Homemade Cough Syrup Recipe

Grow a Garden for Cough Syrup Ingredients

by Stephanie Thurow
PHOTO: valya82/stock.adobe.com

Homemade cough syrup is important to know how to make and many of the herbs needed can be grown easily in a backyard garden. It’s good to plan your garden to have the ingredients needed on hand.

A Helpful Resource

Healing Herbs, written by Dede Cummings and Alyssa Holmes, is your one-stop resource for medicinal herbs. The authors have thoughtfully compiled all the information you need from start to finish, from growing to preserving herbs to teaching you how to easily use them.

From Astragalus to Yellow Dock, 30 herbs are highlighted in detail to give you the basis for creating your own medicine and remedies at home. Below, I have shared Cummings’ and Holmes’ recipe for homemade cough syrup.

Making Homemade Cough Syrup

Syrups are a way to make medicine taste great, prevent spoilage for longer storage, and get the added medicinal benefits of honey, juices or molasses.

To make syrup yummy for kids ages one and older, follow the directions for making a decoction (see below). Then add honey, and/or molasses, alcohol or juice concentrate.

The simplest syrup is one part decoction, one part honey. Mix this combination well and store it in the fridge for up to three months. You can always add a little alcohol – such as vodka, rum or brandy – to help preserve longer. A four-ounce bottle requires one tablespoon of alcohol.

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Homemade Cough Syrup 

Make a decoction with the following:

  • 1 part comfrey root
  • 1 part echinacea root
  • 1 part elecampane root
  • ½ part thyme
  • ½ part ginger root
  • ¼ part licorice root

Strain the mixture and add an equal part honey and half part black cherry juice.

Mix well, let cool and store in the fridge.

This formula is ideal for clearing out a wet cough, which can linger.

Herbal Decoction

A decoction is essentially a strong infusion, made by simmering herbs in water, versus steeping. This brew can be used to make syrups, or consumed straight as a potent medicine.

Instructions for Decoction

On the stovetop, bring three parts water and two parts fresh herbs, or one-part dried herbs to a boil. Cover, and let simmer for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat, let steep for another few minutes, strain and drink. Or, this decoction can be made into a syrup (see above).

This recipe has been shared from Healing Herbs with permission from Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

This article about homemade cough syrup was written for Hobby Farms magazine online. Click here to subscribe to Hobby Farms print magazine.

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