Homemade cough soother

I wouldn’t exactly call this a syrup because once you do a half and half with honey, it doesn’t have a syrupy texture anymore. Of course you could amp up the honey to something like 80:20 but then you’re basically just eating honey.  I don’t have anything against eating honey, per se, but my body seems to resist if I consume excessive amounts of simple sugars, so I try to resist.

I’m pretty sure this homemade remedy, for which I am providing an unrecipe (aka, a recipe without detailed amounts) is responsible for my FINALLY getting over the most virulent day-care infested cough-cold that I have had since the baby arrived!   I am still coughing but with much less frequency.  The other thing that really helped was slathering my throat with vicks vaporub (I am a vicks addict), wrapping a scarf around it, and slopping it onto the soles of my feet and then putting socks on.  Then I covered myself with a heavy down comforter that mitigates even the tiniest chill in the air (throwing it off in the middle of the night) – and finally – success!    That plus getting MORE SLEEP, always a battle with the earliest of early-morning babies.   I did a quick google for a homemade cough syrup but I couldn’t find one that seemed to hit all the bases.  A lot were just ginger plus lemon.  DUH. Of course you need ginger plus lemon.



  • Ginger root
  • Red pepper flakes (numbs throat)
  • Honey (soothes throat)
  • Fennel seeds (digestive support, flavour)
  • Yellow onions (onions & garlic are natural anti-inflammatories)
  • Elderberry tincture (optional – for vitamin C, FYI Safe with breastfeeding)
  • Nettle tea (good for liver support)
  • Garlic cloves (I should have added these but somehow I forgot)
  • Cinnamon sticks (tasty + various health benefits too numerous to list)
  • Olive oil (soothing on the throat)
  • Lemon or lime – fresh juice
  • Apple cider vinegar

Does that sound disgusting? Cause it actually tastes pretty good.  Especially if you are a fan of sweet, spicy ginger candies normally.

  1. Slice onions, chop garlic and ginger.  Sautee together in olive oil for about 10 minutes at low heat.
  2. Add water, a cup or so, and toss in red pepper flakes (a few tbsps), fennel seeds, loose tea and  the cinnamon sticks.  Bring to a rolling, headily scented boil.
  3. Juice as much lemon or lime juice as you have energy for.
  4. Reduce liquid to about 1/2 cup – cup (depending on how much of this good juju you want and how much honey you have, you will go equal parts honey and decoction).
  5. Cool & combine in glass gar (mason jar works) with equal parts honey, and stir in lemon/lime juice.  VOILA!  Take teaspoons as you wish, or use as a concentrated sicky tea solution and combine 1:2/3/4/5 parts boiling water depending on your desire.   Burns so good…yum.

FYI, oil of oregano and echinacea, two of my go-to herbal supports for sickness, are not appropriate for breastfeeding mothers.

Optional additions?  Tumeric, orange juice, mint….although for the best flavour you might want to reign it in.

Let me know if this works for you!

Here are some other, apparently more useful recipes that work off of the power of onions.  A poultice here – I had one of those nasty deep seated coughs that wasn’t dislodging…and a kid-friendly onion syrup, which I could have been trying on DD.  Now I know for next time….