Herbal Cough Syrup

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Showing how to make tinctures
Step by step photo collage of how to make a herbal cough syrup

This is a super easy herbal cough syrup to make. 

It costs pennies, even if you have to buy the herbs and is super effective. 

Follow along with the short video to see how easy it is to make.

Herbalist Courses for all levels

You can try a sample lesson to help you decide if the Herbal Academy of New England is the right choice for you - click the link below.

Preview Lesson from the Introductory Herbal Course

Herbal Cough Syrup

The ingredients are simple: 

  • 1 3/4 ounces or 40g of fresh herb - 1/2 ounce or 15g dried
  • 1 1/8 Cup (8 oz, 225g) sugar OR 2/3 Cup (8 oz, 225g) honey
  • 1 3/4 Cup (3/4 pint, 450 ml) water

Put your water into a pan and bring it up to the boil.

If you're using fresh herb, then chop and bruise it before adding to the water.

Simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes.

Strain the herb out and press it with the back of a spoon to get all the herby goodness out.

The liquid should look like tea at this point.

Pour it back into your pan and simmer to reduce the quantity by half. You leave the lid off at this point. It will take 10 to 15 minutes.

Add your sugar or honey and let the mixture simmer again - keep stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

The mixture will thicken and become syrup like. If it bubbles up a lot, then remove it from the heat and stir it. Put it back on the heat, keep stirring occasionally. 

You will have to stand over it during this time - it will take around 3 to 5 minutes to become syrupy. The longer you boil it, the thicker it will get. At some point, it will become caramel, so be careful here.

Allow it to cool a little, then pour into a sterilised container - glass is best.

You sterilise glass by either:

  • boiling in water for 10 minutes OR
  • washing in soapy water, rinsing off and place in the oven (275F, 140C, Gas Mk1) until they've dried. Probably 10 to 15 minutes.

This herbal cough syrup will keep for months in a cool dark place or in the refrigerator. 

It's important to sterilise your storage bottles to prevent mould forming.

The adult dose is 2 teaspoons 3 to 6 times a day and child dose, 1 teaspoon.

DO NOT give honey to children under 12 months old

DO NOT use this recipe for diabetics - that's honey or sugar.

I like to stir mine into a cup of tea or just warm water (also, coffee!) Sip it to relieve your cough.

You could give your child their dose in warm water.

I've been asked about alcohol - this would make a really good 'hot toddy'. Pour yourself a tot of whisky (or your choice) add a couple of tablespoons of hot water and your dose of herbal cough syrup to it. I wouldn't recommend this for *every* dose, just maybe your last one at night if it's what rocks your boat!

When my son was in his teens, he had a friend whose parents had split up. Dad had moved out of the family house years before, and Mum had stayed.  She eventually moved out to live with her boyfriend, leaving her two sons to live alone. 

This friend used to stay over occasional weekends for some home comforts. 'Freedom' is okay, but you can't beat home comforts and knowing someone cares...

One day, he came to visit and he had a hacking cough. My son said 'My Mum will make you some of her witch's brew.'  I made him this herbal cough syrup and gave him a bottle to take away with him. 

The boys still remember my 'Witch's Brew'! - Boy! he's 33 years old now...

newsletter sign up box

I may receive a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. See more details here  This will not affect the amount you pay.