Herbal Cough Remedies

Herbal cough remedies would help this guy

Herbal Cough Remedies.

It seems like everyone I come in contact with is sick or has been really sick recently. So many sore throats and ear aches, coughs and overall feeling crummy. I feel so bad that they are having such a hard time.

There are many things that you can do at home, without going to the doctor that will make you get well faster and make you feel better while you are getting over your cold. Let's talk about different parts of winter sickness and some herbal cold remedies we can use to help us through it.

Feeling Yucky and Ginger Tea. I was always told to drink lots of water and get plenty of rest when I got a cold. This is good advice, but it can get better. First go home and make a big pot of ginger tea, drink your water in this delicious medium. Really, this is the greatest discovery ever.

ginger tea is so delicious

People have been using ginger as one of the herbal cough remedies for thousands of years for good reasons. Among many things, it is anti- inflammatory so it stills the spasms in your throat, and analgesic so it helps you cough up mucus and warms your core. Ginger is antiviral and kills many of the viruses that lead to cold and flu.

It is also very effective against Staphylococcus, streptococcus spp., salmonella spp, and e-coli! Sounds like we should all drink a cup - cold or no cold.

Be sure to see our page on cold remedies to learn how to make ginger tea. Make it nice and potent (put some hair on your chest) - then if you just sip on ginger tea all day long you will notice the yucky, achy feeling nicely diminishing.



Some of our favorite herbal cough remedies are made with elderberries. An excellent and easy cough syrup can be made by using dried elderberries. Of course you can use fresh berries if you have them.

Elderberries are anti-viral and immune strengthening. Also known as "immunomodulating." This means that it will boost your immune system and help you avoid getting sick - or it will assist your body in adjusting to whatever level of immunity it needs to help it stay healthy.

These dark blue berries are also full of Vitamin C and iron, and are used not only for strengthening your immune system, but for colds, flu and other lower respiratory viral infections.

Elderberry Cough Syrup.

elderberry syrup uses only a few ingredients

To make elderberry cough syrup you need:

  • 1/2 c. dried elderberries
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup honey (do not give honey to children under 2 yrs. old - you can substitute pure maple syrup if desired)

Simmer 1/2 cup dried elderberries (1 cup of fresh) in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes. Strain and allow to cool slightly.

Add 1 cup of honey. Be sure the elderberry mixture is not so hot that it kills the antimicrobial properties of the honey. Store it in a tightly capped jar in the refrigerator. It will last about 3 months.

Take 1 teaspoon as needed for cough.

If you get well fast and have some left over you can use it on your pancakes. It is a delicious way to keep your immune system working right.

Elderberry Tea.

add ginger slices to elderberry tea

Really, everything with elderberry in it is fabulous, but more of our favorite herbal cough remedies include elderberry tea.

You can make this delicious sweet infusion to drink by putting 1/2 cup of dried berries in a quart jar, pour boiling water over it and let it sit over night or for 12 hours. Strain. Add honey if desired. And enjoy.

To make it even more healing you can add a couple of slices of fresh ginger and 1 Tablespoon of orange peel. Strain. Add honey if you want. Take a thermos of this sweet healer with you and drink it during the day.

Elderberry Balls.

Adding honey to elderberry powder

Another thing I love to do with dried elderberries, which works so well as herbal cough remedies, is to grind the berries into a fine powder. 

Place some of the powder in a bowl and add enough honey to make a dough like consistency. Eat it in a spoon, spread it on toast, or put it in tea.

You can also roll this dough into marble sized balls (you may have to thicken it a little with more elderberry powder.) Pop a ball in your mouth and let it dissolve when you feel a cough coming on.

You can place the little pastilles in an airtight container and store them in the frig for several weeks, or they can be left out to air dry and they will last much longer.

(I don't really think they will last that long - they are yummy!)

Elder berry balls can be rolled in powder

These elderberry balls are waiting to be rolled in cinnamon, slippery elm powder, and sage powder.

You can also roll the dough out kind of thin. Cut small round circles with a lid, or the best thing is a donut hole cutter, then allow them to dry for a day or two. When dried you can suck on them and as they melt they will make your throat better and stop that cough. Great herbal cough remedies!


Lemon and honey can make your throat feel great

All herbal cough remedies don't have to be something you make.

Plain honey with a little lemon added to it will make a scratchy, burning throat feel like a tropical island. Just take a spoon almost full of honey - squeeze from a lemon or pour from a bottle - a little lemon. Stick it all in your mouth and enjoy the feeling of relief.

Honey is anti-microbial so will inhibit pathogen growth. It is also a slight expectorant which means it helps you get rid of mucous. Using raw local honey is best.

Many other herbs are good for coughs and can be combined with honey for added strength. Licorice makes another tasty cough syrup and because it is antiviral it helps heal as well as sooth. Here is the last of our herbal cough remedies:

Formula for Lung and Chest Congestion – Rosemary Gladstar

This formula can be made into a tea, syrup, or tincture and is very effective in clearing up bronchial congestion. If making a tea, adjust flavors by adding more licorice, cinnamon, and ginger to the formula. If your child is prone to respiratory infections, make up the formula ahead of time.

  • 2 parts licorice root (from me – licorice is super sweet – try it and see what you think)
  • 1 part cinnamon
  • 1 part Echinacea
  • 1 part Elecampane
  • ¼ part Ginger

Combine ingredients and store in an airtight container. Put one ounce in a quart jar and fill it with boiling water. Steep at least 2 hours.

(From me -You can adjust the taste – more herb = stronger, less herb = not as strong; longer time = stronger, shorter time = not as strong. You can add honey too if you want, for flavor and medicinal value).

Licorice Honey Syrup.

  • 1/2 c. dried licorice root
  • 2 c. water
  • 1/2 cup honey

Place 1/2 cup dried licorice root in 2 cups of water. Simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and allow to cool slightly. Add the half cup of honey while the water is still warm but not too warm. Store it in a tightly capped jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Take 1 teaspoon for coughs as needed.

Don't use licorice if you are prone to having high blood pressure or water retention.

You can also visit my page on cold remedies for more ideas on preventing colds.

Or the new pages on sore throats and ear aches.

Have a great winter. Nancy

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"Thanks Dude. This really helped my cold and swollen glands." - Dave

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For More Amazing Ideas on
Lymph, Glands, Colds and Flu - visit the following pages:

Herbal Cough Remedies

Ear Aches and Infection

The Lymphatic System

Herbal Remedies

Massage Techniques - Shiatsu

Swollen Lymph Nodes

Making an Herbal Decoction and an Herbal Infusion