Homemade Cough Remedy

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This Homemade Cough Remedy is a spicy, honey-cider syrup potent enough to calm a cough and soothe a sore throat. Over the past few years, this handy little remedy has become one of the most popular posts on this website.

As I mixed up a batch for my son last night, I decided to re-share it with all of you, as a testament to just how much we use it!

Homemade Cough Remedy - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com


After making it all the way through the holidays without a cough, a sneeze or a fever, cold season hit us like a freight train on New Year’s Day. My boys were miserable and I started to feel it as well after a couple of days.

I remembered saving this Homemade Cough Remedy recipe to try, so I shook up a tiny little test batch and tested a spoonful on myself.

Consider yourself warned, this is seriously spicy and potent enough to actually clear your head. Personally, I think it tastes better than any store-bought syrup I’ve tried.

With only a handful of pantry ingredients and a few minutes effort, this Homemade Cough Remedy was sitting on my counter.

I was amazed at how well it worked to completely clear our congestion. My oldest son was willing to try it as well and I couldn’t believe how quickly it worked on his cough.

Homemade Cough Remedy recipe made with common everyday items - found at barefeetinthekitchen.com

It cleared his throat and he slept solidly through the night. Over the counter cough medicines don’t even accomplish that for us!

The powerful ingredients in this remedy are common everyday items: ginger, cayenne, cider vinegar and honey. Yet they work together to create a potent remedy for cold symptoms. It’s definitely worth trying before turning to the medicine cabinet once again this winter.

Updated to add: I’ve been making this Homemade Cough Remedy for so long now, all three of my kids request it anytime they start coughing. The serving size (or dosage) will vary depending on the person. My 11 and 13-year-old sons take a tablespoon without a problem, my 7-year-old takes about a teaspoon. A full tablespoon works great for my husband and for me.

 

Kitchen Tip: I use this jar to store the cough remedy.

Homemade Cough Syrup

  1. Place the vinegar, honey, water, cayenne, and ginger in a small jar and shake to combine.
  2. Leave at room temperature for a few days or place in the refrigerator for longer storage.
  3. Shake well each time, before using. The spices will not dissolve into the liquid. It will not be a thick syrup, it should remain watery.
  4. Take as needed and have a happy and healthy new year!

 

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Homemade Cough Remedy

4.79 from 75 votes
This remedy is a spicy honey-cider syrup potent enough to calm a cough and soothe a sore throat. Recipe gently adapted from and with thanks to Good Food Matters.
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar preferably Bragg's, if available
  • 2 tablespoons honey locally produced raw honey is best, if available
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions

  • Place all the ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine. Leave at room temperature for a few days or place in the refrigerator for longer storage. Shake well each time, before using. The spices will not dissolve into the liquid. It will not be a thick syrup, it should remain watery. Take as needed and have a happy and healthy new year!

Nutrition

Calories: 3kcal · Vitamin A: 5IU
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

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{originally published 1/8/13 – recipe notes and photos updated 9/19/17}

Homemade Cough Remedy - get the directions at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Peggie says

    I had this recipe years ago printed out. I thought I had it saved in my filing cabinet. Currently suffering from a cough due to the constant change of weather and when I went searching for the recipe, I was disappointed to find it missing. Since I am trying to find natural home remedies to avoid trips to the store, I was ecstatic to find this recipe again. I know this works. I’ll be saving this recipe in multiple places to avoid losing it again! Than you for posting it!5 stars

  2. Lu says

    Your “cough” remedy is very vague. It does not say how much to take exactly? How often? As a tea? Plain in a teaspoon? What exactly is a person supposed to do.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Lu, all of the info you asked for is written into the post above this comment. “The serving size (or dosage) will vary depending on the person. My 11 and 13-year-old sons take a tablespoon without a problem, my 7-year-old takes about a teaspoon. A full tablespoon works great for my husband and for me.” These are everyday food ingredients, so feel free to take it as often as needed.

  3. Annie says

    I have been coughing for a year and this worked within a week! I have sent it to family and friends. Thank you for sharing5 stars

  4. melody says

    I’ve made this for several years and will be making another batch soon. I actually love the taste 🙂 I usually double, triple or quadruple the recipe.5 stars

  5. Kristen says

    I’ve been making this recipe for several years – I’m the only one in my family who is brave enough to take it LOL I sometimes add lemon juice to it, but it depends on whether or not I have it on hand. I dose it in a shot glass. Also, I’ve noticed that you can “emphasize” one ingredient over the others depending on your symptoms. For example, the ginger helps with the cough, so I add a little more of it when my cough is the worst of my symptoms. However, the cayenne is great for nasal congestion, so I add more of it when my nose is really stuffy. Something else I’ve noticed – it can sometimes break a fever. On more than one occasion my fever broke within a minute or two of taking this remedy.5 stars

  6. Kerri says

    I kid you not, I’ve had a cough for 10 months. I am as of today, at my wits end. I have made a batch of your recipe but didn’t have any fresh ginger so added 2 drops of ginger essential oil. It tasted great. I am excited for the outcome. Thanks5 stars

  7. Glynnis Boyles says

    This will be my third year using this cough syrup. It works great for my family. I usually triple the recipe to last the winter5 stars

  8. Lisa Helton says

    I was amazed at how quickly and how well this works. I have bronchitis and my coughing was horrible. Finally got to get some sleep. Personally I think it is as good if not better than over the counter cough syrup. Highly recommend.5 stars

  9. Brooke says

    When my son and I get a cough it’s a deep loud horrific cough. I’ve honestly never heard anyone else have such a deep cough that we get and like you say nothing over the counter works, and I was out of my normal homeopathic cough syrup so out of desperation I came looking for help on here at midnight and found this. It took about a half hour and my son is finally sound asleep. I could cry I feel so grateful. From one mom to another thank your from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate the peace and quiet this has given us tonight ❤️5 stars

  10. Katie says

    Hi there Mary.
    I have made this cough syrup and it tastes good.
    I haven’t used Cayenne pepper so what could I substitute it for?
    Many Thanks 🙂5 stars

  11. J James says

    I Made this homemade cough remedy the other day because I was tired of the dry coughing that I was doing…..coughed so much and so hard trying to loosen up the cough that I had a headache. Took a swig of this , and almost instantly my coughing was reduced and much easier! Took it for three days and my cough is gone…..thank you for this remedy. I am gonna make it again just to keep on hand if I or my wife needs it!😊5 stars

  12. Tazmin Shariff says

    I’ve had a cough for months. This magical recipe of your soothed itafter the first two doses! Amazing! Thank you for sharing this with us!5 stars

  13. Tpassion says

    Hi Mary

    Pls what can I use to substitute vinegar cos it hard to find , more over can I use lime, honey n ginger with tumeric or cayenne pepper 🌶️

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