Cold and flu season is in full swing and that brings sore throats and coughs of all kinds. I don’t know about you, but I become a big ol’ baby when I have a sore throat. Aside from intestinal illnesses, there is nothing that sidelines me more than a sore throat.
Coughs drive me batty as well. Especially since they are such sleep interrupters. You are sick, you need rest, and all you can do is cough, cough, cough the night away.
I try to prepare as many natural remedies for illness as possible in my own kitchen. I like having full control over ingredients as well as being able to create something that is a palate pleaser. Who likes to choke down nasty tasting medicine when they are sick?
It has taken a lot of tinkering over the years but I finally nailed a tonic that is not only the best homemade cough syrup but also the best sore throat remedy.
An added bonus is that my 5 1/2 year old, the one with the strong gag reflex, not only loves the taste but keeps it down as well. Traditional thick cough syrup recipes have not worked for her at all. Down they go and 5 seconds later up they come.
This homemade cough syrup and sore throat remedy has a little kick to it but honestly, we all love the taste over here.
It works QUICKLY! Before we get to the recipe, let’s chat about the herbs I use so you know what you are getting yourself into. And please remember, I am not a medical practitioner nor do I play one on this site. This recipe is what has worked for my family. Please consult your trusted medical practitioner before giving it to your children or yourself.
Sore Throat and Cough Syrup Herbal Lineup
This sweet smelling herb has a calming effect on the entire body and can bring about relaxation which is important when illness makes it tough to sleep. It is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and acts as a pain reliever. It can also help break up and move excess mucus along. This is a very versatile herb and it really works well for all illness.
This herb offers a double whammy, both soothing a sore throat and kicking coughs to the curb. It is a calcium-rich mucilaginous herb used historically to soothe and heal mucus membranes, including the lungs. When you have a cough, you want this herb to work its magic soothing the irritation/inflammation in the respiratory organs.
This herb is great when a cough is accompanied by congestion. This is one of the most delicious and tasty herbs for cough. Thus, it has been given the name “sweet root” for good reason. It supports coughs, sore throats, and an inflamed bronchial tract. Licorice root acts as an expectorant, antitussive, or cough suppressant, and anti-inflammatory.
Not only does ginger soothe throat inflammation that causes the cough, it can tackle the underlying illness as well. It is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory herb that has long been used in lung/chest clearing combos and sore throat syrups.
This herb is warming and soothing which makes it great for both coughs and sore throats. It is antibacterial, antispasmodic, and also works to boost the immune system. It has a wonderful taste that most children love! A word of caution – cinnamon can lower blood sugar when consumed in large amounts. If you struggle with blood sugar issues, cut the cinnamon down by half (or more if you have a negative reaction).
So how do you make this wonderful homemade cough syrup that also serves as a sore throat remedy? Let me show you how simple it is!
Homemade Cough Syrup and Sore Throat Remedy
DIY All Natural Sore Throat and Cough Soothing Syrup
Looking for a sore throat and cough soothing syrup that doesn't have junky ingredients and is loved by all children? This all natural DIY recipe works well!
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1/4 cup dried chamomile
- 1/4 cup marshmallow root
- 1/4 cup licorice root
- 1 tablespoon ginger root
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon chips
- 3/4 cup raw honey (you can use less but the honey helps cut the spice from the ginger and cinnamon. Plus it is great at soothing an irritated throat.)
- In a small pot, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the herbs, reduce heat, and simmer for an hour.
- After an hour, strain the liquid into a large mason jar. Be sure to press all the liquid out of those herbs. The most powerful medicine is in those wet herbs!
- Add in the 3/4 cup of raw honey.
- You can either stir the mixture until the honey is dissolved or you can put the lid on and shake it up.
- After the honey is dissolved completely, remove the lid and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.
- For children over 5, you can just let them get a big swig as needed. A swig is probably about a shot glass full – so 1 ounce.
- For children under 5, I would try one teaspoon at a time.
- Because this has raw honey, it is not advisable to give it to children under one year of age.
You can turn this cough and throat soother into a tea by using the same amounts of herbs and honey and increasing the water to 8 cups total. Prepare it the same way. It keeps in the fridge for about 7 days but is most potent on days 1 and 2.
Where can you find the herbs to make these preparations?
I get most of my herbs from my affiliate partner Amazon. I love the Frontier brand and Starwest Botanical brand available from Amazon.
Will you try this recipe? Please report back and let me know how much your wee ones liked it!
Wanda Cooksey says
I will make this….my granddaughter and DIL seem to catch every virus/bacteria that wafts by! Thank you .
Alisa joy says
oh goodness, after ours last bout of plague…I will be making this.
Sara Hescock says
Thanks for providing such interesting information, neat recipes, and helpful tips. I think I might have to make this.
This is very much like the syrup I make. I would be careful using that much cinnamon as it can lower blood sugar drastically (great news for diabetics!). I make a night version with orange peel which helps you fall asleep naturally. My teacher said it helps your body produce melitonin so the sleep is natural and restful, not drug induced. Just some things I have learned over the years and wanted to share.
Thank you Lori! I will go ahead and add a disclaimer about that. I totally didn’t even think about that when I wrote the post. We don’t have blood sugar issues here so it never occurred to me to remind people about that. Thanks for speaking up. I appreciate that!
cinnamon chips? could you use ground or powdered cinnamon instead and do you know what the equivalent amount would be? thanks – it looks like a great recipe we’ll be trying soon 🙂
Cinnamon chips are basically just a broken up cinnamon stick. You do not want to use powdered cinnamon. Totally changes the taste and texture. You can use a couple of sticks instead if that is easier.
Josh josh says
what type of ginger do you recommend? Ground or fresh minced?
Hi Josh! you can use either although honestly I think I get more of a punch when I use ground ginger. I have tried it both ways and it seems to be more effective with the ground version.
When you’re sick, it never hurts to try alternative methods to healing, and this sounds like a great cough syrup. It’s so important to check the ingredients if you buy something over-the-counter so you can be sure of what you are putting in your body. Thanks for sharing this remedy!
Hi Jennifer – I was able to buy the marshmellow root today at our local family health store, but they did not have the licorice root in stock. I know I can order it, but I am hoping to make this today, because we have coughing kids now. 🙁 Can I substitute licorice root tea, instead of the dried licorice root?
Well, you can use the tea but it won’t quite be the same. A little less powerful. But in a pinch, go for it!
I’ll have to try your soothing syrup. I was looking for a remedy that will alleviate the soreness because my coughs are acting up again. Thanks for this recipe!
You bet! It is so tasty!
Great tips. Natural homemade cures are the way to go. Thanks for the recipes. My favorite for sore throat are cinnamon, ginger and licorice root. Raw honey works well for coughing too.
Do you know of a good substitute for the licorice? I cannot stand anything licorice, including fennel and anise.
Hi Amanda! The licorice root used in this recipe does NOT taste like licorice at all. It imparts a nice sweetness to the recipe.
MaryAnn Coy says
Hi Jennifer, can we go without the Licorice root. All licorice is an absolute verboten for those with high blood pressure/ hypertension disorder. It can cause acute hypertensive crisis that can result in brain Hemorrhage/Stroke, & severe headaches. I just spend a week in Hospital on IV antihypertensives & resulted in my regulating daily medication being changed & tripled + another added before I could be discharged. Not even a piece of licorice candy, is allowed, so…… What is the licorice roots exact function & is there an herbal substitution I could make?
Oh gosh!!! You can just leave the licorice root out. It is known for it’s soothing properties but there are other ingredients in there that also sooth. So don’t worry about replacing it.