Just two ingredients from your cupboard make this simple but effective remedy for the common cold. A few spoonfuls of Honey Cinnamon Cough Syrup will soothe that sore throat and get you feeling better faster. (Skip to recipe)
The snow crunches beneath my boots as I walk out to the chicken coop to gather the eggs. Pippa frolics around me, her whiskers coated with a furring of white. The world is sleepily still, save for the odd creak of winter-bare trees as they settle in the cold. I scoop up a handful of white fluff, bright and fresh against my woolly red mitten. I can't resist licking a mouthful and feeling it melt like cotton candy on my tongue.
We're settled in for another cold spell. But I don't mind. The recent snowfall has washed the world white and clean again. It's comforting to cocoon cozily at home for a few days - distancing myself from the crazy life that often threatens to overwhelm.
I'm glad I got rid of the cold that was threatening to move in and spoil my enjoyment of these precious days at home. It started with that familiar scratching in my throat - sore when I first got up in the morning. And a general aching and exhaustion. I knew I needed to knock that cold monster back on his haunches before he could pounce his way any further into my life. I didn't have any lemons in the house, or any of my mom's amazing fail-safe homemade cough syrup, and I didn't feel like driving into town. But I did have a pot of honey and a jar of cinnamon in my cupboard. I knew those two ingredients are an amazing power duo when it comes to fighting colds, too. So I measured a spoonful of cinnamon into a bowl and drizzled on a crown of golden honey, stirred the two together into a nutty brown elixir, and dosed myself with a delicious sweet spoonful morning, noon, and night for the next few days.
And guess what?
That nasty old cold monster just retreated with a whimper, his tail between his legs.
Haven't seen him since.
I sure hope he's not headed your way!
But if he is - you know what to do . . .
Honey and Cinnamon are Cough & Cold Blasting Superstars
Both honey and cinnamon have amazing qualities that make them ideal for the tough job of tackling the ugly cold monster.
Research (here and here) has proven honey to reduce cough symptoms in patients. Raw honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is also a natural humectant, which means it absorbs moisture from the air and delivers it to your dry throat. Not only does it prevent nasty cold bacteria from growing, it soothes sore throats and provides relief from coughing.
Cinnamon is that other powerful and feisty little cold warrior. It is antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and anti-inflammatory. Why, it's basically just anti-everything that's nasty. Cinnamon is the bark of several species of closely related trees growing in China, Sri Lanka, parts of Asia, and the Caribbean. There are two types of cinnamon, Cassia cinnamon, which is the most widely used and commonly sold in grocery stores, and Ceylon cinnamon (sometimes called true cinnamon), which is grown in Sri Lanka and Mexico and is more expensive and not as common.
Both types of cinnamon have generally the same powerful health properties, however Cassia cinnamon contains much higher levels of coumarin, a toxic natural substance that can act as a blood thinner. You would have to consume very large amounts of cinnamon daily to ingest toxic levels of coumarin, but for the sake of safety, if using cinnamon for medicinal purposes, it pays to seek out Ceylon cinnamon in specialty shops or online. It is milder and sweeter in flavour, and its flavour can dissipate somewhat in cooking. I use regular cassia cinnamon in small quantities for my cooking and baking because of its more intense flavour. I use the milder, sweeter Ceylon cinnamon for desserts, adding to my coffee and drinks, and for cold remedies and health solutions.
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And if you feel you need some more Cold-Monster-Fighting weapons in your arsenal, try my other tried and true remedies:
Mom's Amazing Homemade Cough and Cold Syrup
Soothing Honey, Lemon, Ginger Tea for Fighting Colds and Flu
Healing Turmeric Broth and Turmeric Soup
Homemade Ear Drops - a Simple and Effective Earache Remedy
May the Force Be With You!
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Kitchen Frau Notes: This cold medicine will keep almost indefinitely in the cupboard. However try using up unused portions by stirring a small spoonful into your coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, or by spreading it on toast for a delicious sweet cinnamon hit (maybe along with some peanut butter and sliced banana). Or drizzle a bit on top of vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Mmmm, Hippocrates had it right when he said, 'Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.' (431B.C.)
Honey Cinnamon Remedy for a Common Cold
- ¼ cup (60ml) raw (unpasteurized) honey
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon - preferably Ceylon cinnamon
Stir together the honey and cinnamon to form a paste. Scrape it into a small container with a lid. Store at room temperature for several months.
Take one teaspoon of the honey cinnamon syrup three times a day for 4 days as soon as you feel the first signs of a cold coming on. The honey cinnamon will help fight off infection, relieve cough symptoms, and speed up the duration of a common cold. It is most effective if you take it at the first sign of cold symptoms, but can be taken any time during a cold.
Makes ¼ cup (12 teaspoons), enough for 1 person for 4 days.
The ratio of this honey cinnamon cough remedy is 1 part cinnamon to 4 parts honey. You can make it one teaspoon at time (1 teaspoon honey to ¼ teaspoon cinnamon) or make it in larger batches.
Warning: Do not give this cold remedy to children under 1 year. Honey should not be fed to children under 1 year due to a risk of infantile botulism. As an extra precaution, use pasteurized honey for young children over 1 year.
(Get better soon!)
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I am just making it for my very sore throat, danke Schoenberg.
Sending you good thoughts and healing wishes through the air. Hope you can get it zapped before it gets too bad. It sure helps me!
Oh I wish I had this last week when Greg and I were both hit hard!
Now I know what to do next time it comes our way.
I feel for you! This is such a bad time of year for colds and flu. Hopefully you've had your limit for the season, but if not - you can head the next one off at the pass! Sending you happy winter greetings! 🙂
Margaret, thank you so much! First off, this honey mixture sounds amazing, will try for sure! Second: I loved following all the links to the other homemade "cold-weapons". Especially the ear drops - it's so sweet how you tell the story of your daughter and your tradition of making and applying this oil! I myself have a history with frequent infections in the ear canal and not only is warm oil the one thing I immediately turn to, I also totally get, that one with ear ache needs some motherly love, regardless of the actual age... 🙂
Please enjoy the snow - we had one (1!) weekend of snow in december and that was it. Gray rainy weather since then for the most part and fairly warm temperatures for wintertime.
Stay warm and healthy 🙂 Sina
Hi Sina, We're lucky here in Alberta that we have so much sunshine (I think we have the most hours of sunshine per year in all of Canada) - even if the thermometer is dipping down into the -30s and -40s sometimes! At least if we have to be indoors because of the cold, it's a beautiful view outside the window. (Though sometimes I would trade it for rain and a bit of green grass to look at!)
My sympathies to you if you suffer from ear infections - that is a painful thing - hope you get the hugs you need, too 🙂
Greetings to you from our snowy countryside.
YUM, this remedy is also delicious!! Tastes great on toast too 🙂
You're right! Isn't it wonderful when medicine can taste so delicious, too? I think cinnamon makes anything taste better, and the honey sure speaks to my sweet tooth! 🙂 Hope you're keeping warm this winter.
Such a delicious remedy, Margaret! I almost finished a jar of honey when I was there and out with the flu, but never thought of using it with cinnamon. Anyway, I got hit so bad, there and here, that I had to take antibiotics twice this winter...
Yikes, that is a real downer, Nicoletta, and can sure take away enjoyment for a lot of weeks! It is so miserable to deal with a cold that gets that bad. Hope that's it for you for a long time now. I think you've had your share! And hope you are able to enjoy the buildup to spring in Rome - I'm sure it'll come a lot earlier there than here! Hugs.