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Recipe for Homemade Cough Syrup and Sore Throat Soother

Looking for a natural cough remedy? This homemade cough syrup recipe is a great natural remedy to have on hand to soothe sore throats and stop lingering coughs this flu and cold season.

Click HERE to save this recipe for Homemade Cough Syrup to Pinterest!

Cold and Flu season is unfortunately upon us, not to mention the other illness that has been on everyone’s mind this year!

With our first cold of the season this week, I was reminded of this recipe for Homemade Cough Syrup and Sore Throat Soother and thought it was time to make up a batch to keep on hand.

The Best Homemade Remedy for a Cough

I remember a few years ago when I had the worst cold. Nothing seemed to soothe my throat from all the coughing or help calm my cough.

It was one of those “I can’t get out of bed but every time I lay down I start hacking up a lung” type 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, but it kind of put a stop to the 24/7 Christmas carol singing that happens in my house and that is no fun at all.

My friend Becca brought me some Homemade Cough Syrup after struggling for a week with this cold. I felt like I had tried everything already and yet nothing was really helping.

At this point I was willing to try just about anything so that I could speak without hacking up a lung and breathing didn’t feel like so much work.

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

After just a day of using this natural cough medicine, I was back to annoying my kids with my constant Christmas Carol singing.

spices in jars on a white back ground

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Homemade Cough Syrup Ingredients

You’ll need a few simple ingredients to make this homemade cough syrup and sore throat soother. I bet you have most of the items in your spice cabinet already – I only had to buy the fresh lemon juice.

You’ll also need some measuring teaspoons, tablespoons, measuring cup, and a glass jar with a lid for storage.

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

How Does Natural Cough Syrup Work?

Each ingredient in this homemade cough syrup has unique properties to help tackle the symptoms of sore throats and lingering coughs that come with a winter cold.

lemon slice, honey, and spices on a white baground

Click HERE to save this recipe for Homemade Cough Syrup to Pinterest!

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help a Cough?

Apple Cider Vinegar helps a cough by restoring the body’s pH factor, which becomes more alkaline during a cold.

Another remedy for coughs that apple cider vinegar assists with is that it also helps slow down mucus production and thins mucous. Definitely a necessary ingredient in any homemade cough syrup recipe.

Does Lemon Juice Help a Cough?

Lemon juice is loaded with Vitamin C. It helps the immune system.

The lemon juice in this homemade cough syrup also cuts through phlegm, which is usually in abundance during a cold, making it especially good if you have congestion with your cough.

Does Ginger Help a Cough?

Ginger is a natural antihistamine. It has anti-inflamatory properties, and relieves chest congestion.

Does Cayenne Pepper Help a Cough?

Cayenne is warming (duh, because it’s freaking hot!) and relieves pain. How does cayenne pepper relieve pain when it causes pain because it is hot?

The cayenne pepper in this homemade cough syrup relieves pain by suppressing a chemical that carries the pain message to the brain.

jar of honey on white background

Click HERE to save this recipe for Homemade Cough Syrup to Pinterest!

How Does Honey Help a Cough?

Honey actually has a medicinal purpose in this homemade cough syrup, so it isn’t just included to help the cough syrup taste better – though that certainly helps!

The honey in this natural cough syrup works by coating the throat. It will draw pus from wounds, as well as possessing natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

*Note: it is not recommended to give honey to any child under 1 year of age under any circumstances.

How to Make Homemade Cough Syrup

The recipe instructions are super simple — combine all the ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and shake it up!

Store it in a jar, like one of these cute Weck Jars, in the refrigerator.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the free printable card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

How to Use Homemade Cough Syrup

I found that the best way to use this cough syrup recipe 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.

This method 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 to protect the enamel of my teeth, since the mixture is pretty acidic. This isn’t something you want sitting on your teeth all day.

Who Should Use Homemade Cough Syrup?

This post and recipe for natural cough syrup are not intended for medical advice.

You should always consult your physician if you have any questions or concern regarding your health or an illness that you are experiencing.

Seek medical attention immediately if you are having difficulty breathing or chest pains. Mayo Clinic has guidelines on when to talk to call your doctor if you have a fever.

Personal discretion is advised when using this recipe for homemade cough syrup. I did find it very helpful and beneficial in my personal use, however. 

Please be aware that it is hot and strong. It may not be best for children (or even adults) who have difficulty with the contained ingredients. It should never be used for babies or toddlers.

container of cough syrup on white background

Click HERE to save this recipe for Homemade Cough Syrup to Pinterest!

How Long Will Homemade Cough Syrup Last?

To be honest, I’m not sure! I have a big family, and when we’re all sick we go through a batch of natural cough medicine in about 4 weeks.

You’re probably safe to keep it in your fridge for longer than that since the individual ingredients don’t go bad quickly and have natural antibacterial properties, but I’d advise you to use your best judgement.

Tips for Making Homemade Cough Syrup

Be sure to give this homemade cough remedy a good shake before administering it. You want the ingredients to be properly mixed before taking a dose, otherwise you might not reap all the benefits.

Also note that you shouldn’t make ingredient substitutions. If you swap out some of the ingredients, this natural cough syrup may not work.

How Do I Stop Coughing?

Here are several tips to help stop coughing once your coughing as begun:

  • Stay hydrated to loosen mucus (check out my tips to drink more water!)
  • Use a humidifier in your room at night.
  • Take a hot, steamy shower. This especially helps to soothe bad coughs before bed
  • Use this recipe for Homemade Cough Syrup as needed
  • Sleep with the head elevated (a wedge pillow is good for this).
    Take a hot shower before bed.
    Use essential oils, such as Eucalyptus, and diffuse them in the bedroom with an essential oil diffuser.
  • Tackle allergens – make sure bed sheets are clean and washed with hot water (I like Branch Basics cleaners), regularly vacuum with a HEPA filter vacuum, and dust bedrooms.
  • Look into an air purifier for your bedroom.
  • Eliminate odors, perfumes, or other scents (such as from cleaning chemicals) that irritate breathing and trigger coughing.
  • Gargle with warm salt water before bed.
  • Use saline spray or nasal irrigation.
  • Don’t try to hold your cough in as this can be counterproductive.
  • Use menthol lozenges
  • Sip hot water with Honey. Is your honey crystalized? Check out this post about decrystalizing honey.

The best way to relieve a stubborn cough is to tackle the root cause. You can always work with your doctor or medical provider for additional guidance in soothing a persistent cough.

Reader Reviews of this Recipe for Homemade Cough Syrup

I made a batch of this today. Yes, it is hot, but it seems to work. I made a “daytime” and a “nighttime” version. (The “nighttime” version has whiskey instead of water to help with sleep.) Both are good so far. Thank you for this recipe.” -Poppy

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

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container of cough syrup on white background

Homemade Cough Syrup

Yield: about 40 teaspoons
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

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

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Add the cayenne pepper, ground ginger, honey, apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, and water to a jar with a lid.
  2. Tighten the lid and shake the jar to mix the ingredients well.
  3. Store, with lid tightened, in the refrigerator in between uses.
  4. Shake again to mix well and eliminate any settling that has occured prior to using.
  5. Take 1 teaspoon at a time to soothe sore throats and coughs.
  6. Repeat every couple of hours, or as needed.

Notes

Tips for Making Homemade Cough Syrup

  • Be sure to give this homemade cough remedy a good shake before administering it. You want the ingredients to be properly mixed before taking a dose, otherwise you might not reap all the benefits.
  • Also note that you shouldn’t make ingredient substitutions. If you swap out some of the ingredients, this natural cough syrup may not work.

How to Use Homemade Cough Syrup

I found that the best way to use this cough syrup recipe 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.

This method 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 to protect the enamel of my teeth, since the mixture is pretty acidic. This isn’t something you want sitting on your teeth all day.

It is not recommended to give honey to any child under 1 year of age under any circumstances.

Disclaimer

Personal discretion is advised when using this recipe for homemade cough syrup. It is hot and strong. It may not be best for children (or even adults) who have difficulty with the contained ingredients. I did find it very helpful and beneficial in my personal use, however.

Good Life Eats does not provide medical, health, or nutritional advice or treat any medical or health issues. Good Life Eats recommend that you always contact your doctor for all medical and health advice.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information
Yield 40 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 4Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 0mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 0g

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Click HERE to save this recipe for Homemade Cough Syrup to Pinterest!

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Chris

Saturday 12th of December 2020

I read this blog post with excitement, with helpful advice.

Poppy

Thursday 12th of December 2019

I made a batch of this today. Yes, it is hot, but it seems to work. I made a "daytime" and a "nighttime" version. (The "nighttime" version has whiskey instead of water to help with sleep.) Both are good so far. Thank you for this recipe.

Katie

Thursday 12th of December 2019

So glad it helped! I LOVE the idea of a nighttime version!

Alba Rendon

Thursday 3rd of October 2019

Hi! Thank you for the recipe. A question, the T for the lemon juice is for tablespoon? Thank you again!

Katie

Thursday 3rd of October 2019

Hi, yes! a capital T or TBS indicates tablespoon. Lowercase t or tsp indicates teaspoon. Hope that helps!

Alina Makhubo

Wednesday 29th of May 2019

THIS IS REALLY HELPFUL BECAUSE WE GET SICK OFTEN. RIGHT NOW I HAVE A SINUSES DURING SUMMER AND WINTER....

Katie

Wednesday 29th of May 2019

Feel better!

modapkx

Monday 29th of April 2019

This is such a great idea! I’ll definitely have to keep this on hand because we always get sick sometime in the winter without fail!