Create this simple homemade ginger and chamomile herbal cough syrup for your holistic home apothecary.
The shift in seasons brings new rituals and recipes to create for our holistic homes. Elderberry tea, endless soups, and homemade syrups are always simmering creating beautiful aromas in our home come October.
When you feel yourself coming down with a cold, there are some simple things you can do without running to the pharmacy. I am an advocate for using age-old traditions to make us feel well. Did you know that many of our common kitchen ingredients have been used for thousands of years as both food and medicine? In fact, a recent study recently proved that honey is a better and safer treatment for children than over-the-counter cough syrup. Together these ingredients: have a long history of use as medicine, are affordable and easy to find, are proven effective, and taste wonderful together!
These ingredients were used in our family’s cough syrup, however, fellow herbalists should be inspired to use intuition to determine what they would like to put into theirs! Thyme and lemon would be great additions. Here is what we use and find beneficial for us:
Have you ever used ginger as a cold remedy? Chances are you’ve put some in your tea when you were feeling under the weather. But, do you know why ginger has widely used cough and cold remedy? Ginger is antimicrobial, relieves inflammation, is soothing to the digestive tract, stimulates the circulatory system, and promotes sweating. Ginger has been used as a herbal remedy in all early documents of traditional medicine.
Ginger’s antiviral actions include stimulating macrophage activity, preventing viruses from attaching to cell walls, and acting as a virucide. It also possesses actions that encourage it as a catalyst and synergist in antimicrobial herbal formulas, helping to increase their action by dilating blood vessels and enhancing circulation. – Ginger Monograph from The Herbarium
Sage is used as a delicious herb to enhance food and has also been used for colds and flu for years, sage kills the virus and bacteria responsible for our respiratory infections, relieves our cough and sore throats, and because sage has astringent properties, it’s excellent for treating drippy sinus. Sage can be used alone as a tea, or as a gargle to soothe a sore throat. I have read that you should avoid consuming sage if you are breast-feeding due to its ability to decrease milk supply. I am personally nursing and I have not ever noticed a decrease in supply and I drink sage tea regularly.
While there have been small studies done in Germany to test chamomiles effectiveness in treating cold and flu, we use it to soothe the general lousy feeling we have when sick, and to promote relaxation. My daughter loves the taste of chamomile, so I use it in as many ways as I can. This is an example of where you may want to use your intuition to replace it or remove it altogether. I found it to add a soothing property to the cough medicine that my kids need to unwind when they’re unwell.
Honey did a better job reducing the severity, frequency, and annoyance of nighttime coughing resulting from upper respiratory infection than DM or no treatment. Honey also helped the coughing child and the child’s parents get more sleep. Source.
Most of the honey you find in grocery stores is pasteurized. The high heat extends the shelf life but eliminates the beneficial nutrients in the process. If you’ve done any research on honey, you will find much of it is adulterated, and sadly not even real honey. You should be avoiding cheap honey, or honey in little bears as it won’t do you any good. If you’re interested in trying raw honey, buy it from a trusted local producer. Raw honey is not only delicious but anti-bacterial and rich in antioxidants. Raw honey should never be given to an infant less than a year old due to the risk of botulism poisoning.
How to Make Homemade Cough Syrup
The first steps in making this homemade cough syrup are like making a tea, and boiling your ingredients in hot water. You will then strain out the ginger, sage, and chamomile and let the liquid cool. Once cooled, you will add in your honey to thicken the syrup. If you have a juicer, it’s a great benefit to juice some fresh ginger juice and add it to this cough syrup. If not, just omit.
How should I use this cough syrup?
The best way to ingest this cough syrup is to shoot it in a small glass. Take one tablespoon up to four times a day.
How long does this homemade cough syrup last?
I use mine within one month. If I make a large batch, I keep it stored in the freezer.
What else can I do to feel better?
Drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. Obviously plenty of water and if you need something else, make one of these:
Diffuse eucalyptus, or raven essential oil in your diffuser. If you don’t have the most pure essential oils from Young Living, I highly suggest taking a look here.
Avoid using perfume or artificial fragrances (from harsh cleaning products) that irritate the lungs. We use thieves household cleaner and love to use these Homemade non toxic reusable thieves “bleach” wipes
Take a warm shower or bath with our Homemade eucalyptus shower melts for sinus relief
Wash your linens with lemon, lavender and sage non toxic liquid laundry detergent
Gargle with salt water
Get plenty of rest!
Add 1 cup of water and the ginger and optional cinnamon stick to a small saucepan. Simmer on medium-low for 15-20 minutes until the water has reduced by half. Once the liquid is cooled, add in your honey. Seal lid and label with date. Store in the fridge for up to three months. Freezes well if you want to keep for longer in the freezer. Honey (raw or pasteurized) should never be given to an infant less than a year old due to the risk of botulism poisoning.
Once the water and ginger has reduced, bring the water to a low boil, then turn off the pot and add the sage and chamomile. Cover the pot for 5-10 minutes to steep.
Strain the ginger, chamomile and sage into a jar with seal of choice.
Add 1 cup of water and the ginger and optional cinnamon stick to a small saucepan. Simmer on medium-low for 15-20 minutes until the water has reduced by half.
Once the liquid is cooled, add in your honey.
Seal lid and label with date.
Store in the fridge for up to three months.
Freezes well if you want to keep for longer in the freezer.
Honey (raw or pasteurized) should never be given to an infant less than a year old due to the risk of botulism poisoning.
As always, peace, love & wellness to you and your loved ones!