Recipe for Homemade Cough Syrup and Sore Throat Soother

This Homemade Cough Syrup is a great natural remedy to have on hand for sore throats and lingering coughs.

Homemade Cough Syrup and Sore Throat Soother - Natural Remedy for Coughs and Colds

I recently had the worst cold. It was one of those I can’t get out of bed but every time I lay down I start hacking up a lung and my nose is so congested I feel like I’m blowing my brains out kind of colds.  On top of that my voice sounded super amazing.

I was frustrated because it hit me at the worst time when I had a lot of things on my plate that I needed to deal with.

And though it might sound trivial, it is torture for me to lose my voice this time of year. It kind of puts a stop to the 24/7 Christmas Karaoke that happens in my house and that is no fun at all. You might think this is a joke, but seriously…it isn’t.

My friend Becca brought me some Homemade Cough Syrup when after struggling for a week with this cold, nothing was really helping. At this point I was willing to try just about anything so that breathing didn’t feel like so much work.

Let me tell you, this homemade cough syrup is amazing stuff. Becca warned me that it would taste awful. Honestly, I didn’t think it was that bad. It is some seriously strong stuff and pretty hot, but it works!

Homemade Cough Syrup and Sore Throat Soother - Natural Remedy for Coughs and Colds

I found that the best way to use it was to put a teaspoon (that’s all you really want to use at a time) in a small cup, like a shot glass, and down it in the back of your throat. That minimizes the super strong taste when you miss your tongue completely.

Your throat is really what you want to coat with this homemade cough syrup – not your mouth, teeth, and tongue. Then, chase that with a cup full of water. I usually do a quick teeth brushing afterwards too, since the mixture is pretty acidic, to protect the enamel of my teeth.

After just a day of using this, I’m happy to report that I was back to annoying my kids with my constant Christmas Carol singing.

Homemade Cough Syrup – Why Does it Work?

This recipe for homemade cough syrup features a mixture of apple cider vinegar, lemon, cayenne, ginger, honey, and water. Each ingredient has unique properties to help tackle the symptoms of sore throats and lingering coughs that come with a winter cold. Store it in a jar, like one of these cute Weck Jars, in the refrigerator.

Ginger – Ginger is a natural antihistamine, has anti-immflamatory properties, and relieves chest congestion.

Apple Cider Vinegar – Restores the body’s pH factor, which becomes more alkaline during a cold. It also helps slow down mucus production and thins mucous.

Lemon Juice – Loaded with Vitamin C, it helps the immune system. It also cuts through phlegm.

Honey – This makes it taste better, but also helps coat the throat and will draw pus from wounds and has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. *Note: don’t give honey to children under 1 year.*

Cayenne Pepper – Cayenne is warming (duh, because it’s freaking hot!) and relieves pain. It relieves pain by suppressing a chemical that carries the pain message to the brain.

What are your favorite natural remedies for a cough or sore throat?

Homemade Cough Syrup

Yield: about 1 cup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Use this homemade cough syrup as a natural remedy for sore throats and coughs this winter.


  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup water


Combine all of the ingredients in a jar. Cover with a lid and shake to combine. Take 1 teaspoon at a time to soothe sore throats and coughs. Repeat every couple of hours as needed.


Store in the refrigerator.

Do not give to children under 1 year because it contains honey.

from Becca, adapted from University of Pittsburgh