Homemade Children’s Cough Syrup

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It’s pretty easy to make cough syrup for kids and homemade syrups are safer and more effective that over-the-counter cough remedies. Lately, children’s cough and cold remedies have been in the news as being potentially life threatening, which makes safer homemade remedies that much more appealing. Here are some excellent recipes gathered from far and wide for children’s cough syrups. Most use honey as an ingredient because it is quite effective in quieting coughs, attacks bacteria, and helps to promote healing by stimulating the immune system. It is very important to note that honey should NOT be given to a child under two years of age. Honey contains a microorganism that may make young children ill. If you child is under two years old, use brown rice syrup or organic fruit syrups as a substitute in the same amounts as honey.

Honey Lemon Cough Syrup
Lemon helps to alkalinize the body, while honey kills bacteria.

1) Warm one pint of honey on low heat (do not boil!)
2) Boil a whole lemon in a separate pan for 2 or 3 minutes. This softens the lemon and kills bacteria on the skin. Let cool and cut into slices.
3) Add the lemon slices to the honey and allow this mixture to cook on low heat (again, don’t boil) for about one hour.
4) Strain the lemon from the honey (make sure to remove all seeds)
5) Cool and bottle in a tightly closed jar. Refrigerate.
6) This syrup will keep for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.

For coughs, take 1/2 teaspoon for a 25-pound child, 1 teaspoon for a 50-pound child. Can be used as often as needed.

Anise Seed Cough Syrup
Anise is a traditional remedy for coughs.

1) Crush 1 tablespoon of anise seed and cover with 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Steep for 30 minutes.
2) Strain, and simmer the remaining liquid to 1 cup.
3) Add two cups of honey (or substitute)
4) Cool and store in a tightly closed jar in the refrigerator.
5) This syrup will keep for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.

Use 1/2 teaspoon for 25-pound child, l teaspoon for a 50-pound child. Can be used 4 times a day.

Socks and Menthol Rub
This remedy has been circulating the internet for a while now, and it does work.
For nighttime coughing, rub a vapor rub like **Vicks™ on your child’s feet. Cover with socks. Coughing at night will be greatly reduced.
** Vicks™ is a petroleum based rub, and while effective, it’s not that environmentally friendly (or people friendly). Try the rub found at

Natural, homemade remedies have been used for years and have real value. However, it is always important to consult with your healthcare professional for proper diagnosis of illness or if symptoms become severe. A cough that lasts longer than one week should be checked by a doctor. If your child suffers from allergies, use caution with any medications whether over-the-counter or homemade.

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