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.

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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 a natural cough suppressant that is both seriously spicy and potent enough to actually clear your head. Personally, I think it tastes better than any store-bought cough syrup I’ve tried.

With only a handful of pantry ingredients and a few minutes of 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

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.

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

Updated to add: I’ve been making this 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

4.85 from 134 votes
This remedy is a spicy honey-cider syrup potent enough to calm a cough and soothe a sore throat.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 tablespoons


  • 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


  • 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!


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

{originally published 1/8/13 – recipe notes and photos updated 1/3/22}

This cough remedy has been gently adapted from and with thanks to Nancy Vienneau’s (no longer active) blog, Good Food Matters.

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. Julie says

    I have to say my son was quite comical when he took the first spoonful but I think it was the reaction of the cayenne and the honey but it definitely worked as he only needed it for one day and was back to school the next.5 stars

  2. Forsse Joyce says

    My Dad use to make the most wonderful fluffy pancakes . They had rye-graham flour and butter milk in them. The batter was a bit thicker than most pancakes recipes. Do you think you could find a similar recipe, as our sons use to love these pancakes when they were little boys,, and now they are in their late 50’s. I would love to surprise them with this recipe on their birthdays this year. Thank you! The cough medicine is going to be made and used at our house!

  3. Tia says

    Hi Mary, thank you for this, I will be giving it a try, it looks promising.

    How often should it be taken and what amount at any one time?5 stars

  4. Lydia says

    Hi Mary ,thanks for the cough syrup ingredients, would you also post the measurements/ portions of each ingredients!. Thanks again.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Lydia – Scroll to the recipe card or use the “Jump to Recipe” tab at the top of the page and it will take you to the measurements. I hope that helps.

  5. PJ says

    I stumbled on this recipe after a day of a irritating sore throat. Quick and easy to make. I wish I could say the same about my husband taking it. (Big baby). Took him 3 minutes before he took it. I will keep this on hand. Thank you for sharing this 😊4 stars

  6. Mary Holiday says

    Hi Mary, I want to make your cough syrup but I’m out of ginger. I have a bag of ginger tea. Can I use the inside of the ginger tea?5 stars

  7. Phyllis says

    It really is a great cough syrup. My dad had Covid. It took his coughing away. We both take daily. No more congestion. Taste Great.5 stars

  8. Milan Bisui says

    Thank you for sharing this helpful and natural cough remedy recipe. It’s great to have alternatives to over-the-counter medications, and your detailed instructions make it easy to follow. I appreciate the time and effort you put into creating this post and providing a healthier option for those suffering from coughs.
    5 stars

  9. AnitaS says

    My husband has pneumonia and I have bronchitis we just made some of this cough syrup and I am hoping it works.

  10. Wendy Inglis says

    I had completely forgotten about this recipe as I rarely get a cold or flu
    But just this past week I have come down with a chest cold and sore throat I have all the ingredients on hand in the house so will make it up now, as the mixture my husband bought me is not working after 4 days
    Thank you Wendy in Qld Australia5 stars

  11. Emily says

    Will leaving the cayenne pepper out affect the recipe’s effectiveness? We don’t use that strong of pepper so I don’t have it. Thank you!

  12. SHIRLEY YOUNG says

    Very effective combination. I used saved commercial cough syrup bottles. I knew they would come in handy!! I made 2 batches, keeping the extra one in the fridge. I also added turmeric, as I have to fight sore throats, need the anti-inflammatory properties. With the honey, and added cinnamon, it almost has a cherry flavour to it.5 stars

  13. Anne says

    This cough medicine works incredibly well. I didn’t have Cheyenne pepper so I added some ground black pepper. I slept for 5 hrs without coughing once, whereas the night before I had coughed all night. All natural and tastes good too!!5 stars

  14. RITA Peterson says

    of course, we are assuming that I have the normal, kitchen pantry regulars. I don’t even have sugar and flour. LOL5 stars