Home Remedy for a Cough

'Tis the season.
Being around lots of people, kissing and hugging everyone, spreading holiday cheer and holiday germs!

The ugly cold and flu season comes hand in hand with egg nog and mistletoe.
Sorry to be such a killjoy.

I am not sure how you feel about homeopathy, holistic medicine or herbal remedies to treat minor ailments such as the common cold, eczema, toe fungus (ew) as opposed to good old fashioned drugs.

But I am all for it.

I am not a health practitioner or nutritionist, (I just play one on tv), so make up your own mind.

Most medical doctors think alternative medicine is milarchy, as when I mention to them that I am taking an herbal remedy to treat something, they just smile or raise their eyebrows.

I rarely go to a doctor, and never for a cold. I am always surprised when people tell me they are on antibiotics to treat a common cold! In most cases, the body will heal itself.

However, when you have a cough that persists, a fever or something that is just weird (like a big ugly red circle on your nose), then of course, don't be stubborn and try and treat it yourself, go see the doctor.

I had a cold that turned into a miserable cough (that is my pattern). An unproductive, dry cough, that would not let me (or my husband!) sleep. MISERY.

I went to the doctor to make sure I did not have pneumonia or strep throat and I was all clear, just a nasty bout of bronchitis.
Here were his recommendations:



TAKE THE FAMOUS Z-PACK (zithromyacin).

"Why do I need antibiotics if it's viral?", I asked. He said he wanted to be careful that it didn't turn into something like pneumonia and if I were not getting on a plane in a few days, he wouldn't prescribe them to me.

Fair enough. I obeyed and took them. 5 day treatment.

Results: Stomach gut spasms, diarrhea and other fun stuff, like a beautiful filmy yeast on my tongue (HAPPENS EVERY TIME I TAKE ANTIBIOTICS!). (sorry if you came here for a recipe today............it's coming, and yeast is not involved).

Ok, I'm done with the meds, but I still have a cough and can't sleep.

So many friends have given their good advice: Oil of Oregano (which I do take); Jewish penicillin (chicken soup); gargle w/ salt water; a spoonful of melted butter with lemon & honey (yum); a mixture of baking soda and something; stand on your head and do a scissor kick 10 times............the list goes on and on.

My friend Rosemary sent me this remedy from the book Herbally Yours, with old herbal remedies, published in 1982.
Here is the website written by a nurse, and here is a blogger who made it so you can see what it looks like.

I felt desperate, so I made the concoction, hey it was worth a try.

It wouldn't make me drowsy like codeine cough syrup, and I could operate heavy machinery while taking it.

It wouldn't make feel irritable like crack Claritin D does (hate the stuff).

And it wouldn't make my sinuses dry like a desert like Sudafed.

What did I have to lose?

I took a few tablespoonfulls during the day, and I finally got a good nights sleep!!!
For some reason, it helped my cough and all of my other symptons.

Maybe due to the healing properties in ginger, or cayenne pepper?
It doesn't cure you, it just helps in the healing process.

You be the judge, it certainly is worth a try!

Some people want you to use Bragg's cider vinegar and local honey. At the time, I did not have either, and I was sick, so not running out to find these items. I used what I had on hand.

The second time I made this, I used the Bragg's and local Oldwick, NJ honey.

Home Remedy Herbal Cough Syrup: (adapted from Herbally Yours):

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (preferably Bragg's)
2 tablespoons honey (locally produced raw honey preferably)
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

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

Leave at room temperature for a few days or place in the refrigerator for longer storage. Shake well each time, before using. The spices will not dissolve into the liquid. It will not be a thick syrup, it should remain watery.

I actually liked the taste!

Take as needed and have a happy and healthy holiday season!

Thanks Rosemary for the recipe and for delivering the Bragg's vinegar the next day!

Health is wealth.


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I agree health is wealth, I always say that after I heard you say it to me once. I'm like you I rarely run to the doctor, I have oil of oregano, colloidal silver, brags apple cider, probiodics and even tumeric for joint pain on hand. So far so good!
I will make your concoction if I get a bad cough.
Jen said…
I totally believe in hermal remedies.
Speaking of toe fungus (sorry!), my yellow toenails were good as new from a drop of oil of oregano everyday for 2 weeks, it took years of medications and nothing would help them!
I am a believer!
Moose said…
Homeopathy, the concept that diluting something so much that water retains a "memory" of the thing, is pure nonsense.

That said: There is absolutely nothing wrong with most basic, home-grown, out-of-the-kitchen recipes for treating simple symptoms. Many have been used for hundreds of years. For lots of people, peppermint tea soothes an upset stomach better than pink slime in a bottle. For years, people have used cucumbers as a cosmetic aid. That headache you have? May simply be dehydration; try drinking some water. And don't forget that "Jewish Penicillin" - chicken soup - is actually proved to help people with colds and flu to get better faster.

Frankly, I would worry about any doctor who prescribed an antibiotic as a precaution, when no sign of bacteria was around. There are exceptions to this: people with weakened immune systems and chronic diseases like diabetes tend to need such prevention, as one illness can trigger the onset of others.

But for anyone healthy, a doctor should never prescribe an unneeded antibiotic, and any that does should be fired. Preferably out of a cannon.
Natalia said…
Sounds like I had something very similar to you - my doc also gave me the Z-pack and I'm still coughing and sniffling so I'm going to try your suggested concoction.

My husband has bee hives in our upstate NY house so I've been coating my throat twice daily with his harvested honey, but I'm sure this will do the trick for me.

Feel better Stacey.
Unknown said…
Hello Stacey
Hope you are feeling well by now.
Being a Homeopath, I cannot help but smile at some comments about the "memory" of water. Since I’m not here to prove or to convince, all I can say is if it works, who cares how!
That being said, since you took the antibiotics, I would strongly advise you to take probiotics since the antibiotics, as the name so aptly suggests kill, without distinction, the good as well as the bad bacteria in your system causing serious unbalances leading to worse conditions than the simple flu or cold. Antibiotics should never be prescribed for prevention. It can only kill what is already there, not prevent something from ‘’coming on’’.
When we have a ‘’cold’’, it is simply our bodies trying to tell us that we need to rest, it’s usually a sign of exhaustion. When our system is overworked, overtired, our immune system is at it’s lowest and anything can ‘’get in’’. So dear, take a lot of rest and a lot of fluids to flush out the bad stuff.
Wishing you and all your friends out there, a safe and healthy New Year!
Love from cold Qu├ębec!
I swear by Thieves oil from Young Living. My daily go to tonic...feel betterxoxoxo
Thanks Stacey. I was looking for a home remedy medicine for my cough. I don't like taking tablets of medicines from the drugstore. My granny always said the home remedies works best.
If only I'd seen this post a few days ago. It hurts to cough (or even laugh). I caught a miserable cold on Christmas Day. So much for our NYE and our wedding anniversary dinner. The cough was the worst part. It's almost done, but I'd still give this one a try.
Happy New Year!