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

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!

{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. Michael says

    Thanks. Started using this. Seems it will work.
    I’m surprise by the high amount of water wouldn’t it more efficient if thicker? What is your reasoning there?5 stars

  2. Chris Murphy says

    I’m a retired RN, and this is the best cough suppressant/sore throat remedy I have ever used! The best thing is you can take as needed, no waiting 4 to 12 hours for another dose. I think it has shortened the duration of my cold also.5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Sarah. I haven’t tested the shelf life for this syrup before; the batch is normally small enough that it’s gone by the time everyone in my family has recovered.

    • Gina says

      I’ve had this in my fridge for about a month and used some yesterday and it’s still fine 🙂

  3. John says

    Thanks so much, on holiday in Portugal and caught a nasty cold with cough on the plane. Not near a pharmacy so tried this with things from the supermarket, worked straight away. I’m sure it will get even better with a day or 2 in the fridge. And it’s natural which I like.5 stars

  4. Catherine says

    I made this with good earth tea in place of water and slightly decreased cayenne for my husband’s delicate tastes. It been very helpful. Thank you!5 stars

  5. Sniks says

    This stuff is amazing I just got back from a cruise of which I did not get Covid. However, I did have a little respiratory issue with a nagging cough so for five days now have had a terrible time getting rid of this cough. Then I remembered this remedy I just made it and I haven’t coughed in over 45 minutes. Amazing you guys need to try this if you have a nagging cough thank you for sharing your remedies.5 stars

  6. Christine Wilke says

    This is wonderfully soothing. I put 2 tablespoons in my chamomile tea with a drop of lemon essential oil. Really helps.5 stars

  7. Sharita says

    I should have made this a week ago. I’m recovering from upper respiratory infection, still healing. Well the coughing and congestion has been THE WORSE. I’ve only done natural remedies which have aided in my healing however this cough is persistently hanging on. This elixir is going to be a definite game changer. Just made this and took two teaspoons, I’ve noticed it working already.5 stars

  8. Julie Southwick says

    I use this all the time for many years. I even make up a bag with the ingredients to give out when I know someone has a cold. I also use 2 Tblsp of Lemon Juice with mine. (Lemon helps to dry the mucus)5 stars