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Alternative Medicine Chest: Homemade Herbal Cough Syrup


a natural prescription by Elise Rodriguez


There’s a lot of hacking and coughing going on out there right now with the recent onset of a virus I like to call human kennel cough.  It seems right now about half the population has this virus, including yours truly.  The accompanying cough is a real bugger.

It put me in mind of this herbal cough syrup recipe which is a good, soothing general cough remedy, covering most of the basic cough symptoms.  It’s not bad-tasting and is easy to make.  It can be used alone or along with other herbal, homeopathic or pharmacological treatments.  The use of this herbal mixture can palliate a cough but not always, so it’s okay to use a cough suppressant as well.  Heck, you could even add it in to the mix.  Mostly this cough syrup is an aid to keep the lungs open, functioning, and soothed and hopefully prevent further complications like bronchitis and pneumonia.

Our natural cough syrup contains the following herbal extracts:

Wild Cherry Bark – for dry, spasmodic cough

Pleurisy Root – assists expectoration, reduces inflammation, diffuses fluid within the lungs

Mullein – soothes irritated membranes, opens lungs, especially good for rough, dry coughs

Eelecampane – expectorant, remedy for bronchitis

Elderberry – antiviral, remedy for pulmonary problems, shortness of breath, asthma; soothes sore, hoarse throats

Propolis (optional) – anti-inflammatory; antibacterial; soothes hot, raw lungs and sore throats. The addition of propolis is optional since some believe bees are harmed in the harvesting of it.


Into a 1 – 4 oz bottle put 1/3 honey or vegetable glycerin.  Add equal parts all of the herbs, doubling the Wild Cherry. If including propolis, make it an equal part as with the other herbs.

Shake the mixture, hitting it against your hand or a soft surface 50 times.  If your bottle has a dropper, take 2 dropperfuls or if no dropper, ½ tsp several times a day as needed.

A special note:

Passion Flower – known for its use in sleeplessness. It makes for a good remedy for a spasmodic cough that interferes with rest and sleep. It can be taken in addition to the above preparation in the evening. 30 – 60 drops repeated every 1 to 2 hours depending upon intensity of symptoms.

Friendly Legal Note: This blogumn is for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. ADDITIONAL NOTE: This recipe is for ADULT DOSES ONLY.

Photo Credit: Francisco Belard