Home Remedy for Cough

By Bonnie K. McMillen, R.N, B.S.N., College Health Nurse, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Bradford, PA, mcmillen+@pitt.edu

For the adventurous and independent sort, here's a homemade cough syrup recipe that really works. The ingredients are a combination of spices and nutrients with no unpleasant medicinal side effects -- no drowsiness, no dry mucous membranes, no cautions about using machinery or driving.

The recipe is from Herbally Yours by Penny C. Royal, 3rd Edition, June 1982. It seems to work for all kinds of coughs but especially for that dry hacky cough that keeps you awake and hangs on long after the cold is over.

One of our international students recently told me that her mother in India used to give her a cough medicine with similar ingredients.

It soothes an irritated throat and relieves chest congestion and phlegm. The bad news: it tastes terrible -- it really does -- but if you have a persistant cough, it's worth a try.

The recipe doesn't indicate how much to take. I took 3 teaspoons the first time because I had a bad dry cough for over three weeks, and I was desparate for some relief. It worked and I got a good night's sleep. I have been recommending it to others ever since, and many have confirmed my positive results.

Consider the beneficial effects of the individual ingredients:

I keep the mixture in the refrigerator after I make it but I don't know if it is necessary.

The next time you have a cough that just won't quit, you might want to give this homemade cough recipe a try.

CAUTION: Any cough persisting more than a week, accompanied by headache or fever, and any cough which is productive of thick yellow or green mucous should be evaluated by a physician. One precaution I have read is regarding the honey: Do not give honey to children under 1 year of age unless it is pasteurized or boiled for five minutes. I would not give this mixture to a young child anyway, because the taste is too strong, and a child with a cough should be seen by a pediatrician.


E-Mail From Our Readers

Dear Ms. McMillen,

I wanted to thank you for the recipe I got from the Internet for "Home Remedy for Cough". My Husband just got over a cold and every time he speaks, he just coughs and can't say a word. He has a lot of meetings at work, and couldn't say anything without breaking into that dry cough.....he was going mad from it. I went on the Internet to search a remedy for a cough med. and Thank God, found yours, it was the only one there, and I searched so many engines. I made it for my Husband last night, and like you, he took 3 tsp. and it gave him a wonderful rest from coughing. He slept like a baby, and I made him some to take to work, and he said it has really helped. Thank you so much for putting it out there.....I've sent the site to at least 12 people that I know like Natural Remedies. I even went to Amazon.com and bought the "Herbally Yours" book....it was a special order, but I was able to order it.


Jackie Heromin
Harrisburg, Pa.

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