If you want to naturally relieve a cough, learn how to make this soothing herbal cough syrup that includes ginger, honey and thyme. (h/t to TheOrganicPrepper.com)
This recipe is easy to make and you only need ingredients that you may already have in your pantry.
Health benefits of ginger and thyme
Ginger is a spicy, pungent herb that’s often used for cooking and natural remedies.
Studies have confirmed one of ginger’s medicinal uses: treatment of sore throats. Ginger may help sore throats in several ways. It can help provide some pain relief because it is a natural anti-inflammatory. Ginger also boosts immunity to help fight infections that cause sore throats.
Ginger contains bioactive compounds, which are phytonutrients found in certain foods that have health benefits. The herb contains two notable bioactive compounds: gingerols and shogaols.
Research suggests that these compounds have anti-inflammatory properties that may help manage or reduce the risk for many conditions like sore throat.
Data also suggest that ginger has antimicrobial properties that may help fight bacterial or viral infections, like those that cause sore throats.
Ginger also has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can help protect against certain diseases. According to a study, fresh ginger had more antioxidative benefits than dried ginger.
Meanwhile, thyme is an herb from the mint family. It is another common herb often used to cook many savory dishes.
This versatile herb produces thyme essential oil, which is obtained from its leaves. The essential oil is often used as a natural cough remedy.
In a 2006 study, researchers discovered that a combination of thyme and ivy leaves helped to alleviate coughing and other symptoms of acute bronchitis.
In another 2018 study, results showed that a combination of thyme and primula extracts can reduce inflammation and mucus in an animal model.
Homemade cough syrup recipe
Gather the ingredients in the list below and follow the instructions to make this soothing cough syrup at home.
Prepare this batch early if you want to have it ready for winter colds and the flu. The mixture has to rest for six weeks before the final steps. (Related: 5 Effective cough remedies you can make at home.)
Measure the ingredients when making the cough syrup. You can place the ginger and thyme in the jar then fill it with liquid.
- Fresh ginger
- Thyme, fresh or dried
- Vodka or another clear alcohol
- Stuff a large jar full of clean, fresh thyme or half-fill it with dried thyme. Either buy dried thyme or dry herbs at home using a dehydrator.
- Take a hunk of fresh ginger. Slice the ginger into chunks, then squash it with the side of the knife to release more of the juices. Add the ginger to the jar.
- Fill the jar with vodka or your choice of clear alcohol. You can use either cheap vodka or organic alcohol.
- Put the lid on the jar and set it aside on the counter. Make sure you shake the jar every day for the next six weeks.
Mark your calendar so you don’t forget when you started the batch and when the six weeks are up. Note that the liquid will take on a brownish tint after several days.
This is normal, so don’t throw away the syrup.
Finishing the homemade ginger, honey and thyme cough syrup
After six weeks have passed, it’s time to finish the batch of cough syrup.
- The finished ginger, thyme and vodka concoction
- Honey (Use raw honey for best results.)
- More thyme
- Strain the ginger, thyme and vodka concoction. You can use a mesh sieve lined with a clean flour sack towel. Place the sieve in a large bowl or cooking pot, then carefully pour the mixture into the sieve. Let the mixture drain while you prepare the honey.
- Using a double boiler, fill the top container with raw honey. Use approximately a 3:1 alcohol-to-honey ratio. Make the syrup sweet enough so that your family can swallow it easily. You also need to use enough honey to soothe your throat on the way down.
- Add fresh or dried thyme to the honey. Use whatever amount you have on hand. If you’re buying thyme, you will need a bundle or two of fresh thyme from the produce section of the grocery store.
- Put a lid on the double boiler and the mixture to a simmer, but don’t let it boil. Keep the heat low enough to simmer the syrup for at least two hours.
- After the syrup has simmered, you should have well-drained alcohol in the other pot. Squeeze the flour sack towel to get the last drops of thyme-ginger syrup.
- Once the honey is liquid, pour it through a colander to get the big pieces of thyme out of it. Don’t use the flour sack towel because you want as much of the honey to get into the alcohol concoction.
- Stir the alcohol and honey well to combine them.
- Decant the syrup into bottles and take it as needed. Use amber glass bottles to protect the contents from light.
How to use the ginger, honey and thyme cough syrup
The ginger, honey and thyme cough syrup can be taken in several ways. Give it to someone with a cough by the spoonful, like over-the-counter cough syrup or add it to hot water to make a soothing tea.
Note that the syrup isn’t suitable for children because of its alcohol content.
Relieve cough or flu symptoms with homemade ginger, honey and thyme cough syrup.
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