Home Remedy Cough Syrup

For the adventurous and independent sort, here's a homemade cough syrup recipe that really works. The ingredients are a combination of spices and nutrients with no unpleasant medicinal side effects—no drowsiness, no dry mucous membranes, no cautions about using machinery or driving.

The recipe is from Herbally Yours by Penny C. Royal, 3rd Edition, June 1982. It seems to work for all kinds of coughs but especially for that dry hacky cough that keeps you awake and hangs on long after the cold is over.

It soothes an irritated throat and relieves chest congestion and phlegm. The bad news: it tastes terrible—it really does—but if you have a persistent cough, it's worth a try.

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons water

Mix and take by the teaspoon.

The recipe doesn't indicate how much to take. I took 3 teaspoons the first time because I had a bad dry cough for over three weeks, and I was desparate for some relief. It worked and I got a good night's sleep. I have been recommending it to others ever since, and many have confirmed my positive results.

Consider the beneficial effects of the individual ingredients:

Ginger (zingiber officinale) has long been used and recommended for arthritis and bursitis, because it is a natural anti-inflammatory. According to Home Herbal, by Penelope Ody, D.K. Publishing, June 1995, ginger is a natural antihistamine. It has also been used for for motion sickness and nausea, and in addition, it's known for relieving chest congestion, according to Dr. Andrew Weil, Herbal Medicine Chesthttp://cgi.pathfinder.com/drweil/herbal/medches

Cayenne (capsaicin) reduces pain, according to Herbs for Health and Healing, by Kathi Keville, Rodale Press, Emmaus, PA, 1996. The same substance that makes cayenne peppers hot relieves the pain by suppressing a chemical that carries the pain message from nerves in the affected area to the brain. According to Home Herbal, by P. Ody, cayenne is warming and stimulating, it is a good cold remedy and eases chills and will even ease the lingering pain from shingles.

Apple Cider Vinegar (or ACV) has so many healthful uses. See my article, Vinegar: Ancient Medicine and Popular Home Remedy in Connections Quarterly, Summer 1998 Issue.

Honey, according to Home Herbal by P. Ody, will draw pus and poisons out of wounds and it is useful for relief from colds.

Water is probably added to make it less strong tasting but it is still strong!

I keep the mixture in the refrigerator after I make it but I don't know if it is necessary.

The next time you have a cough that just won't quit, you might want to give this homemade cough recipe a try.

CAUTION: Any cough persisting more than a week, accompanied by headache or fever, and any cough which is productive of thick yellow or green mucous should be evaluated by a physician. One precaution I have read is regarding the honey: Do not give honey to children under 1 year of age unless it is pasteurized or boiled for five minutes. I would not give this mixture to a young child anyway, because the taste is too strong, and a child with a cough should be seen by a pediatrician.

Post taken from here with my own photos.

Comment Stream

2 years ago

Apple cider vinegar is so good for you! When I feel a cold coming on I mix hot water, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and honey. Tastes horrible, but after drinking it daily it seems to stop the sickness in it's tracks.