Honey and Onion Natural Cough Remedy

Here’s an easy homemade cough remedy that you probably already have the ingredients for.  It’s a honey onion syrup–before you get grossed out, it doesn’t taste like onions when it’s done.  Really.  We’ve been having some coughing and sore throats among the little people lately, and my husband remembered his dad making this for him so we thought we’d give it a try.

What you’ll need:

Raw honey (regular honey would work okay, but the raw honey has enzymes in it that have been cooked out of the processed honey you get at the store)
Onion
Garlic (optional)
Ginger root (optional)

Natural honey onion cough syrup

Natural honey onion cough syrup with garlic and ginger

Cut your onion in thin slices across so it makes rings.  I used two small red onions harvested from our garden last fall.

Natural honey onion cough syrup

Put all the slices in a pot or bowl and cover with honey.  You can add your garlic and fresh grated ginger to it as well if you would like.  Garlic has antibacterial properties and ginger is for flavor.

Natural honey onion cough syrup

I ended up adding more honey to this pot.  Now let it sit overnight or 8-12 hours.  If you use it too soon the onion flavor is stronger.

Natural honey onion cough syrup

After it sits and has worked its magic, the honey and onion juice will be more of a syrup.  You may want to stir it around a little bit to even out the consistency of the syrup.  It doesn’t taste like onions to me, although it’s definitely not as sweet as straight honey.  Strain out the onions or just scoop the syrup you want out of the side of the pot.

Children take 1-2 teaspoons, adults 2-4 teaspoons.  Sweet husband likes it–the honey soothes your throat plus you get the health benefits of honey, onion, and garlic.

We gave this to my 11 year old daughter who has been coughing and complaining of a sore throat before I added the garlic and ginger.  I told her it was honey and a secret ingredient.  Here’s her reaction, “Is this some kind of herby thing?  Ewww.  Can I have a drink?”  The secret ingredient caused a bit too much curiosity (probably should have just said it was honey and herbs!), and she soon found out the secret ingredient was onions.  The next time I offered her some she said she’d rather be sick for two more weeks than take any more of that stuff.  Silly girl.  We added the garlic and ginger (one clove of garlic crushed and about 1/4 tsp raw grated ginger root) and the next morning it tasted really good to me and a bit too gingery for sweet husband.  But it does soothe the sore throats–I haven’t had enough willing, coughing, guinea pigs to vouch for it’s effectiveness on a cough yet although I have heard from others that it works.

Stores in a sealed container at room temperature.  One sweet lady on youtube said she just keeps this in a pot on her stove all winter and adds more honey and onions as needed.

Give it a try and let me know if it works on your coughs!

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  • Cheryl

    My mother had been given some recipes from our family doctor when we were young…many moons ago. The “cough syrup” was similar to this, but was made with molasses, onion, and butter. I haven’t made it in a few years. It tastes nasty, but works!!

    The other recipe the doctor supplied was for “nasal spray”. I’ve yet to try this recipe, because it’s made with brown sugar, baking soda, and water. Something about spraying brown sugar up my nose…

  • Lauralee Hensley

    So do you heat the honey up for awhile. I was told by a pediatrician I once worked for to never give raw honey to children, especially under two, since some raw honey can have botulism spores in it. He said processed, heated honey kills the spores with the heat. He said a hive could not have it one year and then the next depending on where the bees have feed. I’ve never eaten raw honey after that. I have had a botulism treatment once, but that was for achalasia and not as a beauty treatment. Yet, even then I was pretty nervous since my Dad had a friend die in two days from botulism (not from honey though, from some peppers his wife had canned).

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