I come from a family that uses manmade medicine as a VERY last resort and my grandma Barb is the queen of all things natural, especially natural medicines. She grows her own natural remedy plants in her cute little backyard garden and there is always some kind of wild homemade tea brewing on the stove.
Whenever anybody in the family has some kind of ailment she is usually the first person we call for a natural cure. She retreats to her bedroom of herbal cure books and notes and comes out with a recipe that always works wonders, like this homemade cough syrup recipe.
Everyone in the family has this homemade cough syrup recipe because it really does work, not to mention it’s natural with just three powerful ingredients; honey, olive oil, and lemon juice!
This homemade cough syrup recipe is GREAT for kids over the age of 12 months. Isaac has only had two colds so far and this recipe does a great job with soothing sore throats and coughing, especially with that nagging nighttime coughing. There aren’t too many cold medicines on the market for kids under 4 anyway.
My grandmother uses only 1 lemon in her recipe but I like to use as many as I can stand since lemons are so good at combating colds and really helps to balance out the sweetness of the honey. Also, my grandmother stores this cough medicine in the refrigerator but I store mine in the cupboards.
This Honey Lemon Homemade Cough Syrup is the perfect remedy for coughs and sore throats. Make it using just 5-ingredients in 15 minutes and store for up to 2 months in the fridge!
This post is sponsored by BeeMaid. I have been compensated to sponsor this recipe but as always all opinions are my own.
Soothing and healing are the words that come to mind when I think of this homemade cough remedy. And the best part is that it is so easy to prepare!
This recipe is made with safe natural ingredients so there is no danger of overdosing. Whenever anyone in my family has cough symptoms 2 teaspoons of this homemade cough medicine usually helps to relieve symptoms.
Why I Love This Homemade cough syrup
- Say goodbye to forcing kids to take medicine because they absolutely love this recipe! Plus they are less likely to suspect that they are taking medicine due to the popsicle like appearance of the coughsicles.
- Another bonus is that this honey cough syrup is portable. It can easily be carried around and consumed on the go.
- There are no side effects! So no need to worry about feeling drowsy as you would after taking prescribed cough syrups.
- These coughsicles are cool and refreshing unlike most traditional recipes which helps to reduce irritation caused by inflammation.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Lemon zest and Lemon juice – Add lemon zest and juice to this recipe for delicious citric flavours and health benefits.
- Ginger – The fresher the better for this recipe. Sliced ginger pieces are used for this recipe.
- Water – this will add some body to the mixture.
- BeeMaid Liquid Honey – is my honey of choice for this recipe. Creamed honey can also be used because when it warms it will become thinner and more fluid.
How to Make Honey Lemon Homemade Cough Remedy
Combine lemon zest, sliced ginger and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 8 minutes.
Next, grab a small mesh sieve, place it over a small measuring cup, pour the mixture and strain the ingredients. This will remove the ginger and lemon zest from the water.
Rinse the saucepan out, pour in 1 1/2 cups of BeeMaid Liquid Honey and the lemon ginger water. Then add 1/2 a cup of the lemon juice and stir over low heat until it combines to form a thick syrup adding more lemon juice to the taste and texture you prefer.
Pour the honey cough syrup into a glass jar and let cool completely before sealing with a tight-fitting lid. Finally, store the natural cough syrup with honey and lemon in the fridge for up to 2 months.
What exactly are coughsicles?
They are very similar to “popsicles” making them fun and more approachable than cough syrup fo kids. However, they include medicinal ingredients like honey, lemon and ginger rather than sweet ingredients. The main aim of coughsicles is to help combat symptoms but in a more enjoyable way. A kid-friendly cough remedy in disguise!
How to Make Coughsicles
Mix together 1/2 a cup of the Honey Lemon Cough Syrup and 1 1/2 cups of water. Then pour the mixture into your favourite popsicle moulds or small plastic containers to freeze. Leave to freeze overnight and serve when you are ready.
Can Honey Stop a Cough?
Adding honey to homemade cough remedies is an age-old way to soothe the throat and suppress coughs.
- It is an effective, natural antimicrobial that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Honey has a unique combination of high sugar content which limits the amount of water available to the microorganism for growth. It is also has a high acidity which creates a low pH environment and naturally occurring antioxidants that provide an effective multi-pronged attack.
How Does Ginger Help A Cough?
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. It is often added to cough remedies to help ease dry coughs, asthmatic coughs, nausea and pain. A study showed that anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger can reduce coughing by relaxing membranes in the airways.
How Does Drinking Lemon Water Help with a Cough?
Lemon water is great for coughs and sore throats as it helps to break up mucus. Plus it is really refreshing and promotes hydration.
Can I give this honey cough syrup to my Infant?
Despite the fact that honey is good for the body and has healing properties it is advised that it is not given to babies under 6 months. This is because it may cause botulism. Clostridium botulinum spores are present in the honey and soil so once the spores reach the bowels they turn into bacteria and produce bad neurotoxins that are harmful to babies.
Experts recommend parents wait until after your baby’s first birthday to introduce honey into their child’s diet. This includes mass-produced honey, raw and unpasteurized honey, and local honey. This food rule also applies to all foods and baked goods containing honey.
A natural cough syrup is as simple as this honey lemon thyme syrup recipe. Nothing will sooth your cough and throat better than this quick garden recipe.
It is that time of the year when an itchy, sore throat is common. Especially around my household. Luckily for us, soothing such discomfort is quite easy.
This concoction is made with three basic ingredients and can be consumed with tea, hot water, or consumed as it. Since this cough and sore throat soother is made with natural ingredients, feel free to consume as much of it as needed, as often as needed.
A Garden Recipe | Honey, Lemon, Thyme Syrup
The three ingredients within this concoction contain incredible soothing/healing qualities for not only a cough, but also a sore throat:
- Honey – It is an antibacterial and known to fight infections. In addition to this it is also an antiseptic and can speed recovery. More importantly it works as an anti-inflammatory, making it ideal for sore and swollen tonsils.
- Lemon – This citrus fruit is rich in vitamin C, which can help to boost the immune system. Lemon juice can help break down the mucus build up within the throat and chest. It also works to get rid of the germs and microbes which cause infections in the respiratory tract.
- Thyme – This medicinal herb is used to relax the muscles caused from coughing as well as, reduces inflammation in the airwaves. Thyme also has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.
The combination of these three natural items create a powerhouse throat and cough soother.
In addition this natural cough syrup, try your hand at making a few of these lemon recipes.
Citrus in an incredible fruit to work with. Not only can be peels be used to make lemon extract but also to make marmalade and candy.
Honey Lemon Cough Syrup Recipe
Prior to beginning, make sure to remove the waxy coating from the lemons. The wax used to preserve fruits such as lemons is consumable. However, it can hinder the potency of the honey lemon cough syrup.
- 1/2 cup raw honey, store bought honey will do
- 1 lemon chopped, cut into wedges, or sliced into coins
- handful of fresh garden thyme, or organic dried thyme
- pint size mason jar, swing top jar, or Weck canning jars
Using honey, lemon for coughs is a natural way to sooth throat.
- Layer the thyme and lemon into the mason jar and cover with honey. Make sure the lemon is completely submerged under the honey.
- Remove any bubbles from within the jar using an air bubble remover or butter knife.
- Place the honey, lemon, thyme syrup in the refrigerator. The honey will naturally draw the liquid from the lemons creating a water-like texture.
Prior to use, shake the bottle well, use a spoonful as needed. This mixture will keep well for up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Once the cough or sore throat has passed, use the homemade cough syrup to flavor tea.
An eucalyptus and thyme cough syrup is another excellent recipe to sooth a cough. The use of eucalyptus as well as, honey, lemon for coughs sooths throats instantly.
Thyme Tea Recipe
- Bring 2 cups of water and a handful of fresh or dried thyme leaves to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer until the liquid has reduced to half.
- Pour the thyme tea into a mug, add the honey lemon syrup and consume once the tea cools slightly.
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Homemade cough syrup from your kitchen pharmacy? Kitchen Remedy Cough Syrup is made out of natural ingredients. No dyes, chemicals, preservatives, or synthetic ingredients.
Honey, spices, and apple cider vinegar combine to make this old fashioned cough syrup recipe. It tastes good and works to help you stop coughing. NO side effects either.
You can make this DIY cough syrup in 5 minutes!
Making your own cough remedy will save you money. Believe me when I say this is the best natural cough syrup around!
You will receive a FREE PANTRY STAPLES PRINTABLE and easy recipes to make with them.
Over the counter cough medicine for coughs and colds taste terrible. Most of the time they don’t work, and can be very expensive. There is also the risk of side effects.
RECIPE and INSTRUCTIONS for this natural cough remedy can be found at the bottom of this post.
I prefer a more natural approach to help us during cough, cold and flu season. This honey ginger cough syrup recipe is just what you need.
There are loads of foods and spices that are jammed packed with healing properties. I would much rather fight a cough and cold with food than medication. We all know soup makes us feel better when we are sick. Nothing better than wrapping your hands around a nice hot bowl of pho , or mushroom soup to warm you up.
I did some searching and reading to find a better way to win the fight and yes it actually does exist. Natural cough remedies are a great alternative.
How To Make Homemade Cough Remedy
This DIY cough medicine requires simple kitchen ingredients. You will need:
- apple cider vinegar
- cayenne pepper
- hot water
Place ALL the ingredients into a small glass jar. Shake to mix well. Your cough medicine is ready to use.
Here are some READERS Comments:
I have been suffering from a persistent cough for the last week. Finally, after trying to go to sleep with zero success for the fourth night, I decided to look something – ANYTHING – up to try to relieve this. I came upon this recipe and immediately went to the kitchen to make it. I will be honest, was not expecting the “whoa, my goodness!” moment I had when I took the first tsp. I will, however, admit that just the one teaspoon was certainly enough, for now anyway. Thank you for sharing this, it has turned out to be a very welcome “miracle.”
I’ve had a horrible cough for over 3 weeks, actually had to postpone surgery because of it. I took so many otc cough syrups and nothing worked. Last night I found this…OMG I was skeptical but this stuff works! I actually slept last night without waking up coughing my head off. Thank you so much!
It works! It did a better job than the px cough medicine given to my husband. It has a bit of a punch, so some may wish to decrease the amount of cayenne pepper added .
DIY Cough Syrup Recipe Tips
- For this recipe, I used * (affiliate) raw unfiltered hone y . I find the liquid version works best as it dissolves a little easier. Creamed or * (affiliate) Manuka honey would also be great alternatives.
- Be sure to use * (affiliate) organic apple cider vinega r for the best health benefits.
- If you are going to make it for kids, you might want to cut back on the cayenne, they might find it too spicy.
- * (affiliate) Ceylon cinnamon also called “true” cinnamon is a better choice than the Cassia variety found in grocery stores.
It has been told that cinnamon can kill viruses and fungi.
It is a rich source of antioxidants that can give a boost to the immune system. Cinnamon is also antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal.
As long as it is used correctly, the acid in the vinegar may work similar to lemon and pineapple just to stop the tickle in the throat. It ALWAYS needs to be diluted with water.
Since this is made with kitchen staples, you can easily make this when needed. I have safely kept this in my kitchen cupboard for several weeks.
You can keep it in a *(affiliate) small glass jar , making it easy to shake before use.
This will be up to you. I can say we take 2 teaspoons when needed to help stop coughing. We have taken it safely several times a day, with no side effects.
This natural cough suppressant is our go-to remedy hands down. It has proven to be the best medicine to cure our coughs.
You are the only person that can make the decision for you and your family’s health. Honey and cinnamon have strong antibacterial properties that have been known to help with coughs and as a sore throat soother.
Most colds are caused by viruses. Infections usually require antibiotics, so you would have to contact your health professional.
Home Remedies for Coughs, Colds And Sore Throats
I am all about fighting the cough and cold season with food and spices. I remember my dad swore a hot toddy got rid of his cold.
Elderberry syrup is my first defense when my family starts to feel under the weather.
Honey and lemon drinks always seem to help when you need some cold and flu relief.
Next time you have a cough don’t head to the drug store. Kitchen Remedy Cough Syrup can be found in your kitchen pharmacy!! Homemade cough medicine works like a charm in our house. A great alternative to help stop coughing attacks.
What is your favourite natural remedy?
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Guaco tea or carrot juice have bronchodilating properties, making these great natural remedies to relieve a productive cough. If you have a dry cough, ginger and lemon tea are other good options, as these teas contain because antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition to these home remedies, you can also mix honey in a a cup of water (room temperature) and drink to help hydrate the vocal cords, relieve the throat lining and decrease coughing fits.
It is important to identify the cause of the cough so that treatment is appropriate and efficient.
1. Dry cough
A great home remedy for a dry cough is ginger and lemon tea, as both ginger and lemon have anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce irritation in the throat and lungs. These teas can also clear the airways to relieve a dry cough.
This natural remedy can also be used for children who have a cough, as it has no side effects.
- 5 g ginger root
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 500 mL of water (about 2 cups)
How to prepare
To prepare the tea, boil the ginger in water on low heat until the liquid reduces by half. Then remove from the stove, strain and add the lemon juice. If you wish, you can add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten, keeping in mind that honey should not be used in babies under 1 year.
Take 1 tablespoon of this tea every four hours, while the cough persists. See other ways your can get rid of a dry cough.
2. Baby’s cough
Lemon tea with honey is a great way to treat a baby’s cough at home, but this should only be given to babies over one year old. Younger babies do not have a fully developed immune system and honey has Clostridium botulinum spores, which can put the baby at risk of getting botulism.
Honey and lemon tea helps to relieve a cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion, and it is also improves digestion.
- 500 mL of water (about 2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
How to prepare
Boil the water in a covered pan for about 10 minutes and then add the lemon juice and honey. When it has cooled down, you can offer it to the baby in small quantities.
Another tip for relieving your baby’s cough is to put a few drops of a saline solution in your baby’s nose before feeding and then clean any discharge with a baby-safe cotton swab.
3. Productive cough
Carrot and guaco juice are excellent home remedies for productive or wet coughs, as these contain bronchodilating and expectorant properties, which helps to eliminate excess phlegm and breathe better. Additionally, if you add mint, the juice also becomes anti-inflammatory, which reduces coughing fits, especially when you have the flu, bronchitis, or asthma.
- 5 guaco leaves
- 1 carrot
- 2 sprigs of mint
- 1 teaspoon of honey.
How to prepare
To make the juice, mix the guaco leaves in a blender with the carrot and mint sprigs. Then strain and add a teaspoon of honey. Drink 20 ml of this juice several times a day.
Another great home remedy for a productive cough is thyme tea as this herb has expectorant properties, which means that it helps in releasing phlegm and strengthening the immune system. Learn more about how you can also treat a cough during pregnancy.
4. Allergy-related cough
While there are medications you can use to treat your allergy-related cough, you can also treat it naturally with medicinal plants such as nettle, Drosera rotundifolia and broadleaf plantain. These plants contain calming properties, which relieve coughing and throat discomfort.
- 1 tablespoon nettle leaves
- 200 ml water (about 1 cup)
How to prepare
To make the tea, place the nettle leaves in a pot with the water and let the mixture boil for 5 minutes. Then strain the tea and let it cool. Drink two cups of this tea a day. If you wish, you can add 1 spoon of honey to sweeten it.
The use of natural cough remedies should not replace the treatment prescribed by a doctor, especially in the case of an allergy-related cough, which is usually treated with anti-histamines. It is important to identify the cause of the cough for appropriate treatment to be indicated.
We are talking about liquor. Medicinal liquor. The stuff that generations of sick folks depended upon before the invention of dextromethorphan.
I decided, after waking up yet again with a fully congested head and ears along with an inflamed painful throat, that I’m not taking any more drugs for this stuff.
I’ve been on an anti-biotic for 7 weeks along with various cough suppressants, expectorants, and heavy doses of ibuprofen for rib pain. Obviously, nothing is working or else my body has built up resistance to them.
And the “nighttime” prescription narcotics keep me wide awake with itching skin and weird states of in-between sleep.
It’s time to handle this the all natural way. What did our ancestors do when a head cold/flu/sinus crap got ahold of them? They used what the Good Lord gave them. Honey, lemon, peppermint (for flavor) and whiskey.
I vividly remember a jar that sat on top of my grandmother’s refrigerator before it was either used up or it disappeared.
I remember seeing various members of my family take a spoon and dip out of it. . . some only once. Some certain family members needed a little more healing than one spoon could give.
But I remember the big peppermint stick and that is what I found myself holding in the checkout line at the grocery store. You can usually find these around the holidays.
What do you need to make this?
Grandma’s cough medicine is 4 ingredients: peppermint, honey, lemon, and liquor/whiskey. I don’t think it really matters which liquor you use. My family always used a dark whiskey/ bourbon. The point is NOT to get so drunk you can’t stand. Why these 4 things?
- Honey coats the throat, is anti-bacterial and builds the immune system. It can also be used for burns and keeps infection away. Honey also draws pus out of wounds and sores.
- Whiskey works as an anesthetic to the cough response so you can sleep. If you can’t sleep, your body can’t rejuvenate. Whiskey is also higher in antioxidants than red wine so it fights free radicals too.
- Lemon provides Vitamin C and helps the liver cleanse the body. Lemon is one of the best foods for the liver because it cuts through mucous which often accompanies colds. It is also alkaline once it’s ingested which is especially good while fighting flu and coughs.
- Peppermint flavors the syrup and stops coughing. Spices such as cayenne pepper, ginger and cinnamon can be added for flavor and extra healing. Just make sure they are thoroughly mixed.
What is a “Big Peppermint Stick”?
The big peppermint sticks may not be as easy to find as years ago. I find them every year at walmart or the grocery store.
If you can’t find one around the holidays in the gift basket or specialty candy sections of the grocery store, just use regular peppermint sticks or the candies. The sugar and peppermint is for flavor only.
When I saw the peppermint stick as soon as I walked in the store and had the revelation to ditch the meds, I also decided to fill my basket with flu-fighting foods.
I loaded up with a whole chicken for soup with bone broth. Salmon for Omegas, spinach for fighting free radicals, asparagus to clean out the bladder/kidneys, and nuts for clean protein.
If I’m going all natural with the cough/congestion medicine, I’m sticking to real foods, too.
The Verdict: I slept great last night. I have a lot of congestion but I got some good sleep.
Using whiskey, honey, lemon, and peppermint, this homemade cough syrup is just what you need for sleepless coughing nights.
- 1 peppermint stick, large
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup bourbon or whiskey
- 1.5 cups raw honey
- Melt 1/4 a peppermint stick in 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of lemon juice (or juice of 1 lemon).
- Add a half of cup of Southern Comfort and 1.5 cups of raw honey to pot and reduce heat.
- Stir to combine. Put 1/4 of a peppermint stick in jar.
- Using a funnel, pour the mixture over 1/4 of peppermint stick (total of 1/2 of peppermint stick used.)
- Let it cool. Store in cool dry place.
Dosing: 1-2 Tablespoons every 3-4 hours as needed. No need to swig the jar.
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.
- 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
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Optional: Chamomile teabag or another type of tea;
1 teaspoon ginger or cinnamon
- Heat the water on the stovetop in a kettle until it boils.
- 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.
- Once the water boils, pour it into a large mug and allow the tea to steep for 3 minutes if making tea.
- 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.
- Mix well to combine evenly and drink.
Lemon Honey Cough Syrup Nighttime Suppressant
Total Time: 5 minutes | Prep Time: 3 minutes | Serves: 1
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Optional: 1 teaspoon ginger or cinnamon; 1/2 teaspoon water
- 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.
- Measure out and add 1 tablespoon of honey to the lemon juice.
- For warming and soothing properties, add 1 teaspoon of ginger or cinnamon if desired.
- 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.
- Use a spoon to ingest the cough syrup.
Large Batch Lemon Honey Cough Syrup
Total Time: 5 minutes | Prep Time: 3 minutes | Serves: 24
- 2 lemons
- 12-ounce bottle of honey
- Optional: 1/3 ginger root
- 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.
- If using, slice the ginger root thinly and add to the jar as well.
- Using a spoon to lift the lemon and ginger slices to combine evenly, pour the bottle of honey over the lemon and ginger slices.
- 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.
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.
Do not give honey to a child under a year old; it can cause a dangerous food poisoning known as botulism.
It's that time again: Chilly weather starts to creep in, a tingle forms in your throat and then — a cough. Rather than reach for the medicine cabinet, a cup of hot water with lemon and honey for cough issues may be a more natural way to help. Here's why this trio works and how to make it.
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Lemon Honey Water for a Cough
According to Brigham and Women's Hospital, a cough is a reflux designed to help clear phlegm that is built up in your throat and airways. Some common causes of cough, per Brigham, range from environmental irritants to such conditions as:
- Upper respiratory infections.
- Lung cancer or diseases.
Brigham notes that having an occasional cough is normal, but if your cough lingers for weeks or comes with discolored or bloody mucus, it's time to chat with your doctor.
Even without underlying conditions, a cough can be uncomfortable and irritating. To help minimize that discomfort, according to experts, drinking a combination of lemon juice, honey and hot water (aka honey lemon water) can help provide relief and be a comforting home remedy.
"Honey is soothing on the throat, lemon boosts immunity and water keeps us hydrated and helps to flush toxins out of the body, keep the body cool and supports overall wellbeing," says Amy Shapiro, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder and director of the New York City-based private practice Real Nutrition. "So pairing them together can help to assist in cough reduction."
Benefits of Lemon Honey Water
How does this drink take action against your cough? "Lemon is very high in vitamin C and therefore can boost immunity, increase the production of white blood cells to fight infection and may reduce the duration of your cough," Shapiro says.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one wedge or slice of lemon yields enough juice to provide 3.7 milligrams of vitamin C. And if you squeeze half a lemon, that's worth 9.3 milligrams of C, USDA says. For context, the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C is 90 milligrams for adult males and 75 milligrams for females, Office of Dietary Supplements reports.
Shapiro also recommends you "rinse your mouth out regularly to remove acid and decrease enamel erosion."
And what about honey? In a December 2014 study published in Canadian Family Physician, researchers found that honey was shown to reduce coughs in length and frequency in children. However, honey is not recommended for infants under the age of one due to the risk of botulism, a rare but serious illness that's caused by a toxin that attacks the body's nerves, which can cause difficulty breathing, paralysis and even death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Honey can help by soothing your throat when it's irritated from coughing. "Honey's ability to coat the throat can reduce mucus secretion and decrease cough sensation," Shapiro says. Honey is a natural source of sugar, though, so while a spoonful of "sugar" can help the medicine go down, it's best not to overdo it, Shapiro says. A little goes a long way.
But will any old lemon or honey work? Lemon and honey are simple ingredients you might already have at home, but fresh is always best, Shapiro says. "You want all of the antimicrobial effects of honey and the freshest lemon juice, as antioxidants and vitamin C can diminish as it sits shelf stable or exposed to light," she says.
According to a November 2018 study in AIMS Microbiology, in comparison to other types of honey, manuka honey has an added antimicrobial component that helps boost its healing benefits.
How to Make Lemon Honey Water for a Cough
Ready to whip up a mug of lemon honey water for some throat relief? Shapiro suggests keeping fresh lemons and raw or manuka honey for cough relief in stock. Here's her recipe:
Whether you opt for tea with honey or sliced onions, these home remedies may help keep your cough in check.
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Believe it or not, a cough is actually a good thing. It’s your body’s way of clearing your airways in response to an irritant, according to the Mayo Clinic. But a cough can also keep you up all night and make you generally miserable — and sometimes it feels like it’s never going to go away.
If you're struggling with how to get rid of a cough, here’s the good news: Most coughs clear up on their own without treatment. In the meantime, there are several natural remedies for cough that have proven benefits, says Stephen Russell, MD, a physician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham department of medicine and an expert in upper respiratory infections.
Here are Russell’s tips for how to stop coughing attacks and some of his favorite home remedies for cough, many of which you probably already have in your kitchen or medicine cabinet.
Have Some Honey — It’s a Natural Cough Suppressant
If you enjoy the taste of honey, you're in luck. “Hot liquids with honey can soothe and treat cough for short-term periods,” says Dr. Russell. Use plain hot water or a favorite hot tea, and add honey and lemon to taste (the lemon is just for flavor).
Honey right from the spoon is another low-cost cough home remedy with proven benefits. In a study published in the journal Pediatric Clinics of North America, children age 2 and older with upper respiratory tract infections resulting in cough were given up to 2 teaspoons of honey at bedtime. Not only did the honey reduce nighttime coughing, it also improved sleep. Another study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that honey had modest benefits in reducing nocturnal cough in children ages 2–18. But never give honey to children under age 1, Russell says, because in rare cases it can cause infant botulism.
Suck on Lozenges or Hard Candy to Help Stimulate Saliva
Lozenges and hard candy help stimulate saliva or increase secretions in the mouth, which can dampen any cough you may have, explains Russell. This works especially well as a dry cough remedy, he adds. There is not a lot of scientific evidence to back up herbal lozenges like those containing zinc, vitamin C, and echinacea, notes Russell, but they may have modest benefits — even if it’s just a placebo effect — and none of them are harmful.
Drink Fluids for Hydration and to Boost Your Immune System
Drinking fluids of all kinds, especially warm ones, like hot water, chicken soup, and tea, is another good home remedy for a cough, says Russell. “Many people who have a cough tend to get dehydrated,” he explains. In addition to hydration, fluids also help your immune system fight off the source of the infection or virus that may be causing your cough, and soothe the sore throat that is common with a cough, he adds.
Gargling May Make Your Cough Go Away Faster
Have some table salt at home? Go ahead and add some to warm water and gargle with it. In a small study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, simple water gargling tended to weaken the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections (aka the common cold) and even prevent the infections from happening in the first place. In a pilot study published in January 2019 in Scientific Reports, gargling with warm salt water (along with nasal irrigation) was also been shown to have some benefits for improving cold symptoms and reducing the duration of symptoms like cough.
Use a Humidifier or Take a Steamy Shower to Ease Congestion
If you've ever noticed your cough or congestion easing up as you enjoy a hot bath or shower, then you know the value of humidity for easing cold symptoms. You can create this simple cough remedy at home by taking a steamy shower or by using a cool mist humidifier. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, and cool-mist humidifiers may help ease coughing and congestion due to a cold, according to the Mayo Clinic. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s directions to keep your humidifier clean and avoid encouraging bacteria and mold.
Cut Up an Onion to Relieve Your Cough (or So People Say)
Many people start to cry the minute they begin chopping up an onion. But while there isn’t any science behind it, some people swear that the strong vapor an onion emits when it’s cut helps relieve a cough, says Russell. Before you go to bed, cut an onion into quarters and leave it on a plate on your bedside table or at the foot of the bed. Although using onions may sound like nothing more than an old wives' tale, Russell says it's quite popular in Spain and France.
Use Over-the-Counter Cough Medicine if Nothing Else Works
If you've tried other cough remedies and you’re contemplating the stash of cough and cold products in your medicine cabinet, read the labels first. “Studies have shown that those with dextromethorphan may be slightly better than placebo in helping to reduce cough,” says Russell. Products that contain pseudoephedrine can help stop postnasal drip from a virus or allergies and may also reduce cough, he adds. But these medications have their limitations: Dextromethorphan is not safe for children under age 5, notes Russell, and pseudoephedrine tends to increase blood pressure and heart rate.
When it comes to nighttime cough medicines like Benadryl (diphenhydramine), they typically contain an antihistamine that makes you feel sleepy, as well as helping to stop your cough. Benadryl may have side effects for people over age 65, such as reducing stability in the middle of the night. Russell advises trying natural remedies before turning to cough medicines, and then proceeding with caution.
Drinking honey lemon water can be soothing and refreshing.
Lemon and honey are two ingredients with many health benefits. It’s no wonder there’s a popular belief that combining them into one drink can improve your health.
Health Benefits of Honey
Honey has been used as a sweetener and medicine for thousands of years. It’s a complex liquid that may have as many as 181 components, like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, and more.
It has many health benefits, including these:
Helps with healing. Honey has long been used for healing wounds and burns because of its antibacterial properties. In lab studies, it’s been found to have strong activity against different bacteria. More studies are needed to find if it does the same in people.
Some types of honey have been used as a dressing for burns, skin ulcers, and inflammation. It’s also been successfully used on skin grafts.
High inantioxidants. Honey is high in phenolic acids and flavonoids, which have antioxidant activity. This helps protect you against some types of cell damage.
Helps with coughs.Coughs and upper respiratory tract infections are common among children. But over-the-counter medications carry risks like insomnia and drowsiness.
A study of 300 children with upper respiratory tract infections found that those who took honey improved faster than those in the placebo group. Their coughs become less frequent and less severe. The parents and children also slept better.
In a different study, honey was found to be slightly better than the cough medicine diphenhydramine in reducing how often children coughed.
Not for babies. Don’t give honey to babies under the age of 1 year. This is because of the risk of a serious type of food poisoning called botulism.
Health Benefits of Lemon
Lemons are used not only in desserts and drinks but also for medicinal purposes.
Some of the health benefits of lemon are:
High in vitamin C. The juice of one lemon (48 grams) gives you 18 milligrams of Vitamin C.
This is about 20% of the recommended daily amount for adults.
Prevents kidney stones. Lemons and other citrus fruits have citrate. This helps to stop kidney stones from forming. The juice of two lemons a day increases citrate in your urine and can help lower your risk of kidney stones.
Benefits of Drinking More Water
Your body needs water to survive. Your organs, tissues, and cells all need water to work properly. There’s no officially recommended daily allowance of water. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend that:
- Men drink 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day
- Women drink 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day
If you’re not fond of plain water, adding honey and lemon to it may encourage you to drink more.
One study of over 9,500 people found that those who don’t drink enough water tend to be obese or overweight.
Makes you less hungry. When you drink water before a meal, you’ll feel less hungry.
If you’re middle aged or older, drinking about 16 fluid ounces of water before meals may ease your hunger pangs and make you feel fuller.
In a 12-week study, adults who drank 500 milliliters (about 16 fluid ounces) of water before each meal lost about 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) more weight than those who didn’t.
Helps with congestion. Drinking warm liquids such as hot water can help you clear mucus from your airways and ease congestion.
Honey Lemon Water Benefits and Claims
While scientific evidence has backed many health benefits of honey and lemon, there have been almost no studies done on honey lemon water.
Mixing honey and lemon in water may provide you with the health benefits from the individual ingredients.
You may have read some claims about honey lemon water, but many of the following don’t have any scientific research to back them up:
“It helps youdetox.” There are claims that honey lemon water helps get rid of toxins. But you don’t need to detox your body. Your kidneys, liver, and digestive system do that every day.
“It helps improve your skin.” Honey has many healing properties when used on wounds and skin conditions. Yet there’s a lack of evidence that drinking honey or honey lemon water can improve your skin.
In one study, applying honey to the skin actually made acne worse in some participants.
“It burns fat.” Foods don’t burn fat or help you lose weight faster. But if you switch from drinking high-calorie sodas to honey lemon water, you’ll take in less sugar and calories.
A tablespoon of honey has 60 calories and 16 grams of sugar. If you mix 12 ounces of water with 1 tablespoon of honey (or less), this will be less sugar and calories than drinking the same amount of soda. A 12-ounce can of regular soda contains 155 calories with 42 grams of sugar.
How to Make Honey Lemon Water
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a glass of warm water. Add a teaspoon of honey. Adjust the amount of lemon and honey to suit your taste.
Honey is an added sugar, so don’t use too much. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to 6 teaspoons (100 calories) a day for women and 9 teaspoons (150 calories) a day for men.
After drinking honey lemon water, rinse your mouth with water. This will prevent the citric acid in the lemon juice from eroding the enamel of your teeth. It also helps to drink it warm instead of steaming hot.
American Heart Association: “Added Sugars.”
ANNALS OF FAMILY MEDICINE: “Inadequate Hydration, BMI, and Obesity Among US Adults: NHANES 2009–2012.”
Canadian Family Physician: “Honey for treatment of cough in children.”
Chest: “Effects of drinking hot water, cold water, and chicken soup on nasal mucus velocity and nasal airflow resistance.”
Eating Behaviors: “Beverage Consumption and Adult Weight Management: A Review.”
FLUSHING HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER: “The Surprising Benefits of Hot Water and Lemon.”
General Medicine: Open Access: “Honey and its Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Oxidant Properties.”
Harvard Health Publishing: “5 things that can help you take a pass on kidney stones.”
JAAD International: “Complementary and alternative medicine treatments for common skin diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis.”
MAYO CLINIC: “10 nutrition myths debunked,” “Nutrition and healthy eating.”
Obesity: “Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention in Middle-aged and Older Adults.”
USDA: “HONEY,” “Lemon juice, raw,” “Pepsi Cola 12 Fluid Ounce Aluminum Can.”