A Natural Cough Remedy – Onion Poultice (Holistic Medicine)

Share on pinterest
Share on facebook
Share on email

When it comes to those nagging coughs, we are all willing to try almost anything! This natural cough remedy made with an onion poultice is the best I have found to soothe a cough at home. It's an age-old remedy that helps to break up mucous that settles in the chest.

Sauteed onions in a cast iron pan.

Why I Like Holistic Medicine

Holistic medicine is a method of healing that looks at the whole being of a person and leans towards natural remedies to heal. I like to do things as naturally as possible, and so many pharmaceutical medicines can be harmful, especially in the immune-compromised. This onion poultice is safe for people of all ages from babies to adults.

You can use this natural cough remedy to treat coughs whether it's a lingering, dry cough, or one with a lot of mucous that needs to be broken up. It seems as though every household has at least one round of the common cold annually which includes coughs, sore throats, and runny noses.

Why Do We Cough?

A cough has a purpose. It helps to clear irritants and infections from the body. Different coughs require different treatments. However, a cough in children is pitiful and heartbreaking! When a toddler develops a cough and can't sleep at night, NOBODY sleeps at night!

I'm not opposed to cough syrup, but I like to try home remedies first. An onion poultice is a cough suppressant that will reduce coughing, and hopefully, allow everyone to get a good night's sleep!

A young boy with a tea towel filled with an onion poultice.

Natural Cough Remedies

There are many different ways to treat coughs at home. Here are a few cough remedies that are commonly used but (disclaimer) have not been medically reviewed. It is always best to seek medical advice if you have questions.

  • Onion Poultice – Onions have expectorant properties that help to loosen mucous and open airways.
  • Honey Tea – Make an herbal tea with warm water and two teaspoons of honey to soothe the throat and suppress the cough.
  • Ginger – Fresh ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can relax membranes in the airways. Adding ginger to your honey tea is an easy and delicious way to consume it.
  • Steam – Taking a hot shower and breathing in the steam can help reduce coughing. Alternatively, pouring boiling water into a large bowl and bending over the bowl then covering your head with a towel works well. Be careful not to burn yourself!
  • Essential Oils – Eucalyptus oil diluted in a carrier oil can be used to calm a cough.
  • Marshmallow Root – Add hot water to dried marshmallow root and drink it to ease irritation from coughing.

A woman spooning sauteed onions onto a tea towel.

Ingredients and Supplies Needed for Onion Poultice

  • Onion – Any onion will work, however, most of the recipes I've seen call for yellow onions. But use what you have! Use a small onion for children and a large onion for adults.
  • Garlic – You can optionally add garlic which will add heat, so use caution.
  • Ginger – You can optionally add ginger which will also add heat, so use caution.
  • Oil – This helps the onions to break down as they are cooking, and keeps them from sticking to the pan. If you don't prefer to use oil, water can alternately be used.
  • Flour – If using oil, a sprinkle of flour will help soak up the oil, and prevent the oil from seeping through the towel and causing burns.
  • Knife – A chef knife works well to thinly slice the onion.
  • Cutting Board – Nothing fancy here, just protect those countertops!
  • Sauté Pan – I highly recommend cast iron. Read this post to learn why I love cast iron, its health benefits, and where to find the best cast iron.
  • Spatula – A wooden spoon works great too. You just need something to stir the onions as they cook.
  • Flour Sack Towel – An old cotton t-shirt will work if you don't have a thin kitchen towel. Make sure to use something that you don't mind oil stains.

A woman holding a tea towel wrapped around sauteed onions.

How to Make this Natural Cough Remedy

  1. Thinly slice the onion and cook it in a tablespoon of oil to a translucent look. Cook for approximately 7-8 minutes, and remove from heat. (Don't caramelize.)
  2. Sprinkle flour over the onions to soak up excess oil.
  3. Using a flour sack or old t-shirt, make an “onion omelet” by placing the onion mixture into the cloth.
  4. Check the temperature of the onion poultice on the inside of your forearm before placing it on the patient's chest. It needs to be as warm as the patient can stand, but not too hot it will burn or be uncomfortable. Keep in mind that children and elderly patients will be more sensitive to heat.
  5. Leave it on the patient for 30 minutes.

More FAQs

What is the Fastest Way to Cure a Cough?

A cough will need to serve its purpose to rid the body of the irritants and infections from illness. However, you can use home remedies to ease and soothe the symptoms.

What Home Remedy Kills a Cough?

There are many different natural remedies to help stop an irritating cough temporarily. Try some of the remedies named above, but I think you'll get good results from the onion poultice, so try this first!

Elderberry syrup in a swing top bottle on a counter.
A young boy with a tea towel filled with an onion poultice.

A Natural Cough Remedy – Holistic Medicine

A natural cough remedy to best treat and reduce coughing at home. Make an onion poultice to safely treat adults and children.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Keyword: natural cough remedy, onion poultice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 Poultice
Author: Jessica Sowards

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Saute Pan
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon
  • Flour Sack or T-shirt

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour

Instructions

  • Thinly slice onion and cook in oil to a translucent look approximately 7-8 minutes. Don't caramelize the onion.
  • Sprinkle flour over the onions to soak up the oil.
  • Using a flour sack or old t-shirt, make an onion omelet by placing the onion mixture into the cloth.
  • Check the temperature of the onion poultice on your arm before placing it on the patient's chest. It needs to be as warm as the patient can handle.
  • Leave it on the patient for 30 minutes.

Notes

What is the Fastest Way to Cure a Cough?

A cough will need to serve its purpose to rid the body of the irritants and infections from sickness. However, you can use home remedies to ease and soothe the symptoms.

What Home Remedy Kills a Cough?

There are many different natural remedies to help stop an irritating cough temporarily. 

I want to share this beautiful life with others and teach them the lessons we've learned along the way. Welcome to Roots and Refuge, friend. I am so glad you're here.

Top Posts

R&R on Teachable

Looking to get started Homesteading? Check out our courses!

Subscribe Now

Never miss an update from us! 

Plus...something special

coming next week!

15585

Watch Jess & Miah's "Wilder Still" Series

Close

USE CODE  "JESS10" FOR 10% OFF - EXPIRES 3/4/2022

​​Plus premium content, designed specifically for your homesteading needs.