Herbal Throat Spray Recipe

Herbal Throat Spray for cough and sore throat

Once upon a very terrible time, all five kids got a stomach bug at the same time… while I was gone… and my husband got it too. Thankfully we don’t get sick often, but it was terrible and I wasn’t on hand to use all of our natural remedies.

That was the first and last stomach bug they’ve all gotten at once, but invariably, at least one child gets a stuffy nose or cough sometime during the winter. Or I dust our closet and give myself hay fever and get a cough/congestion/nasal drip for a few days.

In those cases, I like to have this herbal throat spray on hand. It is great for sore throat, cough or congestion.

Herbal Throat Spray…

This throat spray is essentially a strong herbal tincture mixed with raw honey. The herbs provide both immediate relief and longer-lasting benefits for beating illness. Any herbs can be used in this recipe, but I prefer (I get them all here):

All of these are optional and if you don’t have some of them on hand, you can make it with the others. You’ll make an herbal tincture with the herbs and then mix with raw honey for a strong spray. When made this way, this spray will last months in the refrigerator.

Herbal Throat Spray Tincture

To make the tincture, I combined 1 tablespoon each of these dried herbs: Echinacea, Ginger, Marshmallow Root, Elderberry, Thyme and Mint and 1 teaspoon of dried cayenne pepper (optional) in a pint-size mason jar.

I poured 1/4 cup boiling water over the herbs to help draw out the beneficial properties and then filled the rest of the jar with a strong food-grade liquor like rum or vodka (must be at least 40% alcohol).

Put on an airtight lid and let sit for at least two weeks or up to a year (the longer it sits the stronger it will be). Store in a cool dark place. I make this once a year and have enough to last at least the year.

Here is my full tutorial on making herbal tinctures if you’re new to herbal remedies.

Faster Variations:

If you prefer not to make a tincture with alcohol, you can make a vegetable glycerine tincture instead or just use a strong tea and mix with honey. If you want to use the full herbal mixture and don’t have weeks to sit around for the tincture, you can make a two-hour tincture with this method:

  1. Combine 1 teaspoon of all of the herbs you want to use in a small glass jar.
  2. Pour enough boiling water to just cover the herbs with water.
  3. Let steep for 20 minutes until water cools.
  4. Strain out herbs and mix with equal parts of high-alcohol liquor. I use rum or vodka.
  5. Use this mixture to make the spray as usual.

If you don’t want to make your own, this pre-made one is similar and works pretty well, but I definitely prefer the taste and effectiveness of the homemade version.

If you get a cough, sore throat or cold this winter, try this herbal throat spray to get some relief and feel better soon! 🙂


  • 3 tablespoons herbal tincture of echinacea, thyme, elderberry, peppermint, ginger, and any other herbs you want to use
  • 1 tablespoons raw honey


  1. Combine ingredients in a small spray bottle and shake until honey is well-mixed.
  2. Store in fridge for up to six months.

 Do you ever get a sore throat or cough? What remedies do you use?

This homemade herbal throat spray recipe is great for sore throat or cough made with natural ingredients like echinacea, thyme, elderberry, and ginger.

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Reader Comments

  1. Do you give this to your kids when you’ve made the tincture with alcohol?

    • I think the alcohol is miniscule compared with OTC cold remedies.

      • Alcohol is a preservative in this situation. I do not think such small amount can hurt

  2. Hi – thanks for this! Can you clarify the recipe? In the beginning, it says 1 tablespoon of each, then later it says 1 teaspoon. Thanks!

    • Sorry, just realized my mistake but I can’t delete this comment. But in the recipe it does say 3 tablespoons w/ honey vs. the article says 1 tablespoon of each w/ water and alcohol then honey.

      • Hi Janny,

        I read it that way that you use the 1 tablespoon of each herb with water and alcohol to make the tincture.

        Once you have made the tincture and let it sit for 2 weeks or more, you use 3 tabelspoons of this tincture with 1 tablespoon of honey to make the Herbal Throat Spray.

  3. Why is the Cayenne always listed as optional. Does it add a spiciness to the tincture that some would find objectionable or is there some other reason. ? ?

    • Some people may have trouble with peppers, as it is a common allergen and also is not recommended for folks on an autoimmune protocol.

  4. Just wondering…Do you think the 2-hour version is as effective as the longer brewing method? Here in Austin, Cedar Fever has taken over (runny nose, itchy eyes, soar throat – the works) and I sure could use this today. I may just have to resort to the Vodka alone. 🙂 Thanks for posting.

  5. My husband and I also have four children. All their lives we have used a heating compress to stop their coughs. It is wonderful. We wet a face washer with very cold water, wring out the excess so it is just damp, place it on the chest ( the child will not be pleased but it warms super fast) cover with a plastic wrap then bandage so it keeps in place. Make sure the child wears a high necked top to stop drafts chilling the child. If it hasn’t completely stopped the coughing in 15 minutes, try one on the neck using a scarf. It works every time. Love your posts Wellness Mama! Keep up the good work!!!!

    • Sarah, this sounds awesome, but I have a few questions. What is a face washer? Is it just a normal face cloth? And also, why do you wet it with very cold water first? Is that part of what makes the process so effective?

    • it’s a funny….but I am also a strong believer in a wash cloth for simple tried and true treatment, however many herbs and spices and roots have antiviral effects, which is a super plus

  6. The link to the 1st two herbs is not working.
    is it Echinacea root or leaves? . . and I am guessing it is the ginger powder that is used.

  7. I feel sure this has been addressed on some other articles… but what should I do with this recipe when it’s a baby who is coughing or sick. General tips are welcome.. 🙂 But I was wondering specifically–
    Should I just replace the honey with stevia in this recipe? Think it would be best to use leaves during the steeping process or powdered later on? And I should probably use glycerin for under 1 yr old instead of alcohol too, right?
    I, personally, take probiotics, elderberry, vitamin C, garlic, etc.. I’ll give my baby elderberry (made w/stevia), probiotics, and rub various oils too. What am I missing? And if you wanna direct me to a different article, that’d be fine too! Thanks!

  8. Is this safe for children? I have a 4 & 6 year old and would love a cough remedy for them.

  9. Please be aware that people with a thyroid condition should stay away from echinacea at any price.

    • Echinacea is not necessarily harmful to those with thyroid problems. There are many people with thyroid conditions who take some form of it and are not negatively affected. It is an antioxidant which boosts the immune system and lymphocytic activity, so it should be used with caution. However, the same is true of garlic, ginger, and many other common immunity-boosting supplements. Same as any ingredient, different people react differently to different ingredients.

  10. I’ve made the tinture and mixed with honey but when I put the mixture into a spray bottle and Tey to spray it clogs up the spray nozzle. I’ve stained the liquid numerous times and even added a bit of water, but still the same problems. Is there a specific spray bottle that works best?

  11. Can you use fresh herbs for these tinctures, or do they need to be dried first? We have heaps of herbs in the summer garden at the moment, so thinking I ought to perhaps get some hanging up…

  12. Adding some fresh lemon juice might add great antibacterial and antiviral properties. When we have sore throats, I make a warm lemonade of fresh lemon, water, and raw local honey. Soothes the throat and helps kill germs.

  13. Just curious if you could use vanilla extract instead of rum or vodka, since vanilla extract has 41% alcohol, Or is it too watered down?

    • I haven’t tried it, but you probably could.

      • Is this spray suitable for kids and over what age?