Recipe: Homemade Cough Syrup

I was certain I had posted this recipe before, but I cannot find it when I search my posts. Either I didn’t label it or I didn’t post it. Regardless, this is the perfect time of year to keep posting about home remedies for illness! With the changes in humidity outside and the fluctuating temperatures, we have this persistent cough in our home. It is extremely annoying. No one is sick – everyone has just had a post-nasal drip type of cough that, of course, is most annoying at night. A couple of the kids awake with coughing fits and need a drink to help clear their throat. Poor baby Ethan actually threw up his phlegm during a coughing fit the other night. So, I’ve whipped up the syrup for the second time in a week and a half, and all the kids take it at least twice a day.

The beauty about homemade cough syrup is that there are no side effects (unless you have an allergy to a particular food, of course). There’s no warning like “may cause drowsiness or excitedness”….which are my two least favorite side effects of regular children’s medicines. Buddy usually gets the excitedness, and he is the LAST person we need to be more excited! 🙂

Before I give the directions, I wanted to give the reasons why these ingredients are helpful in remedying a cough.

Honey – an antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-bacterial. HERE is some great info about honey. Local raw honey is best, as it can help with allergies. We just switched to purchasing ours from a family at church.

Onions – anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibiotic. Can help with bronchitis, asthma, and hay fever. HERE is a great site for onion information.

Cloves – analgesic, anti-inflammatory, digestive aid. Go HERE for more.

Ginger root – antihistamine, decongestants. HERE is a list of ginger benefits. (it should be noted if you have a history of gallbladder issues, you should avoid or speak with your doctor first. ginger causes the gallbladder to release bile.)

Okay, now that we have the why behind the ingredients, here is how you combine them to get a tasty and effective cough syrup…and really an overall healthy concoction to help your body fight Fall and Winter’s nasty viruses!

1/2 cup raw honey

1 small onion, chopped (nothing fancy, just a rough chop)

1 tsp ground cloves (whole cloves could also be used)

1 tsp grated ginger root

Add ingredients to a small pot and heat over medium-low. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until onions are transparent. DO NOT BOIL – boiling honey significantly reduces its medicinal benefits. Strain liquid into a glass jar. Cover and refrigerate. Use immediately or keep refrigerated up to two weeks. (It doesn’t go bad after that; it just isn’t as effective.)

Kids under 10 – take 1 tsp every few hours, as needed.

Kids over 10 and Adults – take 1 TBSP every few hours, as needed.

As gross as it sounds to have onions in it, this syrup is actually very tasty. The honey, ginger and cloves definitely mask the onion smell and taste! All of my kids think it is delicious, as well as me. 🙂

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