Homemade Cough Syrup

I learned how to make homemade cough syrup in my Botanical Medicine class. 

What you'll need:
Raw honey
An onion
A wide jar

What to do:
Take a whole onion, peel of the outer skin. Slice the onion down the middle in even intervals, but don't let the onion completely "fall apart"; try to keep it all stacked together into its original round shape despite being sliced. Now, place the whole (but sliced) onion into a jar or round dish. Ideally one that is just big enough to hold the onion. Then, cover the entire honey with raw, unpasteurized honey. Separate the onion slices a bit, just enough so that honey can seep into the onion slices too.  I've tried to draw this out (see below). Seal the jar then leave it on the counter overnight (6-12 hours). In the morning, remove the onion pieces, leaving only the honey behind. This honey is now infused with the medicinal compounds from the onion! There you have it: homemade cough syrup. Take a teaspoon every hour or so (less for children) for coughs. This syrup will last for two full days. You can always make a mini version using a small onion if you don't want to waste honey for a milder cough and since the syrup only lasts two days. 

Why honey and onions?
These two foods both contain anti-microbial compounds, meaning that they fight bacteria and viruses. Honey is also very soothing.

The golden yellow color is supposed to be honey, the light brown round structure is the onion, and the black lines are where the knife would slice. See how the honey seeps into the onion? :P 

Note: this is not meant to be taken as medical advice. Talk to your healthcare provider about your own cough treatment. I'm only sharing this cough syrup recipe because it think it is so cool and demonstrates how food really can be medicine! 


  1. Wonderful - way cool!

    Got to make some - how long can you keep the honey, keep it on a shelf - in the dark?


  2. only 2 days! so make it when you need it.


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