How to Make Homemade Cough Syrup

Basic Cough Syrup Recipe and Variations

All homemade cough syrups and sore throat remedies have the same basic composition: a thick sugar syrup to coat your raw throat, aromatic spices to clear your congestion, and alcohol to kill germs and dull the pain. If you want to make homemade medicine for sore throats and coughing, all you need to do is mix the three basic ingredients. There are many variations of homemade cough suppressants, so you can customize the recipe to suit your taste and tolerance.

In a small, sterilized container, pour half a cup of any thick, sugary syrup. Most people use honey, molasses, corn syrup, pure maple syrup, or some combination of these four. You can also dissolve 1/2 cup of cane sugar or brown sugar in 2 or 3 tablespoons water or alcohol spirits. Make sure the sugar base is viscous, or else the homemade medicine won't stick in your throat.

Add 1/4 cup whiskey, bourbon, vodka, gin, or other high-proof liquor. An alternative is to use vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice. These acidic liquids will also kill germs and relieve throat pain.

Add 1-2 teaspoons of any or all of these spices: red pepper (cayenne pepper), ginger (fresh is best, but powdered will do), crushed or powdered garlic, black pepper, cinnamon, and powdered anise. You can also add several drops of mint extract to clear your sinuses.

Mix all the ingredients and put the lid on tightly over the container. Store the homemade cough syrup in the fridge. To administer the cough suppressant, take 1 spoonful ever few hours. Be sure to use a clean spoon every time you dip it in syrup. It is best to prepare this home remedy in small batches and throw out any medicine more than 3 days old. If you need more, just make a fresh batch.

Homemade cough syrup is cheaper than store-bought medicine and just as effective, though it does not taste as good. The more potent you make the syrup, the better it works to soothe your irritated throat.

© Had2Know 2010

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