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Mama’s Soothing Homemade Cough Syrup

Affiliate Disclosure | in Natural Remedies | by | with 148 Comments


Got a sore, itchy throat? Honey works BETTER . . .

Than over-the-counter cough syrups! Don’t take my word for it, though. In a study published by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, researchers found that buckwheat honey works better than dextromethorphan (the active ingredient in store-bought cough syrup) at reducing the frequency and severity of coughing episodes for children. According to the report, both the children AND THEIR PARENTS got more sleep with this simple home remedy than any other way – who doesn’t need THAT? (source)

So what’s so special about buckwheat honey? Made by bees who gather primarily from white buckwheat blossoms, this unique, molasses colored honey is incredibly rich in antioxidants and anti-bacterial/viral substances which promote healing. (source)

When blended with the soothing qualities of extra-virgin olive – which contain natural anti-inflammatories similar to aspirin – and antiseptic lemon juice/apple cider vinegar, buckwheat honey is definitely the way to go for dry, scratchy throats and coughs. It’s so easy to make, too!

Mama’s Soothing Homemade Cough Syrup

Note: This recipe is not recommended for babies under one year old.


Optional Add-Ins:

  • freshly grated ginger
  • onion
  • chopped garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


Fresh ginger is a natural decongestant, anti-inflammatory, antivirial, and anti-histamine. It can also help with nausea and upset stomach.


Onion, fresh ginger and garlic all increase the anti-viral/anti-bacterial potency of this syrup.


“Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties. For colds and flus, it also provides decongestant and expectorant effects.” (source)

Cayenne Pepper

Contains capsaicin, which is a warming and circulation enhancing pain reliever.

How To Make:

If you are making the syrup without any add-ins, simply blend all ingredients. To use, simply give it a good stir and serve either room temperature or gently warmed.

If you are infusing the syrup with cayenne, simply add it in and use immediately. If you are adding ginger, onion or garlic follow the steps below:

  1. Place 2 tablespoons chopped garlic or 1/2 cup sliced onion or grated ginger in a clean container. Cover with 3/4 cup honey and allow to infuse for at least 8 hours.
  2. After 8+ hours, add the olive oil and lemon juice to the mixture.
  3. Strain the syrup, pour it  in a clean jar and store on the counter to use through the duration of an illness. (For longer-term storage, place in the fridge. It should be good for 4-6 weeks) To use, simply give it a good stir and serve either room temperature or gently warmed.
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148 Responses to Mama’s Soothing Homemade Cough Syrup

  1. Nancy Trimble Arden via FB says:


  2. Mary Sharon via FB says:

    yea, thank you for a drug free way to stop that nasty cough.

  3. Elizabeth Smith Boblitt via FB says:

    I’m extremely allergic to bees and can have honey, fyi

  4. Shirley Miller via FB says:

    I have done this but used coconut oil in place of olive oil.

  5. Jennifer Bertotti via FB says:

    Jeanne Barger Laura Russo Bailey

  6. Ivana Curak via FB says:

    Natalie Elizabeth Thomas check it out

  7. Kimberly Truitt via FB says:

    Well of course it does, it was made by God, not man. :oD

  8. Melissa says:

    Zarbees is an OTC cough syrup with Honey being the main ingredient. I wonder if its BuckWheat honey? I’ve tried it and it has helped my kids!

  9. DIY Cough Syrup | juju's secret ingredient says:

    […] recipe obtained from: […]

  10. How To Eliminate Dandruff Naturally | The MommypotamusThe Mommypotamus | says:

    […] now know that honey works better than antibiotic cream for burns, and homemade honey cough syrup allows children (and their parents!) to sleep better than over-the-counter meds. And when it comes […]

  11. Natural Remedies for Dandruff says:

    […] now know that honey works better than antibiotic cream for burns, and homemade honey cough syrup allows children (and their parents!) to sleep better than over-the-counter meds. And when it […]

  12. Meaghan says:

    I can’t find buckwheat honey in Australia. I have replaced it with Manuka honey, which is meant to have healing properties. It has been the best thing so far to get rid of our hacking, post-viral cough.

  13. cynthia says:

    hi my 6months baby girly has been coughing for two days now and im not sure which medicineto give her pls help

    • Heather says:

      Cynthia, I would seek the advice of a qualified professional. This syrup is not appropriate for children under one year. Hope she feels better soon.

  14. qeatta says:

    is it safe to take if you are pregnant?

  15. Amanda Tennant says:

    Looks like a great recipe! I’m going to try this next time someone in my family has a cough. I’m writing a post about coughs (to publish in a few days) and I’m going to link this recipe! :)

  16. Ann B says:

    I have been feeling pretty lousy this week, with a horrible cough. I wrote this recipe down when I first saw it (months ago), figuring I might need it. It’s fantastic! I used 4 TBSP of Bragg’s ACV and added the cayenne for my aches. I’m so happy not to need a chemically-laden syrup. And, thrilled that the cayenne seemed to be enough to take the edge off the aches, so no ibuprofen either! :) Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.

  17. April says:

    Thanks for this Heather! Two quick questions:

    Where do you find raw buckwheat honey? I’ve never seen it.

    And could you substitute coconut oil for EVOO? I think my son would be more likely to take it that way.


  18. Debbie says:

    Can you combine all the add-in’s at one or should just one add-in be in the syrup?

  19. Monica Fuentes says:

    What is the best way to strain the ginger?

  20. koko says:

    Dear Heather,

    I would like to know what is the dose of your cough syrup for the cough of my 7 year old son? Should I give him only when he has a cough or is there a fixed dose like give three times a day etc? He has dry cough because of his allergy or post laryngitis. His docs are not sure. Please reply. Thanks.

  21. Natural Remedies For Ear InfectionsMommypotamus | says:

    […] study suggests that the main ingredient in this homemade cough syrup is more effective than dextromethorphan, which is the active ingredient in OTC cough […]

  22. Melonie Patten says:

    what is the shelf life for this cough syrup?

  23. Pak Arlyn says:

    Can I give this to my 4 yrs old son? He’s been coughing and have colds as well.

  24. Diana says:

    How often do I give it to my daughter?

  25. Maria says:

    How often can I give to a 2yr 9months old? And can I consume it myself as I’m breast feeding a 11weeks old baby?

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