Friends don’t let friends take bad cough medicine

Homemade Cough Syrup


You won't need loads of crazy chemicals to get better!

You won’t need loads of crazy chemicals to get better!

Because our family eats MOSTLY whole, nutrient-dense foods, and because we have been blessed with healthy immune systems, we rarely catch the bugs that make the rounds. (For this I’m definitely grateful!)

But when sickness does overtake us, we reach for natural and traditional remedies to heal our bodies whenever possible. The original version of this recipe appeared in the 1982 edition of Herbally Yours.

Cough Syrup

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp fresh grated ginger OR 1/4 tsp ground ginger 1 clove garlic, grated (optional) 2 Tbls raw honey 1 Tbls apple cider vinegar 2 Tbls water (optional)

Place all ingredients in a small jar with a tight lid and shake to combine or whisk vigorously in a medium bowl. The mixture will stay fresh for several days, especially if stored in the refrigerator, but try to use it all with in the first two days.

Take 2-3 spoonfuls every few hours or as needed.

The Ingredients

The cayenne pepper has capsaicin, which acts as a pain reliever. Even though it’s also what makes hot peppers spicy, capsaicin interrupts the pain message between the nerves and the brain, thus alleviating the pain sensation. It is warming and stimulating to the nerves, thus increasing blood flow and promoting healing.

Ginger is a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-nausea agent. It likewise is warming and stimulating to the nervous system and is helpful in relieving chest congestion. I prefer using fresh ginger because it is more potent and the juice is especially helpful in this recipe, but ground ginger is certainly a worthy substitute.

Garlic is known for its anti-viral properties and stimulates the immune system. Include the garlic in this recipe if you are fighting a particularly nasty viral infection.

Honey is soothing, tasty, and coats the throat. Raw honey is packed with nutrients and enzymes and is a powerful antiviral and antibacterial substance, due to the propolis, which is what the bees themselves use to seal the hive from bacteria and infection. One study has shown that buckwheat honey is especially effective for cough relief.

Apple cider vinegar has a plethora of beneficial uses and in this case provides antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. It also provides a large number of minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids, which boost the immune system and promote healing in the body.

Note: And obviously, due to the honey content, this syrup should not be used with an infant under the age of 12 months.


I hope this helps Jennifer & others!

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