Herbal Cough Syrup


My son came home from High School yesterday with a tickly persistent cough. I dosed him up with some raw vitamin C which normally does the trick but by this morning the cough had turned chesty.

It is always best to attack these things as soon as they emerge and whilst there is no known cure for the common cold as yet, there are a few natural steps we can take to ease the symptoms. It breaks my heart to hear my kid coughing all through the night, I wish his immune system was a little more like mine. I never get colds or flu.

This morning I made a bottle of herbal cough mixture for him to take when he returns home from school. Here is the recipe that I used which I would like to share. It’s not the best tasting thing in the world but it does give swift relief that seems to last a few hours. I have been using this same recipe for years and years, sometimes with a few minor adjustments when I don’t have all the ingredients to hand. I like to feel that living naturally is a good conscious way of looking after my family’s health.


1 sterilised bottle or jar
Small saucepan
Strainer or cheese cloth


1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon elecampane powder
1 tablespoon dried whole olive leaf
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 generous tablespoons of raw honey
2 tablespoons molasses
10 slices of fresh ginger root
3 large cloves of fresh garlic, chopped roughly
2 hot fresh chili peppers, sliced seed left intact (for the capsicum)
Juice of a whole lemon
1 teabag of german chamomile tea
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
2 cups filtered water

In a small saucepan, add the water, the teabag and all of the fresh herbs including the dried olive leaf and garlic. Cover and bring to a steady boil. Once the liquid has reached boiling point, remove the lid, turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. What we are trying to do here is reduce the liquid to half. Take off the heat and let steep for a further 15 mins.

Strain the reduced liquid, discard the fresh herbs and add the dried powdered ingredients along with the xanthum gum and vinegar and molasses and the lemon juice. Stir to melt and thicken. Add the honey and stir again, making sure to mix thoroughly. Use a hand held mixer if you like, it will aid in thickening up the syrup nicely. Put the mixture back on the stove and bring to a boil again.

Pour into your prepared bottle or jar. Label and date. Store in the fridge and take as needed. Three teaspoons should give adequate relief for a good night’s sleep without the misery of coughing.

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