Natural Homemade Throat and Cough Syrup

by Andrea Butje on November 19, 2012

Natural homemade cough syrupMaking your own natural homemade cough syrup is fun and easy!

This natural homemade cough syrup is a great gift for friends, and it’s nice to have around in the winter to soothe a sore throat or calm a cough.

There are many different herbs and essential oils that work wonderfully in this recipe, but it only calls for a small amount of essential oil.

When I make this syrup for a child (especially one under five years old), I leave the essential oil out. A nice adjustment to the recipe for children is to substitute the essential oil with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice into a spoonful of syrup just before your child takes it.

Natural homemade cough syrup recipe:

  1. Add 2 oz of herbs (56 gm by weight) to 32 oz (about 1 litre) of water in a soup pot. I like a mix of peppermint, licorice root, and ginger.
  2. Bring the herbs and water to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the liquid reduces by half (16 oz). I pour it into a Pyrex measuring cup to be sure it’s 16 oz. This is your herbal infusion.
  3. Remove the herbs using a strainer and save the tea infusion. Put this tea back into your pot.
  4. Add 1/2 of a cup (4 oz/120 ml) of honey and 1/4 cup (2 oz/60 ml) of maple syrup to the tea. Cook this at a low, steady simmer for 20–30 minutes, stirring now and then. The longer you cook it, the thicker it will get, so play around with the time and see what works best for you.
  5. Remove from the heat, measure your syrup in the Pyrex, and add 2 drops of essential oil per oz of cough syrup liquid. My favorite essential oils to add are Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), Lemon (Citrus limon) and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus). You can add just one essential oil, or a mix of two or three.  The total amount of essential oil  for this recipe is 2 drops per oz.
  6. Bottle in glass and refrigerate. It will last for 2–3 months.

Directions: I take one teaspoon as needed. The syrup is very sweet, as syrups are meant to be!

Where to buy essential oils? 
Of course using high quality essential oils is vital. Three web stores I like to purchase essential oils from are:

1. Aromatics International
Lolo, Montana

2. Essential Elements
St Petersburg, Florida

3. Stillpoint Aromatics
Sedona, Arizona

Natural homemade cough syrup


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Aromahead Institute, owned by Andrea Butje, is a premier resource for online aromatherapy classes. Andrea offers her inspired approach to online aromatherapy certification through essential oil videos and original education materials. Check out her book, Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health and Home, on Amazon!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly March 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm

This sounds so delicious!! I just recently started to get into herbal medicine and I think it is a wonderful compliment to my essential oil practice. Thanks for sharing. I will definitely make some a this for those upcoming scratchy throat times in the transition from winter to spring!!


Andrea Butje March 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Thanks Kelly! I hope you enjoy it as much as we have. 🙂


Liz Fulcher November 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

Just in time for winter! Thanks so much Andrea for this brilliant recipe and such detailed instructions. I think Ginger and Lemon would be yummy together – or how about Ginger and Sweet Orange!

Now I know what to do with my used (and well-washed) 1 oz and 2 ounce amber bottles!


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