Homemade Cough and Cold Syrup

Ditch the over-the-counter stuff and make your own remedy for colds and coughs.

| December 2017

  • This remedy uses natural ingredients to combat congestion and cold symptoms.
    Photo by Shutterstock/Marie C Fields
  • “The Apple Cider Vinegar Companion” by Suzy Scherr explores the many uses of apple cider vinegar.
    Cover courtesy The Countryman Press

The Apple Cider Vinegar Companionapple cider vinegar, by Suzy Scherr (The Countryman Press, 2016), explores simple ways to use one of nature’s most versatile ingredients. From cleaning, to cooking, to keeping your hair shiny, apple cider vinegar is a cupboard staple. This remedy for colds has less no unpronounceable ingredients or drowsy side effects.

With only a handful of pantry ingredients and a few minutes’ effort, this homemade cough and cold syrup can be sitting on our counter in no time, arming you against cold and flu season. It’s a spicy-yet-soothing syrup, effective at calming a cough and soothing a sore throat. Cayenne pepper, honey, and ginger are all natural expectorants, which means they help loosen mucus from the lungs, making you more comfortable. Cayenne is also an effective decongestant, thanks to the chemical capsaicin, which gives spicy peppers their heat and helps relieve swelling and inflammation in the nasal passages. Apple cider vinegar helps thin out nasal secretions, making it easier to drain the mucus so you can breathe. In other words: Ahhh. Finally.


• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


1. Combine all the ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine.

2. Store in a cool, dark place.

3. Shake well before using; take 1 to 2 tablespoons as needed to relieve symptoms. If desired, warm the mixture slightly before taking.

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