Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Simple Honey Lemon Cough Syrup ~ Citrus Series

"It is probable that the lemon is the most valuable of all fruit for preserving health."
~ Mrs. M. Grieve, A Modern Herbal

With its punch of vitamin C for strengthening the immune system, lemons also boast powerful antibacterial properties. This can help fight infections in the throat associated with the cold or flu. Here is a recipe for a simple cough syrup that you can add to your medicine cabinet while utilizing this amazing fruit during its peak. 

The list of simple supplies are:
  • one lemon
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. glycerin
  • optional: recycled vanilla extract bottle

I originally (per the recipe in Back to Basics) boiled a clean lemon in water for ten minutes, squeezed out the juice once it was cool and strained it into a glass measuring cup. However, now I think that I would forego this step in order to get the benefits of "raw" lemon juice. The choice is yours...

Add 2 tbsp. of raw honey to your lemon juice… (which is an expectorant, anti-inflammatory, strengthens the immune system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties, etc…)

Add 2 tbsp. of glycerin and stir until combined… That's it!

Using a funnel, pour liquid into a clean bottle or jar. We used a recycled vanilla extract bottle to store our syrup. I figured that if anything, it would enhance the flavor to make it into a "honey lemon vanilla" cough syrup. It also has a nice apothecary look to it. You may reuse an old cough syrup bottle if you have one. Make sure to label it (you may use ours below)! We don't want another situation to happen like poor Anne Shirley! Remember?

"Anne fled to the pantry and returned with a small bottle partially filled with a brown liquid and labeled yellowly, "Best Vanilla." 
Marilla took it, uncorked it, smelled it."Mercy on us, Anne, you've flavored that cake with ANODYNE LINIMENT. I broke the liniment bottle last week and poured what was left into an old empty vanilla bottle. I suppose it's partly my fault—I should have warned you—but for pity's sake why couldn't you have smelled it?" 
Anne dissolved into tears under this double disgrace."
~ Excerpt from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Important Notes:
  • Honey should not be given to children under two years of age.
  • This is a very basic syrup. As with any illness, please use prayer, wisdom and discernment* when treating your family.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 
  • Take one teaspoon at intervals when needed. 

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
but a broken spirit drieth the bones."
~ Proverbs 17:22

Lemon clip art is courtesy of Reading, Roses and Prose. This recipe was gleaned from Back to Basics by Reader's Digest. NOTE: *I am not a professional, nor a doctor. Using natural remedies is a personal decision. Nothing I say on this blog is intended to treat or prevent disease.


  1. This is wonderful!! Like you, I would leave the lemon raw. The stronger the better!!!:)

    1. I think so! I don't see how cooking it would bring more nutrition. I know that cooking tomatoes releases the lycopene but I haven't read where cooking the lemon benefits us. Until then, I think I will stick with the raw :)

  2. This is beautifully done. Thank you for sharing your method!

  3. I don't know how I missed this!! This is wonderful! I definitely will have to make this! :) Thank you for sharing it! :)

  4. This is so lovely and delightfully arranged! Thank you sister!

    1. Thank you for the sprinkle of kindness that you sent this way!!!

  5. My husband gave me his old family recipe when I first got sick when we were first married. It worked! We use it every time we get a cold or sore throat, just as his family has done for generations. It is a mixture of about two tablespoons honey, lemon, and whiskey, each, mixed well together and warmed It tastes awful strong, and you don't have to take all of it, but it will cure a cold!

    1. Wow, I bet it packs a punch! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. We actually have a juicer, so that allows us to use the pith and all.
    What does the glycerin do?
    Thank you for this recipe. I really need it this week :/

    1. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by!
      Using the pith will make it very bitter but perhaps the honey and glycerin can mask it… The reason behind the glycerin is to make this a "syrup" :) Hope this helps! Also, we have two other remedies shared for colds and coughs. Just find the header tabs, go to BATH BODY AND TRUE BEAUTY and you will find them there. Get well soon ~ JES :)

  7. I absolutely love your site, I am a mother of three and am very dedicated to all natural safe remedies for my children, I have found a lot of recipes on here that I will definitely be making but was wondering if you have a cough syrup that does not require honey for children not old enough to have it yet? Thank you and God Bless

    1. Hello there! I don't have a honey-less cough syrup for the littles... I always used a "Vicks-like" vapor rub on the chest (see DIY link below) and a humidifier/vaporizer in the bedroom when my baby/toddler had a cough. I also removed phlegm causing foods from diet such as bananas and dairy products. Hope this helps :) Link is below:

    2. I'm sure this person has long ago found an answer, but you can make the cough syrup with with sugar instead of honey (basically just lemon syrup), though you won't have honey's many wonderful properties. For the littles I'd probably add some throat coat tea with the lemon juice to give it more soothing properties (or just marsh mallow herb if you have it). Fortunately my son wasn't sick very often when he was little. A sippy cup of warm broth or bouillon helped too.

      When making chest rub, be sure to use KidSafe essential oils, like Sniffle Stopper from Plant Therapy as some oils used in traditional vapor rubs aren't safe for children under 6y. HTH

      DavetteB in AK


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