Monday, February 6, 2012

Homemade Cough Syrup

We've descended into a round of colds here.  I thought it wasn't too bad until Ben took up coughing at night.  Isn't that the worst?  The bright side is that we had a very low-key weekend with canceled plans, so I got some happy sewing done.

A long time ago (I forget how long), I came across the concept (I forget where) of soothing coughs with hot lemonade.  A doctor friend said, furthermore, that whiskey is the best cough syrup because it relaxes the muscles in the throat.

So I mix a little honey, a little lemon juice, a little hot water, and a splash of whiskey and have my children sip that to soothe a cough in the middle of the night.  I can't tell you measurements because I mix it when I am trying to maintain a kind of sleep-state in hopes that I can return to my warm bed soon.  I can tell you that I mix it in an espresso cup, if that gives you some idea of measurement.

For night time coughing, I also turn on a humidifier.  I used to have a cool-mist humidifier, but buying and maintaining the filters was expensive and bothersome.

For daytime coughs, I  just give the children extra drinks of water or hot tea with honey.

One night as he was climbing into bed, Ben told me he would wake up for some cough syrup that night.  Heaven forfend!  So I told him that if he didn't get to have cough syrup in the middle of the night, he could have tea and honey with breakfast.  Worked like a charm, thank goodness.

And you thought those loops on cargo pants were for hammers.


  1. Sounds great! The other night Zachary was coughing a lot and we were beginning to wonder how we were going to sleep and Matt reminded me that I dried mullein for just this reason. So I steeped a pot and added a generous amount of honey. When Zachary woke up, he drank some and slept the rest of the night.

    I need to start a journal of home remedies so I have them handy when the need arises. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Crys, please do share! I could learn a lot from you.

  3. We do the same thing here with hot water, honey, and lemon juice...

    Your night-time remedy sounds brilliant!!!

  4. Ben is adorable.. Now that is a smart boy... Loved his idea of taking the ruler across 2 chairs and making a bridge for his little car to cross.SMART!! and what a fantastic use for the loops on your pants..
    Hope the coughing and colds go away soon..

  5. My mom used to give me hot honey lemonade, and now I make it for my son. I'm glad we're not the only ones—it makes me feel more legitimate. :)

  6. Margo, our family has been going through rounds and rounds of colds ... just tonight I'm feeling a bit of a sore throat (nooooooooooooo!!!). Sigh. I had been hoping to see more of you this winter, but alas. So sorry to hear about your family's ailments :( I just wanted to say how I enjoy your blog. Your thrift of language impresses me so much. Where most bloggers seem to go for quantity, not quality, of words, you say things simply, with little decoration. Sometimes I wish you'd elaborate more, but leaving a blog wishing for more is rare and refreshing. Looking forward to another handwork night... ~Susan

  7. Susan, I'm so sorry to hear about the endless colds.
    And I'm so pleased by your compliment. Thank you so much! I'm imitating my favorite writers in economy of language.

  8. We've had so much coughing going on around here lately. It never crossed my mind to concoct homemade cough syrup. That's just the solution we need.

  9. We've been having colds, too. (I have a new tea to share soon. A shot of whiskey in it might be just the thing.) And I like the hanky in the cold pants---I mean, CARGO pants. Good idea.

  10. JJ, that was Ben's idea. Clever, isn't he?

  11. I will have to try this on our next round of coughs! I have always heard that it's the best remedy.

    I love seeing him play with the cars and and a yard stick :)

  12. Mullein is a common weed. After I read that it's a good home remedy for coughs, I started drying some of it. I can bring you some the next time we're in the same town.


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