During this time of year, we are more likely to eat more sugar with holiday gatherings and baking, less likely to have sufficient vitamin D from the sun, (Jaclyn’s note: we depend on this cod liver oil for vitamin D through the winter.) and less likely to get adequate sleep while on the run. Simply put, this time of year can mean more coughs and colds. You already know we love making our own herbal meds, so now contributor Heather will show you how to make a homemade cough syrup.
You don’t need to buy an expensive over-the-counter cough syrup to help soothe that nasty cough, and the ingredients in conventional cough syrup may not be what you want to give to your family. Let’s let our food be our medicine with this onion cough syrup.
Homemade cough syrup: the one with onions
(If you don’t catch the Friends reference, I don’t know if we can be friends.)
Sometimes called “lasagna” syrup, this cough syrup is easy to make and keep on hand all the time. It uses 4 ingredients that most of us have in our kitchens all the time anyway.
Onions and garlic are both well known for their medicinal qualities. They are both anti-inflammatory and anti-viral. Very safe for most people, including younger children, they make the perfect addition to your home herbal apothecary.
Honey also has a reputation for being anti viral, anti-inflammatory and helps relieve coughs. Its sweetness lends the perfect balance in this cough syrup as well. It will help “the medicine go down.”
Sugar is not something you would often see for natural medicine. As a matter of fact, most people will shy away from this, especially when they are sick. However, in this recipe, the sugar is what we use to pull the juices from the onion and the garlic and also helps to act as a preservative to keep the cough syrup from spoiling. There isn’t a lot in this recipe to worry about.
To make this homemade cough syrup, you’ll need:
- Peel and slice the onions into 1/2″ thick slices.
- Peel and finely chop the garlic.
- In a wide-mouth jar, or another jar with a tight fitting lid, layer 2 onion slices, 1/6 of the chopped garlic and 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
- Continue layering the onions, garlic and sugar until you have filled the jar or all the ingredients are gone.
- Cover with the honey, allowing it to seep down into the jar.
- Steep for 3-4 weeks.
- Strain the infused honey into a clean jar. Be sure to label with date made and ingredients used.
- To use, simply take 1 teaspoon every 2-3 hours while symptoms persist. Since it has honey, use caution with children under the age of 2.
- This will store in your pantry nearly indefinitely, but toss if you notice any signs of spoilage. This can happen if water gets into the honey from a wet spoon.
Now, to get kids to take it. My kids have no issue with it, especially since they know it will make them feel better. The flavor isn’t that strong, but if your child has issues getting it down, I suggest smaller doses more frequently. Instead of 1 teaspoon, try 1/2 teaspoon every hour to 90 minutes. Or even 1/4 teaspoon every half hour. Honestly, though, sugar DOES help the medicine go down. 🙂