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Whether flu, allergies or a common cold has left you with a scratchy throat and a cough, a mixture of honey and lemon makes a good homemade cough remedy. Honey has been proven as effective as dextromethorphan, a cough-suppressant ingredient found in many commercial cough syrups. Though honey by itself is a wonderful cough suppressant, lemon with tea or hot water is also effective and can be soothing to the throat.

Tip

  • When you consume honey, the fluid of the tea or water helps thin your mucus, which allows your body to flush it out more easily.
  • Additionally, lemon adds a much-needed dose of vitamin C that helps the body bolster its immune system.
  • Drink the tea or water during the day to stay hydrated and help thin the mucus. Stick to the syrup at night for the most-effective cough suppressant.

How to Make Cough Medicine

Preparing a honey-lemon cough suppressant mixture is quite simple. Most of the ingredients are widely available and cheap; in fact, you may already have them in your pantry.

Honey and Lemon Cough Medicine Daytime Drink

Total Time: 10 minutes | Prep Time: 7 minutes | Serves: 1 large cup

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Optional: Chamomile teabag or another type of tea;
    1 teaspoon ginger or cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Heat the water on the stovetop in a kettle until it boils.
  2. Using the heel of your hand, roll the lemon across the countertop, applying pressure to loosen the juice inside the lemon. Slice it in half.
  3. Once the water boils, pour it into a large mug and allow the tea to steep for 3 minutes if making tea.
  4. Squeeze half the lemon into the hot water or tea, mix in the tablespoon of honey, and add the teaspoon of ginger or cinnamon if desired, which is warming and soothing to the throat.
  5. Mix well to combine evenly and drink.

Lemon Honey Cough Syrup Nighttime Suppressant

Total Time: 5 minutes | Prep Time: 3 minutes | Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon ginger or cinnamon; 1/2 teaspoon water

Directions:

  1. Using the heel of the hand, roll the lemon across the countertop, applying pressure to loosen the juice inside the lemon. Slice in half and squeeze the juice of one-half into a small bowl or ramekin.
  2. Measure out and add 1 tablespoon of honey to the lemon juice.
  3. For warming and soothing properties, add 1 teaspoon of ginger or cinnamon if desired.
  4. Mix thoroughly to combine. Though the mixture should be thick enough to coat the throat, if it’s too thick, you can add a 1/2 teaspoon of water to slightly thin it.
  5. Use a spoon to ingest the cough syrup.

Large Batch Lemon Honey Cough Syrup

Total Time: 5 minutes | Prep Time: 3 minutes | Serves: 24

Ingredients:

  • 2 lemons
  • 12-ounce bottle of honey
  • Optional: 1/3 ginger root

Directions:

  1. Using the heel of the hand, roll the lemon across the countertop, applying pressure to loosen the juice inside the lemon. Slice the lemons into thin rounds and place inside a 12-ounce jar that has a sealable lid, such as a Mason jar.
  2. If using, slice the ginger root thinly and add to the jar as well.
  3. Using a spoon to lift the lemon and ginger slices to combine evenly, pour the bottle of honey over the lemon and ginger slices.
  4. Place the lid on the jar and store the mixture in the fridge. Use a tablespoon of the mixture at night as a cough suppressant, or mix a tablespoon into hot water or tea.

Tip

Children 2 years and older can take 2 teaspoons of honey at bedtime and enjoy the same benefits as other nighttime cough suppressants, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Warning

Do not give honey to a child under a year old; it can cause a dangerous food poisoning known as botulism.

About the Author

Molly Harris

Molly is a freelance journalist and social media consultant. In addition to Leaf.tv, Molly has written for Teen Vogue and Paste magazine. She is the former assistant editor of the Design and Style section of Paste magazine. View her work at www.mmollyharris.com.