Honey Cough Syrup Recipe

by Arline on October 8, 2009

In my last post, I mentioned a couple of natural antibiotics (garlic and white willow bark).  But I forgot that honey is also a natural antibiotic.  Honey will kill any bacteria!

I rediscovered that fact while reading an article by Dr. Mercola yesterday.  The article is about how honey helps coughs, and even works better than cough medicines with dextromethorphan (DM) for helping kids cough less and sleep better.  There’s also a neat honey cough syrup recipe, which I’ll share in a minute.

 Dr. Mercola’s full article* is worth reading because he explains the “real” cause of colds, and how to help prevent catching a cold.  In a nutshell, colds are triggered by viruses, not caused by viruses.  The cause of you catching a cold is that your immune system becomes impaired. And, as he states, “Maintaining a robust immune system is your best bet to ensure staying healthy throughout the year, regardless of what ‘bugs’ are circulating.”

So what things impair your immune system? 

The most common contributing factors include:

  1. Eating too much sugar and grain products
  2. Not getting sufficient rest
  3. Too much stress, and not using strategies to deal with emotional stress
  4. Any combination of the above

If you’re starting to come down with something, your best bet is to totally avoid anything with refined sugar.  Even natural sugar (like in grapes, for example) should be limited until your immune system is stronger again.

But what about honey?  That’s what this post is about…. right?  Isn’t that a sugar?  How can it help boost your immune system?

Very good questions!  And part of the answer is … be sure to use raw honey.  Unfortunately, most of the honey sold in the U.S. is processed or refined.  So, just like other processed foods, refined honey doesn’t have everything in balance the way Nature intended for it.  And, like other processed foods, refined honey can damage your health and promote disease instead of helping. 

The other secret, of course, is to use honey in moderation.  Just like any other sweets, a little goes a long way.  But it makes sense that nutrient-packed raw honey is a much better choice than refined, white sugar!

Here’s a great cough syrup recipe.  The cough syrup will keep for two months in the refrigerator, and the recipe makes enough for a large family.  I personally would have to make a much smaller batch, because I am a family of one.  It would take me several years to use up a pint of cough syrup by myself!

This recipe is one of several published by The Organic Consumers Association.

Honey Lemon Cough Syrup 

Lemon helps promote health by quickly alkalinizing your body, and honey will kill any bacteria. This is a perfect choice for a quick cough remedy.

  • Put a pint of raw honey in a pan on the stove on VERY low heat (Do not boil honey as this changes its medicinal properties).
  • Take a whole lemon and boil in some water in a separate pan for 2-3 minutes to both soften the lemon and kill any bacteria that may be on the lemon skin.
  • Let the lemon cool enough to handle then cut it in slices and add it to the pint of honey on the stove.
  • Let mixture cook on warm heat for about an hour.
  • Then strain the lemon from the honey making sure all lemon seeds are removed.
  • Let cool, then bottle in a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator. 

This syrup will keep for 2 months in the refrigerator.

To soothe a cough, take 1/2 teaspoon for a 25 lb. child and 1 teaspoon for a 50 lb. child, about 4 times a day, or as often as needed. Adults can take 1 tablespoon doses.

 For more honey cough syrup recipes, please see the Organic Consumers Association article.

Until next time….  Stay Healthy!


*PS – Here’s the link to Dr. Mercola’s full article: 


(You might need to copy and paste it into your browser bar.  The URL is so long that part of it tends to drop off when you click the link.)

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