Natural Remedies: Cough Syrup

Last winter was brutal – almost everyone in my family got sick at some point. At the first sign of illness I would start preparing natural remedies like cranberry drink (mors), chicken broth, horseradish, herbal teas with lemon and honey, garlic and oregano oil. It felt like playing a “Whack A Mole” for almost 2 months.

Article “Old World Cures for Winter Ailments” by Linda Gabris published in Vitality magazine immediately caught my attention. I proceeded with making my own Homemade Herbal Cough Syrup following the recipe from the magazine:

“Grandma has recorded many recipes for homemade cough syrup; this one is my favourite. It seems to ease the cough soon as it is taken. To make, add 3 cups fresh mixed herbs or 1/2 cup dried herbs into 2 cups of water. Herbs to choose from are sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, lavender, oregano, borage and mint. You can also add dried plantain leaf, crushed dried clover blossom, chamomile flowers, dried raspberry leaves, ground wild ginger rhizomes or fresh grated or dried commercial ginger root to the herb measure. Bring mixture to a boil, simmer about 20 minutes or until reduced to half. Remove from heat, cover and steep until cold. Strain liquid into clean pan. Put back on stove and add 1 cup of creamed clover honey. Heat until blended. Cool. Pour into sterilized bottle and cap. Take 1 tsp as needed. Store the cough syrup in a cool place and it will save indefinitely. – See more at:

My version of cough syrup had mountain oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage and contents of mint and chamomile tea bags. It had a pleasant taste too – the only complaint I’ve heard is that it’s too sweet:)

You might want to cut the recipe in half. Looks like I’ve made too much as I don’t hear coughing sounds any more…

I picked the herbs for my cough syrup based on their immediate availability in my cupboard as well as the following very useful information from the article:

  • Sage Tea for Sore Throat, Upset Stomach and Gas
  • Thyme Tea for Cough and Bronchitis
  • Oregano Tea for Sinus
  • Parsley Tea for Halitosis, Sore Throat and Mouth
  • Calming Clover Tea for Bad Nerves and Bronchitis
  • Mint Tea for Bloating, Gas, Colds and Flu
  • Rose Hip as a Cold Prevention Medicine
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