DIY Homemade All-Natural Cough Syrup

So, here we are, right in the middle of January and flu season is definitely upon us. We’ve been lucky enough in our family to avoid any seasonal sickness so far this year, but a lot of that luck is probably thanks to the fact that we’ve been staying in with baby Jack most of the time. If we do end up getting a bit of a sore throat or a cough, this is what I’ll be whipping up to get us through it.

I used to have a store-bought honey-based cough syrup that I used to use when I was growing up, but why not make your own? There are a ton of different recipes that you can find online, but this is my favorite by far. And did I mention that it’s delicious?

Here’s what you do!

The supplies you’ll need:

-Honey. Buckwheat honey is known to have lots of great health benefits, but any kind of local honey that you can get your hands on is great too. Honey is great for its anti-bacterial properties and, in fact, taking just straight honey for your cough has been shown to be just as effective as a dose of dextromethorphan in providing relief and helping you get some sleep.

-Apple Cider Vinegar (get the unfiltered and unpasteurized kind). I love this stuff. It has a ton of health benefits, but in this case, you’ll be using it for its germ busting properties and its ability to help clear sinuses.

-Ground Ginger. I used the ground version rather than fresh, just to make this a really simple recipe to throw together. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and it relieves congestion.

-Cayenne Pepper. The heat from the cayenne helps to improve circulation and it has natural pain relievers in it that get to work right away.

To make a single dose for yourself, mix together:

-1 Tablespoon of Honey
-1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
-1/4 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
-1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s totally safe, so you can even add extra of any of the ingredients if you like. How much you use is totally up to you.

For mine, I added a bunch of extra cayenne pepper to make it nice and spicy. Wow does that ever clear everything up really quick! It looks like homemade ketchup in the picture, but it’s not ketchup. If you’re not as crazy¬†adventurous with the spiciness as I am, just add a touch of cayenne like I said to in the recipe earlier.

Take this syrup at room temperature, or warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave if you like. Take it straight to coat and soothe a sore throat. If you like, these same ingredients also make a really yummy hot drink!

If you’re not feeling sick and icky, don’t worry! Wouldn’t this make a great gift to bring to someone you know that’s feeling under the weather? Mix up a big batch in a cute Mason jar, add in a box of kleenex and some cozy socks and you’ve got yourself a pretty thoughtful little gift!

To make a bigger batch for gift giving, mix together about 3/4 cup of Honey, 3/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper, and 1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger. The whole thing will keep in the fridge for about 4 weeks.

Give it a try! You’ll be amazed how much better it will make you feel without drugs and you’ll probably be hooked on drinking honey and apple cider vinegar drinks whether you’re feeling sick or not!



  1. Anonymous says

    I tried this and loved it. But I am just curious, for the larger batch, if you increased the liquid ingredients so much, why only double the dry ingredients?

  2. says

    I just suggested going a little lighter on the spices if you’re making a big batch as a gift to make sure that whoever you’re giving it to will find it palatable. The single dose recipe is quite strong. Feel free to use as much spice as you like!

  3. Anonymous says

    This should be a wonderful cough syrup but I wouldn’t warm it in the microwave…that will kill the enzymes in the honey and make it less effective…instead warm on the stovetop in a heat proof container set in warm water over very low heat. Warm only don’t overheat or that will also kill the enzymes.

  4. Anonymous says

    This sounds like a great recipe but I am not sure why you would recommend killing the healing properties in the honey by nuking it in the microwave. Doesn’t make sense to me. But I will try this without the nuking next time I get a cold. Thanks!

  5. says

    Looks really great! It is amazing how nature has provided us with organic ingredients for cure. It is better than taking synthetic/over-the-counter medication as it causes more harm than good to our body. Great post and thanks for the gift-giving tip as well. – Howard

  6. Ramona says

    I have used this several times – it works – it works – it works!!!! And if you are out of vinegar, you can squeeze in a bit of fresh lemon juice with the touch of warm water. This has been a life saver at our home!

  7. liz says

    Oh, I make one very similar for my husband who often gets bronchitis. Instead of the cider vinegar we use lime & water, we do use fresh ginger root, and also ad a pinch of fresh minced garlic. Take a teaspoon or two as needed. Not for sissies!

    • Courtenay says

      That actually sounds delicious to me! I’m a huge fan of apple cider vinegar for it’s health benefits, but I might add some lime too just cause it’s so tasty!

  8. says

    I am sooo doing a batch of this I suffered with a bout of the flu that left me with a terrible cough. I am now getting over it so this comes just in time. Thank you so much. The Creek Line House site rocks.

  9. Jackie says

    Ooh Courtenay!! Perfect timing!
    I have been so sick lately and I am worried about taking over the counter medicine with all my meds I have to take already, this will be PERFECT!!
    I knew there was a reason I was stalling. I mean just waiting for the perfect moment.

    I’ll give my husband the shopping list to get while I’m going bridesmaid dress shopping with my 3 daughter’s, for the oldest daughters wedding in April!!
    This will be one EXPENSIVE SHOPPING TRIP!! One Bride, Two Bridesmaid’s, and the Mother of the Bride!
    Plus the shoes and the nylons and the garters and the veil and the whatever else we are going to have to have!
    Do you have any suggestions for THIS one??!! Ha ha ha! Thanks for the cough syrup at least!! You really do save the day!!!

    • Courtenay says

      So glad you like the cough syrup recipe, Jackie, although I’m sad to hear that you need it at such an exciting time! My advice for the expensive bridal shopping trip? Just spend the money and enjoy it! We got married on a whim in our living room one day and although it makes a great story, I still always wonder what it would have been like to do the whole big wedding thing. Make the most for it and live it up! And feel better, of course! :)


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