This tasty homemade cough syrup will help soothe cold symptoms and is easy to whip up, with only three ingredients! (Skip to recipe.)
homemade cough syrup Cough . . . cough.

Hack . . .hack.

Cough . . . cough . . . cough!

‘Mom, hab you god someding do make my throad feel bedder?’

Cough . . . cough!

That’s what it sounds like in our house right now.

I was talking to my mom on the phone and she said, ‘Have you got any honey and lemon cough syrup made up?’ 

Well, I had totally forgotten about it. I spied the bowl of organic lemons I had on the counter, and knew I had honey in the cupboard and a bottle of glycerine in the medicine cabinet. ‘I can make some right now!’

This was the homemade remedy my mom fed all of us five girls when we were growing up – the slightest sign of a cough or a sore throat, and out came a spoonful of her special syrup. We didn’t mind at all, because it’s really quite tasty.

And my 16-year-old sniffly baby didn’t mind either. In fact he sighed and said, ‘That feels good, mom.’

I used to have a bottle of this homemade cough syrup ready in our refrigerator all the time when the kids were little, but it had somehow slipped from my thoughts in the last few years. It’s only 3 simple ingredients, and it lasts forever in the fridge. Honey is a natural antibiotic and lemon is full of cold-fighting vitamin C and glycerine is good for soothing sore throats. And it contains a lot less unpronounceable ingredients than a commercial cough syrup.

The best treatment for a cold or flu is lots of rest, lots of fluids, and time. But meanwhile, a spoonful of this medicine will soothe that sore throat and make you feel a little better. It’s Oma’s proven remedy.

Kitchen Frau Note: You can find glycerine in the pharmacy or health food store, and sometimes in specialty cake baking sections (as it is used in keeping icing pliable). I have also found it in the cosmetics section of my health food store. Make sure it is food grade or pharmaceutical grade, or the ingredients say 100% glycerine or vegetable glycerine. It may or may not say it is good for coughs and minor throat irritations on it – as long as it is pure.

bottle of glycerine

Also, do not give this cough syrup to children under one year old, as honey is not considered safe for children until they are over one year of age. The basis for this recipe is equal parts of honey, lemon and glycerine – the ¼ cup amount listed below is just a guideline.

Homemade Cough Syrup for Colds

recipe courtesy of my mom

  • ¼ cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (60ml) liquid honey
  • ¼ cup (60ml) food grade glycerine

Strain the lemon juice through a fine meshed strainer. Whisk together with the honey and glycerine and pour into a glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid. (I used an empty Orangina bottle in the picture above.)

stirring up the homemade cough syrup

Store in the refrigerator for up to a year. For sore throats and chest congestion take one teaspoonful every few hours. (If it starts to taste so good you want to pour it over ice cream – you are probably getting better and don’t need it any more.)

Gute Gesundheit!

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