DIY Herbalist’s Cough Syrup Recipe made with 3 Simple Ingredients
In consideration of a global influenza pandemic that results in symptoms of cough and sore throat, we thought it would be a good time to share our DIY Herbalist’s Cough Syrup. This Herbal Medicine inspired Cough Syrup contains just 3 healthy simple and natural ingredients, and works incredibly effectively to soothe, calm and comfort cough and sore throat.
First, a bit about the act of coughing. Coughing serves the purpose of clearing the lungs and airways of fluid, phlegm or other matter. There are typically two types of cough- dry cough and wet cough. Dry cough is characterized by no mucus or phlegm. While a wet cough is filled with mucus or phlegm where someone can actually feel the mucus move in their bronchi or throat, and mucus actually expectorates or leaves the chest with each cough.
This cough syrup will soothe, calm and comfort- but it will still encourage clearing of phlegm through a wet cough. It is important for the body to expel and clear the lung airways of phlegm, because pneumonia may potentially result if the lungs remain filled with mucus fluid.
This cough syrup is ideal for both dry and wet cough, and it works well for sore throat. If a wet cough exists or pneumonia symptoms arise, you can also incorporate expectorant herbs from herbal medicine to help aid in clearing the chest and lungs of phlegm. Expectorant herbs that would work great in this cough syrup include Mullein (Verbascum thapsus), Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Elecampane root (Inula helenium), or Wild Cherry Bark (Prunus serotina).
This cough syrup kinda has the Buckley’s thing going on…it may not taste the best, but it really does work extremely well to relieve cough, soothe sore throat, and help support the treatment of bronchitis and pneumonia. It is fairly easy and simple to make; however, this recipe does take a bit of time to boil down and reduce to give the syrup its classic thickness.
What you will need:
1 pint fresh raspberries (washed & dried)
1 litre organic Apple cider vinegar (I like Bragg’s)
350g Raw organic honey or maple syrup (or preferred sweetener of choice)
Medium or Large Pot
Prep time- 10mins, plus 48 hours for infusing vinegar
Cook time- 40-60mins
We will first begin by making a batch of Raspberry Acid Tincture, which is essentially a simple tincture made by infusing raspberries into vinegar. Wash & dry fresh raspberries. Place the 1 pint of raspberries into a 1L or 2L mason jar. Macerate or mash up the raspberries, then pour 1L of Apple cider vinegar over the raspberry mash. Allow the raspberry to infuse into the vinegar for 48 hours.
After 48 hours of infusing, strain the vinegar and dispose of the leftover raspberry mash.
Now we will make the cough syrup. Place the strained vinegar liquid into a pot. Add 350-375g of sweetener of choice (raw honey or maple syrup work well), and bring the pot to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low-medium, and continue to boil while removing the ‘scum’ layer as it arises to the top of the syrup. (I use a spatula to scoop the scum impurities onto a paper towel). The longer the syrup boils, the thicker the syrup will become. Boil for approximately 40-60mins, or until the syrup is clear and thickened to desired consistency. Note the volatile vapors of the vinegar are being heated off, so use a fan or well-ventilated kitchen. The longer the syrup boils, the less vinegar-like and more sweet the cough syrup will taste. Adjust the boiling time to your taste preference.
Package & Storage:
Fill Herbalist’s Cough Syrup into clean airtight containers. I like to use 120ml (4oz) glass amber boston round bottles that have been sterilized. Label with the title and date made. May be stored at room temperature or in the fridge until opened. Once opened, store in fridge and use within 30 days.
Directions for use:
For Adults: Take 1 Tablespoon(s) of Herbalists’ Cough Syrup as needed. Take dose as often as every 60mins, until symptoms reside.
For Children Aged 12+ years: Take 1-2 Teaspoon(s) of Herbalists’ Cough Syrup, as often as every 60mins, until symptoms reside.
For children aged 2-11 years: Take 1 Teaspoon every 3-4 hours.
If cough persists for worsens, then discontinue use and seek the attention of your Herbalist, Naturopath or medical practitioner of choice.
Recipe developed & shared by: Heather Urquhart, Huna CEO & Founder, Herbalist & Botanist