Homemade Cough & Cold Syrup Recipe

Yesterday I shared with you nine Natural Homemade Cough and Cold Remedies, and promised to post my recipe for homemade cough and cold syrup. I’ve made this before, and it’s easy-peasy. I can testify that it works well in soothing a throat that is irritated from coughing. (One note of interest to add regarding coughing – when Isaac had a terrible  barking cough (croup-like) this past winter, so bad that he couldn’t sleep because he couldn’t stop coughing for hours at a time – we were given the advice to take him outside in the cold air for a minute, and it would stop the cough. It works. Just make sure to bundle up well, depending on where you live!)

The Recipe:

1 large onion, diced
2/3 cup organic raw honey (organic and raw are best but not necessary)
1 teaspoon dried cloves (a natural pain reliever)
1 teaspoon ginger (helps loosen mucous and relieves pain and nausea)
the juice of half a lemon
a pinch of cayenne pepper* (helps loosen mucous, and raises body temp to kill off germs)

Combine all ingredients in a small pot and heat on low. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes, covered on lowest possible heat, stirring occasionally. Strain the onion out, and store the syrup in a glass jar in the fridge.

I’m not sure how long it lasts. Maybe a couple of weeks? I would imagine the healing properties of the ingredients would begin to diminish once they are cooked (which is also why you want to keep the heat as low as possibly). As far as dosage, I would give as much as a spoonful every hour, maybe a little less for a kid. And, of course, this would not be recommended for a baby under one year, as it contains honey. Though, if your honey is organic and local, then it may be ok from a few months earlier. (That’s just my personal opinion).

*Note: If you’re making it for a child you can leave out the cayenne pepper.

Be sure to come back and let me know if you try this recipe, and how it works!

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  1. Desiree says

    I wanted to respond back sooner but didnt have the chance til now. I wanted to thank you for that recipe! I was amazed really that it actually worked….didnt even have to take them to the doctor!! Thanks again ill b doing this again!

  2. Desiree says

    I have a 1 an 2 yr old with a cough an cold. I just got through making this. Waiting for it to cool off to give to my children. Im really hoping it works. Thanks for the tip an ill post the outcome.

  3. Susie says

    Do you know if candied cinger can be used? I don’t think my powdered ginger has any potency beyond flavor, and candied is all I have on hand.

    • says

      Hi Susie, I really have no idea about the candied ginger. I think if it were me, I’d just leave out the ginger altogether. I’d be concerned about the sugar, since I’ve read many times that sugar decreases your immune system. The cough syrup without the ginger would still be good.

      Do you have ginger tea in the house? That would be a nice addition on the side for someone who is sick.

      Hope this helps!

  4. Cyndi says

    Im pretty sure the issue with honey would be with the raw honey, but if you buy pasturized honey, that would be ok (tho it wouldnt have the properties you want as much)… ;) I would google it tho, or ask a doctor but im almost certain that the organic honey would be what you dont want to give to a baby! Thanks for the recipe, trying it tonight!

  5. Athan Middleton says

    Herbal tea is known to have a number of positive effects. It slows down the ageing process, helps in weight loss and is known to cure cough. It can be given to small children who should not be taking antibiotics and those who don’t like the bitter taste of cough syrup. Herbal tea can be taken in many flavors like ginger, lemon, jasmine, blackcurrant and peppermint.

  6. says

    Thanks for sharing – I gargled with Cayenne (a few shakes only) in some hot water and cured a horrible sore throat..and when I say horrible, I mean I couldn’t even swallow water! It literally worked overnight and I’m a firm believer since. If only I could give it to my kids!

  7. says

    Helpful tips. also i want to add, Cinnamon and a Lime – This is an incredible remedy on how to stop a cough that is definitely effective. Boil 2 cinnamon sticks in one cup of lime juice. The vitamin C that is present in the lime juice can boost your body’s immune system. The combination of lime and cinnamon can take out the phlegm.

  8. Christi says

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I’m curious, though…is this the recipe that you used to conquer strep throat without antibiotics?

    Many thanks,

    • says

      Nope, this is more just for coughs and colds. I used this info to cure my strep throat: http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/strep_throat.html

      I did a combo of ACV and cayenne pepper in some sort of herbal tea (I don’t remember which kind – lemon or green or mint, maybe?). I also can’t remember if I gargled or swallowed – I think both would help… gargling might not get deep enough in the throat. It totally worked. Not immediately, but within day or two I was totally cured, without antibiotics. (And believe me – it was a definite bad case of strep, diagnosed with a throat swab!)

      Thanks for commenting!

      • Christi says

        Thanks so much for your reply, Beth. After I commented, I went back to the original article and realized that this wasn’t the recipe you used and felt like an idiot for asking (but it was too late to undo the ‘bonehead’ comment-lol ). I will definitely be keeping this one in mind to use the our family encounters strep…antibiotics are not something we want to use again.

        Thanks for such a helpful blog! ;)

        • says

          Oh gosh, don’t even worry about it… we’ve all done the same, I’m sure! I hope it ends up being helpful if you do need it one day (but not needing it at all would be better :))

          Thanks for reading, and commenting :)

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