of wild pure honey and 2 tsp of virgin coconut oil. I let them take this 3 times a day after meals for a week and It really works for my family, my little boy and girl’s cough is been like almost 3 months visiting the doctor every month and this is the only thing that cures them, now I’d let them take it once a day and when a runny nose comes in Id let them take it 3 times a day..the next day they are fine..It works for me too as I have allergic rhinitis myself ever since. I’d take it every time I have this runny nose every morning and it really works for me and the family

    1. Hi Lyra, thanks for sharing this! turmeric is indeed a miracle herb! Honey and coconut oil are awesome for health too.

    2. Thanks for the advice. will try it tonight for my daughter’s cough ! What’s calamansi ? I’m using lemons instead is it ok??