How to Make Natural Cough Syrup, Throat Soothing Too!
Honey and onions for coughs, you ask? Can it really be that simple?
Seriously, this powerful combo packs a huge punch when it comes to soothing a sore throat and calming a cough. It's easy to make, too! All you need is about a half a red onion and a bit of honey! This is a traditional folk recipe that's been passed down for generations. Yummy and boy, does it work great!
If you are reading about how to make natural cough syrup, you may also be interested in reading How to Make a Lung Support Tea or How to Make Your Own Vapor Rub. Here are articles in our cold and flu care series: How to Prevent a Cold/Flu Naturally, What Herbs & Remedies to Take if You Feel a Cold or Flu Coming On, How to Deal With Symptoms of Cold & Flu if You Do Happen to Get Sick (Fever, Congestion, Cough, Sore Throat, etc.), and How to Recover Quickly and STAY Recovered. Also, here is an article for children specifically: How to Boost Your Child's Immune System.
FTC Disclosure: There may be affiliate links scattered throughout this article. If you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you---Thank you--Heidi
Why Does This Cough Syrup Work?
This Honey & Onion cough syrup has been one of my favorite cough remedies for many years. Store-bought cough syrups contain high levels of sugar and alcohol that do not do anything to help solve the problem. The chemicals they contain cause side effects.
One of the reasons I love this simple cough syrup so much is not only does it soothe a cough, but the combination of the onion and honey actually helps your body get better! It also tastes really good---it's not unpleasant at all.
How to Make Onion-Honey Cough Syrup
Ingredients for Onion-Honey Cough Syrup
Half a red onion, cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces
Slow Directions for Onion-Honey Cough Syrup
**Even though this method is slower, I like it better than the fast method. You retain the nutrients from both the onion and honey because they are not affected by heat. If you need this syrup fast, you might want to make some using both methods at the same time---then you'll have ready made syrup from the slow method.
1. Place about an inch tall section of onion pieces into a wide mouth pint jar. I used a quart-size jar, and that's fine, but it is easier to get to the syrup with a pint-sized jar.
2. Now drizzle a bit of honey over the top. Like a glaze.
3. Now put some more onions on top.
4. Repeat the honey drizzle.
5. Keep repeating until the onions are all in the jar, and the honey is just barely covering. I tend to put WAY too much honey in mine. You just need to barely cover the onions, as they will rise to the top anyway.
6. Cover with a lid and let sit overnight.
7. After a few hours, you'll find an amazing liquid on top! It's oniony but sweet, and it is Uh-Mazing for soothing a sore throat and calming an irritating cough.
Onions are well known for their medicinal benefits and helping to cure flu and cold quickly. When combined with the honey (also a well-known antibacterial and super soothing for irritated tissues), you have a wonderful-tasting, soothing cough syrup!
Faster Directions for Honey Onion Cough Syrup:
If you need this cough syrup right away, here is a fast stove-top option. For this option, you can add some garlic, too, if you like. The chemicals in the garlic are very powerful, too. It won't taste as good, but will be very effective.
Using a whole onion (or more, if you need more), slice it into thin slices and place them in a deep pan. Cover the onions with honey, just until the onions are barely covered.
Now heat the mixture on LOW until the onions are soft and mushy. The honey should taste strongly of onions.
Note: The bad thing about heating honey is it will kill any of the good organisms in it. However, if you need the syrup quickly, this is a great option!
You can strain off the liquid, but I just leave the whole mixture intact and keep getting the syrup as I need it.
How to Use Your Homemade Honey Onion Cough Syrup
Just take a teaspoon or two as needed. Obviously, honey and onions are both quite safe to use (except do NOT give this to infants under 12 months due to the honey). Frankly, I am a little addicted. lol
If you want to speed up your recovery, then continue using this syrup several times a day, even after symptoms subside.
How to Store Your Homemade Cough Syrup
You can actually keep the hot method syrup simmering away on the stove top if you like. Just be sure to keep it on slow heat and don't let the bottom burn.
Otherwise, both syrups can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. I've actually used this syrup after a couple of weeks in the refrigerator, but be sure to do the sniff test first! If it tastes "off" or smells bad, do not use it. Better to be safe than sorry!
Final Thoughts On Honey & Onion Cough Syrup
This is one of my favorite home remedies ever. It's so easy to use and make, and it is absolutely better for your body than the chemical alternatives in the stores.
One more thing: It's a good idea to always keep staples on hand for emergencies. Honey and onions are two of the foods you should have in your pantry at all times. Not only might you have to create a cough syrup quickly, but they are both foods that are great for a multitude of uses.
Are you interested in learning more about herbalism? I have been loving the years I've spent learning in many courses over at the Herbal Academy of New England, where the courses are taught by experienced herbalists, many with clinical experience.
I hope you enjoy this, and if you give it a try, please let me know how it goes! Do you have a different way to manage coughs? Let us know!
Hugs and Self-Reliance!
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Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. In no manner, in any article anywhere on HealingHarvestHomestead.com or elsewhere in comments, etc. is there any implication of prevention, cure, diagnosis, or treatment of any medical issue. Please see a medical professional for advice. I simply provide my own opinion based on study and experience, and it is every person's responsibility to do their due diligence.