We don’t get sick often, and when we do, I prefer to let the body fight the illness naturally whenever possible. I don’t immediately turn to medicine, (or even to large doses of herbs or vitamins), since I prefer to support the body in fighting the infection rather than take something that bypasses this natural process.
That being said, illnesses that include coughing (like the strain of the flu going around this year) can be exhausting and uncomfortable because they limit the ability to sleep restfully. In those cases, I use this homemade syrup to ease the coughing so the afflicted can get some rest (also very important to illness recovery!).
Honey naturally soothes cough by itself. In fact, I’ve heard of doctors recommending a spoonful of honey to children (over a year) for cough. Ginger is naturally anti-inflammatory and has an expectorant action. Chamomile soothes muscles, making it useful in relieving the “tickle” in the throat, plus it promotes restful sleep. Marshmallow Root has one of the highest mucilaginous contents of all herbs and coats and soothes the throat. Cinnamon helps boost immune system and improve taste.
The combination of herbs helps sooth the throat to ease coughing and promote restful sleep. I only use this remedy on children over 1 year of age due to the honey, though you can substitute maple syrup in place of honey.
- 1 quart of filtered water
- 1/4 cup Ginger Root (fresh grated or dried)
- 1/4 cup Chamomile Flowers
- 1/4 cup Marshmallow Root
- 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup honey
- Pour the water into a medium saucepan and add the dried herbs.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer until the volume is reduced by about half. (You will need 1 cup of liquid after herbs are strained off)
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove herbs (compost the herbs!).
- While liquid is still warm (not boiling) mix with lemon juice and honey and stir well.
- Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months.
I give 1 teaspoon to children and 1 tablespoon to adults as needed for symptoms.
Have you ever made cough syrup? What herbs did you add? What natural remedies do you use to ease coughing? Share below!