Herbal Cough Syrup Recipe
With the days growing colder, I like to prepare for the impending cold and flu season by making a batch of herbal cough syrup to have handy when feeling under the weather. Instead of reaching for strong, over-the-counter cough medicines that often suppress a cough and the natural functions of our immune system, this cough syrup helps to support the body in fighting the infection. The combination of herbs helps soothe a sore throat, eases coughing, promotes the immune system, and encourages a restful sleep.
Dried herbs are preferred for this recipe, and can usually be readily found at an herbalist or online. Wild cherry bark helps manage coughs; mullein is soothing and expectorant; valerian increases relaxation; echinacea and ginger boost immune strength; licorice calms throat irritation.
Note: For children under 1 year of age, use glycerin or maple syrup instead of honey.
1 part wild cherry bark
1 part mullein leaf
1 part valerian root
1 part echinacea
1 part licorice root
½ part ginger root (fresh or powdered)
honey or glycerin to sweeten
- Use 2 ounces of herb mixture to 1 litre of water.
- Over low heat, simmer the liquid down to half a litre.
- Strain the herbs from the liquid and pour liquid back into pot.
- To each half litre, add 1 cup of sweetener (honey or vegetable glycerine).
- Warm the honey and liquid together, only enough to mix well. You can simmer for longer to thicken syrup if desired.
- When syrup is mixed, you can add a fruit concentrate to give it flavour, or a couple of drops of peppermint or spearmint oil.
- You can also add a bit of brandy to help preserve the liquid for a bit longer.
- Remove from heat and label. The syrup should be refrigerated, and is best stored in a dark, glass bottle to avoid losing potency.Dosage: 1 teaspoon to children under 12; 1 tablespoon to adults as needed for symptoms.