Honey, Grapefruit, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Other All-Natural Cough Remedies for Thyroid Patients (And Others)

Fresh squeezed and strained grapefruit as a natural cough expectorant

Ice-cold, fresh-squeezed Texas grapefruit juice. Yum.

Twice this year I’ve taken to crowd-sourcing cough remedies on Facebook and, in hopes of remembering what I learned next winter, I thought I’d dash off a post on the topic.

The first inquiry involved a dry cough that plagued my son. We try to steer clear of food dyes for a variety of reasons, so regular over-the-counter cough remedies are mostly off limits. In his case, we learned from a friend that honey is remarkably soothing for a dry cough. Even her hubby–who works in a military hospital and is a skeptic of old wives’ tales–endorses this approach. It sure worked for my kiddo.

The second crowd-sourcing exercise was for me. About a week ago, I caught a nasty cold and, being an overachiever, took it much harder than my hubby and kid. Raging fever, awful cough, etcetera. To top it off, I took too much asthma medicine and sent my heart racing. Sigh. Mucinex was among the first suggestions thrown out, but as I can’t take pseudophedrine (thanks, Graves’ disease) the most useful version (“DM”) was off limits. A dear doctor friend suggested Flonase to cut the post-nasal drip, but I can’t take that because it breaks out my skin almost as bad as gluten (thanks again, Graves’ disease).

Therefore, I went with shower steam, decaffeinated lemon tea with local honey, saline spray (for the drip), a marvelous gargle (water with a little apple cider vinegar) and a new one for me: fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. As none of my medications react with the juice (always double-check with your pharmacist), I was curious to try it as soon as a friend recommended it. I happened to have a fresh, Texas-raised grapefruit in my fridge, too.  It tasted divine and seemed to, pardon me, cut the sludge almost immediately.

Perhaps it was a placebo effect, but I don’t care. The tangy juice felt heavenly, and I will definitely try it again.

What are your favorite cough remedies? Are there any gems passed down within your family?


  1. I’ve never heard of gargling with ACV, but my kids and I love to drink it ( mixed with honey and diluted with water). My grandma always drank some every day and swore it kept her healthy.

    • My maternal grandmother used ACV daily and my maternal grandfather was a BIG believer in elderberry jam. Daily.

      Actually, the ACV gargle–which I’d forgotten about–was a trick my paternal great aunt picked up from a doctor. He recommended it to all his patients well into the 1990s.

      • Interesting. I’ve also heard its a great facial toner, though I haven’t tried it yet. Why elderberry jam?

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