Friday, September 19, 2014

Best Cough Syrup Ever!


Recently Princess Dragon Snack developed a lingering cough that had the nasty habit of disappearing during the day only to appear with a vengeance the minute everybody was safely tucked into bed.  Water didn't help, cough drops didn't help and even lemon-honey tea didn't stem the tide of the constant coughing. 

Finally, in a late-night desperate attempt to get some sleep, I mixed up a cough syrup concoction that I found on the internet (tweaked to include ingredients I had in my kitchen).  Within minutes, I had a warm, spicy-rich syrup ready for Dragon Snack's consumption.  I gave her a spoonful, which she loved, and waited hopefully.  Dragon Snack coughed and coughed a few more times, but within 5 minutes her coughing ceased.  I sent her to bed expecting to be awoken by coughing in short order only to wake in the morning with the realization that Dragon Snack had not coughed.  Once.  All night! 

Dragon Snack didn't cough all the next day.  Before she went to bed, I gave Snack another spoonful of cough syrup, tucked her in and didn't hear a cough all night.  This went on for a few days and then one night I forgot to give her the syrup.  Just about the time we all drifted off, the coughing started.  I called Dragon Snack down, gave her a spoonful of syrup and sent her to bed.  Another 5 minutes of coughing ensued and then blissful sleep.

Slowly warming the honey, oil, vinegar and water
Since then, Master Calvin has developed a similar cough and I have been giving him a nightly dose of the syrup.  He too coughs for a few minutes and then settles into a comfortable sleep.

We are sold.  As far as we can tell, one spoonful of syrup lasts for 24 hours!  We did, on one occasion, give Snack two spoonful's of syrup in a 24 hour period, but that was during a particularly bad spell. 

With the spices added
The difficult part seems to be keeping the kids out of the syrup until they need it.  They love the way it tastes!

As winter closes in and the cold season descends upon us, I will be sure to have a supply of the Best Cough Syrup Ever in my fridge!

Best Cough Syrup Ever
2 T Olive Oil (or Coconut Oil)
4 T raw Apple Cider Vinegar
4 T raw Honey
2 T Water
1/2 tsp. ground Ginger (fresh would be better)
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Lemon Juice (or 3 drops of lemon essential oil)

Combine the oil, apple cider vinegar, honey and water together in a small saucepan and heat very gently and slowly until just melted and combined.  Shut off heat.

Add in the ginger, cinnamon and lemon and stir to combine.

Dosage:  Adults 1 T as needed.  Children 1 tsp. as needed.

This syrup can be stored at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for a few weeks.



  1. I will give this a try. My usual cough syrup is honey, lemon and rum. The rum can help "cut" the cough, but probably not something you'd want to give your kids! Regular cough syrup does have alcohol in it, so I guess it's not all that different.

  2. I wonder, do you think this could be canned ahead of time in bulk or would the intense heat mess it up?

  3. Just wrote this into the back of my copy of "The Prepared Family a Guide to Uncommon Diseases". I figured that was the best place to keep it for future reference.

  4. In your experience, could you replace the olive oil with cod liver oil? Olive oil is horrendously expensive here but fresh cod liver oil is readily available...

  5. Enola Gay, great stuff! This one gets saved. Thank you for sharing this.


  6. When I made this, I used coconut oil and afterwards, it separated. Did anyone else have it work well
    with the coconut oil? I think that I followed the directions carefully and the separation happened when
    refrigerated and also at room temp.

    1. Yes, the syrup does seperate. I just stir it before administering. It seems to work wonderfully even with the separation. I hope you give it a try!


    2. Thank you for the clarification. I will keep it for the inevitable fall colds that come
      with having grandchildren. Linna

  7. Hi Enola

    MANY years ago my late wife and I had the same problem - night time coughing,
    We found that it was caused by stuff (enzymes?) in the laundry detergent we were using. There were residuals left in the sheets even after a very thorough rinse cycle.
    The problem went away when we changed what we were using.

    I heard that some anti-static cling products can cause the same problem.

    Hangtown Frank

  8. Hangtown Frank,
    Hope you and your family are safe from the King Fire. Some of our friends are still on mandatory evacuations and a few have been allowed back home. At least they still have a home.
    God Bless,
    formerly of Hangtown

  9. Hi Paintedmoose
    The fire is several miles from me and is moving in the opposite direction from me. Most of the time I haven't even had any smoke from it.
    In some ways we have an even bigger problem hereabouts - drought drying up water wells.
    BUT - we adapt, improvise, & overcome (or perish) I prefer the former..
    Thanks for your concern.
    Semper Fi.
    Hangtown Frank

  10. Have you determined the cause of the cough? Eliminating the symptoms without knowing the cause might not be the best idea, especially if it hangs around for a week or so. With that said, the cough syrup would let everyone sleep at night. Better than dissolving hard candy in Jack Daniels ( one of my family's "cures").

  11. do you think the cough syrup would last longer in the fridge if you added a small amount of whiskey to it? We don't drink here, but cough medicine you buy often has alcohol in it. This would be the only exception I would make to the no alcohol rule here.

  12. Two questions:
    1. Coconut oil: virgin or refined?
    2. Apple cider vinegar: I have regular, can I use it? Or do I need to find and purchase "raw"?