Introduction: The BEST Homemade Cough Syrup EVER

Picture of The BEST Homemade Cough Syrup EVER

A few months ago I got bronchitis and had a seriously sore throat - so one of my friends, who is also a nutritionist, brought me this. It made me feel better almost immediately and it was a serious life saver. Now, whenever a friend or family member is sick I make them a batch and since it's 100% natural, there is no need for buying more chemical cough syrups from the drug store.

Step 1: Ingredients and Supplies

Picture of Ingredients and Supplies


  • A small mixing bowl
  • A container to hold the final product in
  • A mixing spoon
  • Honey (or better yet, Manuka honey) - a study at Penn State College of Medicine concluded that honey can work better to cure a cough than over-the-counter drugs as it helps sooth and coat irritated membranes
  • Ginger (fresh or ground) - spicy ginger works as an expectorant, helping loosen and expel mucous from the lungs
  • Pepperexcellent for coughs as it helps chest congestion and mucous
  • Thyme (fresh or ground) - as well as having anti-microbial properties, it also relaxes the muscles of the trachea and bronchi, opening up the airways

Step 2: Mixing

Picture of Mixing
  1. Mix 8 tbsp of honey with 3 tbsp of warm tap water
  2. Add in thyme, pepper and ginger (add 1.5 tsp of each)
  3. Whisk quickly for roughly two minutes or until the texture is even and consistent.

This can keep good for several weeks in a cool, dry location and in a well sealed container. The quantity above will get you through a few days and after that you can make another batch if needed.

**NOTE: although it may not sound... delicious, I actually very much enjoy the taste. The spicy ginger mixed with the sweet honey tastes lovely. Although you probably won't be chugging this by the gallon, if taste is still very important to you you could try adding a few squeezes of lemon.

Step 3: Finished

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Well done you are now finished! Now you can light up someone's day by giving this to a sick family member, friend or just use it for yourself. Have fun :)

I recommend taking 3-5 teaspoons a day, but you can take as little, or as much, as needed.


ljhtg made it! (author)2015-02-26

I have had a nagging cough for a few weeks and last I was starting to feel worse again instead of better. Saw this intractable and made it immediately. Amazing results!!!! This IS the BEST Homemade Cough Syrup EVER! Made mine with lemon juice instead of water, and put the herbs and pepper through my herb/coffee grinder. Absolutely love the taste and can't resist having repeated tastes.

imthemaker (author)ljhtg2015-02-26

Thank you, this made my day! I love knowing that I've helped people out, hope you feel 100% soon!

GayleD3 (author)imthemaker2015-12-10

Can you tell me how much to take at a time for the best results.

mawdigraw (author)2015-02-27

Oh wow! Just tried it and works wonders for my cough. Now I can go to sleep.

1kathyr (author)2015-02-26

I seldom get colds but I have a doozy right now. I mixed this up and took some--my chest is feeling better already and its only been a few minutes!

(This is so close to a recipe I used to have for Turmeric Tea that I added the same amount of turmeric to it. I LOVE turmeric!)

I also voted for this!

jjdebenedictis (author)2015-02-25

*cough, cough, hack*

Guess what I'm making right now? Thanks for the recipe! (Your timing is impeccable. :) )

cool_and_unusual (author)2017-03-13

Over a month ago, I came down with a bad cold and cough. I used to use an OTC cough syrup, but this time it wasn't working well for me as it used to. I tried a popular, all-natural syrup, and while that helped a bit, I still had the cough lingering (plus I wasn't keen over taking the syrup "every 2 hours", which sounded weird to me). I stumbled onto this site and decided to give this recipe a try. I actually used fresh, organic thyme as opposed to the regular, ground stuff, and it made my syrup taste quite pungent! The first two days, I took the syrup every 4-5 hours, and noticed significant improvement by the third day, in which I reduced my dosage. By the 4th day, I rarely coughed, and was cough-free by the 5th day. (It also helps to get lots and lots of rest, fluids, and probiotics every day while under the weather to help your immune system.) Bottom line: this syrup WORKS!

jarusha650 (author)2017-03-08

I made it, but I didn't have the thyme. It helped somewhat without lit, but probably would have been better with the thyme.

hurtinpup (author)2016-09-29

thanks SO much, imthemaker!

i have a nasty painful cough at the end of the Flu, and this sounded HMMM... but, it WORKS!

I thought it would not taste good, but though it's spicy, it's just fine! Actually a bit nice, and my pain went AWAY Immediately!

homersimpsonjones (author)2016-09-22

I have a cough from a head cold and was happy to find this home remedy. After reading the reviews I stopped on the way home and bought all the ingredients, followed the directions and tried it.

I don't know what the other reviewers are used to drinking but this tasted horrible. Really, really bad. Unfortunately it didn't work for me either. No results at all.

Thanks for trying though.

Bron3214 (author)2016-09-22

What sort of pepper do I use? I have a rotten cough and I keep losing my voice and am desperate to try this! PLEASE HELP ❤️

shamshersavi (author)2016-07-31

Nice article check here for more information

DrHoppe made it! (author)2016-07-30

I've actually made this a few other times in smaller batches. This is the first time I made enough to have to store it. When you say store in a cool dry place, are we talking in the cupboard in a air conditioned home, or should it be in the refrigerator? Just curious.

rmchristy (author)2016-07-02

Made it and now I have taken 1 teaspoon so far. Taste is not bad at all. i used lemon juice as well.

ThomI2 (author)2016-06-08

How much of each ingredient do you use? Does it need to be refrigerated ?

MonicaM82 (author)2016-05-29

Just made this. I like how the pepper warms your throat. I'm not wild about thyme so that's all I taste; may cut that proportion and add cinnamon instead next time. But cough has stopped!

CathyG40 (author)2016-05-16

Made this today for my daughter's nagging cough and it seems to have helped - thank you. X

Ahilltopview (author)2016-04-26

? Sounded funky, looked freaky.. is PHENOMENAL!! Ive never had a medicine literally work instantly. For realz!

Even approved by my son, who was sent home from school with a cough and pukes all meds immediately. I was fine, had 2 tbs to taste and feel like I am breathing better/cleaner!?

Crazy good.. Thank you so much for sharing! ❤️❤️

larcher (author)2016-01-28

Somehow I've missed the proportions of ingredients. Anyone?

VanessaS47 (author)larcher2016-04-18

There are two more pages. Look through all the ads and you will see where it says "Next".

SimoneD19 made it! (author)2016-03-30

this so worked!!! I just altered the amounts of spices to 1tsp ginger 1/8 pepper and thyme 1/4 cup honey and half a squeezed lemon Cough was so bad and it was non stop Now it has completely stopped been about 45 min since I took two tsp full of it This is also great for me since I have a Bariatric sleeve stomach and have to be careful of over the counter meds Thanks for posting ??

joanna.howard.925 made it! (author)2016-02-18

just getting over the flu and I'm coughing so much it hurts. I just made this and my chest feels better already.

5gks (author)2016-01-29

This is the best cough syrup I have ever used. My 6 year old grandson loved it. Not only stopped his cough, it xured it within 3 days

His43kid2 (author)2016-01-19

I am very interested in making and taking this cough syrup, however I suffer from advanced Acid Reflux and cannot use pepper as it is a trigger. Is there anything that I can substitute for pepper?

Please help and respond!

Thanks so much

Sishazha (author)2016-01-18

This is the absolute worst tasting concotion I have ever put in my mouth. The pepper had a horrible aftertaste and burned like crazy. This did nothing for my bronchitis. You shouldn't lie to people. this much black pepper can hurt a child, especially if they breathe it.

SarahJ61 (author)2016-01-14

It is 3am. I have been coughing since I went to bed four hours ago. Driving me mad to say the least. I have just found this and made it. I put tumeric in it too as someone suggested. I feel so much better already after taking two teaspoons!! You lifesaver....and sleep giver. Thank you ☺☺☺?

DianeDonovan (author)2016-01-06

Thank you! This cough syrup works! I will never again need store-bought cough syrup! I used ground thyme so it combined well without feeling gritty and subbed cayenne for normal pepper.

ChieC2 (author)2015-12-27

can you make this without the thyme herb?

qdogg (author)2015-12-08

The best remedy for me is an asthma inhaler, albuterol or max air etc. No side FX, & fast results. I've tried everything from Bacardi 151 rum(burns throat & stomach) to Tussionnex(makes super sleepy), codeine(makes stomach upset), and guiafenesin(doesn't really work). Get an inhaler, try it.

SurgeyI (author)2015-11-30

My 5 yr old has had a bad cough for the past two days. I have tried prescription medicine and even Hylands (homeopathic) cough. None of it worked!! She was still coughing badly, almost every minute. I made her this and in almost 10 her coughing stopped drastically!!! Rhe only thing is I made it with all fresh ingredients except for the pepper. Works perfectly thx for sharing :)

niekau (author)2015-11-20

I cannot wait to try this as i have this terrible persistent cough and got wait to get rid of it :)...

niekau (author)2015-11-20

hi. what is the method please

allielorraine (author)2015-11-13

I made this for my five year old son this morning and it seems to work as well as the store bought stuff. Thank you for saving me a trip to the store with a sick kid. This stuff is awesome!

cammers made it! (author)2015-05-02

Thanks for sharing. A very nice I'ble.
My doctor says that commercial cough medicines are a waste of money, and useless unless they contain alcohol; in which case you are better off with whisky.
Yesterday however, my cough was getting so bad that I did waste some money at the chemist. And sure enough, it was absolutely no help whatsoever.
I've just made a batch of your concoction and I can report that I'm feeling better already. The irritating tickle at the back of my throat is almost completely gone.
I quite like the taste, but you could say it's convincingly "medicinal".
Thanks again.

mmitchell89 (author)cammers2015-07-14

Good to know thus might actually work, next time I'm sick I'll have to try this (with a bottle of rum as a failsafe :)) Last time I was sick with a cold I went through 3 bottles of Buckleys and it barely did a thing...

adillbeck (author)2015-02-26

Is it safe to assume that this is kid safe? Got a couple little ones with some pretty persistent coughs, and of course they are to little to take any over the counter medicine.

hugbear (author)adillbeck2015-02-27

I've never had the chance to try this, but for sure when I was a kid my folks gave me black radish syrup for coughs.

imthemaker (author)hugbear2015-02-27

Everything is 100% natural so there's no reason it shouldn't be okay for kids, just as long as they don't have allergies to any of the ingredients,

Don't give honey to babies under age 1 as they can contract botulism from it.

Right. My youngest is almost 3, but that is a great safety tip.

hugbear (author)imthemaker2015-02-27

I'll keep this instructable handy for next time my 5yo gets the coughs

(or myself :) ). Really, nothing in there could hurt...

adillbeck (author)hugbear2015-02-27

Made a 1/3rd batch this morning. (3tbls honey, 1tbls lemon juice, 1/2 tsp each of the spices)
Seems like it may be helping a bit, though the 3yo thought it was pretty spicy. I may be able to cut back on the pepper or something maybe

imthemaker (author)adillbeck2015-02-27

Try adding less ginger, it can be quite a powerful taste for young people

vemven made it! (author)2015-04-17

had to use black pepper and wild flower honey but tastes great

katrina.dear (author)2015-04-15

My question is will this work on my poor Chihuahua? He has terrible allergies with a dry cough the poor baby!

supersabba (author)2015-02-26

great instructable! Just one question: how long could this last, if stored in the fridge?

imthemaker (author)supersabba2015-02-26

I make enough to keep me going to a few days and then I make a new batch (if still needed)

supersabba (author)imthemaker2015-02-26

never thought if this can last for, say, a week or a month in your fridge? ...just to have it at hand in case one gets sick again.

tnordström (author)supersabba2015-02-26

Since all the different sugars in honey will act as preservatives, if you don't add the water until you use it, it could last a very long time, possibly years, depending slightly on the other ingredients. Refridgeration should not be needed.

matador29b (author)tnordström2015-04-12

I understand honey never goes bad. The only limiting factor, as Neaz pointed out, would be the effectiveness of the spices

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