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Home remedy for sore throats, hacking coughs, and tight congestion. good food matters: Fresh and simple tastes, recipes and stories from Chef Nancy Vienneau   February 7th, 2012 Home Remedy Today’s post is a bit of a departure. It is not focused on food or drink. There’s no stunning roast or plate of pasta. No cooling beverage. No beguiling dessert. And yet, there is a recipe. An easy one, too, using four items found in most pantries: Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey, Ginger, and Cayenne… plus some water. And, so quick to put together, so beneficial, I had to share it with you. Pronto! Combined, I learned from Maggie, that quartet of pantry ingredients creates a potent remedy to some of the ails of winter: Sore throat, hacking cough, tight congestion. Combined, they turn into a curious orange syrup that can cut through the croup. And, the taste is really good! Like you, we’ve been trying to duck the dreaded cold germs: wash our hands, eat well, get enough sleep, stay warm. Sometimes even the most valiant efforts get foiled. I first mixed up a batch for Bill over the holidays, when he caught a cold accompanied by a strangling cough. The Remedy went right to work, acting as both a calming agent and expectorant. So, last month, when I felt run down, tight with a tickle in the throat, I shook up a little Remedy. A spoonful or two seemed to break its hold, suppress the devilish tickle. Just last night, Bill came home after a long workday. His voice was spent, and he had that dull, woozy feeling you get when the onset of a cold is trying to make its way into your head. He snatched up the little bottle, gave it a vigorous shake, and poured a tablespoonful. “Ahhhh. This is the Good Stuff,” he said. I’m not saying it’s a cure-all, or some homeopathic miracle drug. But it did a mighty fine job taking the place of store-bought cough suppressants, expectorants, decongestants… Wouldn’t you rather have a dose of spicy honey-cider syrup from a little jar mixed up in the kitchen than any of those bottles lurking in the medicine cabinet? I thought so. Stay warm. Stay healthy. Take good care. And, if need be, take your remedy. MAGGIE’S COUGH REMEDY ¼ teaspoon Cayenne ¼ teaspoon Ginger 1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar (an organic one, like Bragg’s, is preferred.) 2 Tablespoon Water 1 Tablespoon Honey (use a locally produced raw honey, if possible.) Dissolve cayenne and ginger in cider vinegar and water. Add honey and shake well. Take 1 Tablespoon as needed for cough. Hoo-wee. Note: This is potent albeit watery syrup. It also doesn’t dissolve perfectly. Always shake well before using. If you make this in small batches as the recipe is written, there is no need to refrigerate. If you prefer, you may refrigerate this. It keeps as long as you need it. I like to make small batches (it is so easy to mix up.) and use it up in a just a few days. IMPORTANT MESSAGE: This remedy and dosage are for adults. I have no personal experience giving this to children, and cannot recommend it for children. Many have reported on this site (see comments) that they have had great success administering the remedy in smaller doses to their kids. This is those parents personal choice, which I respect. If the remedy has helped their family, I am grateful. But it is not my recommendation. Moreover, Honey should NEVER be given in any form to children under the age of one year, due to the risk of infant botulism–hence the remedy should never, under any circumstances , be given to an infant. All best wishes for good health and speedy recoveries, Nancy Blooming Daffodil, photographed Sunday, February 5, 2012. Beautiful, and the earliest I have ever had this flower bloom in my yard. Posted in Articles, Home Remedies 787 Responses to “Home Remedy” Denise | Chez Danisse Says: February 7th, 2012 at 2:15 pm I’d far prefer this to anything I’d find in the drugstore. Thanks, Nancy. Tracy Says: February 7th, 2012 at 3:00 pm Your post made me happy. Kath Says: February 8th, 2012 at 5:10 am Ooh now looks like just the thing my husband needs at the moment. I love the daffodil! Michele | Cooking At Home Says: February 8th, 2012 at 5:20 am A warm and cozy elixir. Feel better! Kitchen Belleicious Says: February 8th, 2012 at 6:25 am sure wish I would have had this post 2 weeks ago. I woke up one morning and couldn’t even swallow much less talk. Bet you can imagine how well that went over with my 2 yr old! great remedy- storing this one away Barbara Says: February 8th, 2012 at 6:34 am You can bet I wrote that down and saved it! Kind of an improved twist on mother’s old honey/lemon/whiskey cough remedy. Thanks, Nancy! Tammy Says: February 8th, 2012 at 7:19 am bookmarking this one Nancy! We’ve had a relatively mild winter in terms of sickness but this will be good to have on hand. Nancy Says: February 8th, 2012 at 7:33 am WOW, a home made cough medicine!!!! I will for sure try this for I hate the taste of any of the cough medicines OTC. YUCK! Oh yes, LOVE the daffodil!!!! Mine have been blooming for a few days also and my snowdrops too. Such a pretty picture you took; just puts a smile on my face! Thanks,Nancy from Maryville Teresa/foodonfifth.com Says: February 8th, 2012 at 7:41 am I do not have a scratchy throat, watering eyes or general malaise, but Maggie’s cough syrup sounds good to me. My mother used to concoct a mixture of honey, lemon & bourbon for when we had sore throats! By today’s standards that would be unheard of, but it did the trick. Maggie’s recipe sounds much more kid and adult friendly! My trees are budding out, grass is green…like your pretty daffodil they are all confused by this warm winter we have had…just like us. Wonderful post. Maggie Says: February 8th, 2012 at 7:57 am Nancy, thank you for sharing this with your readers – it is good stuff!! goodfoodmatters Says: February 8th, 2012 at 8:56 am Hi Friends–glad this post is resonating–it’s a great one to stow away when the need arrives. It is reminiscent of the lemon-bourbon-honey trick, but I think the cider vinegar–especially infused with cayenne and ginger—is more powerful. And, there’s no alcohol. Cathey Says: February 8th, 2012 at 9:34 am Your timing couldn’t be better. While preparing the garden for those early peas last week the dreaded sniffles, sore throat and stuffy head descended. Thank you, Nancy JP & Lynn Evans Says: February 8th, 2012 at 10:13 am Bill is a lucky man indeed. Joyti Says: February 8th, 2012 at 10:23 am Ooo, I’ll try it next time I get a cold. Although I hope it won’t be soon. Nancy Says: February 8th, 2012 at 2:07 pm love this! i make something similar with lemon juice when i have a cold, but it doesn’t keep very long — using acv is genius! going to make up a jar very soon. Nicole Says: February 8th, 2012 at 2:21 pm Wow! I have been taking apple cider vinegar when I’ve felt under the weather this season. Mixed with water and some honey or maple syrup. Apparently Hippocrates used it! Good to have this recipe because I never take conventional drugs (as long as I can avoid it!) Chandani Says: February 8th, 2012 at 3:41 pm Oh my you already have daffodil in your yard, that is amazing. And that is great herbal and homemade recipe. heather Says: February 9th, 2012 at 2:59 am This is great! Thank you Nancy. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best Says: February 9th, 2012 at 9:33 am The weather has been both amazing and bizarre this year, hasn’t it? I’m always looking for something that can address the seriously gnarly cough that comes out of nowhere. It addition to being all natural this saves a trip to the drugstore. goodfoodmatters Says: February 9th, 2012 at 11:25 am Cathey-glad I posted it in time. good for you, getting the garden prepped for early peas. Joyti–I hope none of us needs it! Nichole–I think that the health benefits of apple cider vinegar are far-reaching. Hippocrates knew! Christine–I agree: amazing AND bizarre, hence my urge to post the Way-early bloomer from my yard. this kind of whip-stitch weather can lower your resistance to the nasties. Tracy Says: February 9th, 2012 at 12:44 pm Just an update…we’ll be shaking up a batch tonight. Roberto is starting a sore throat and I’m feeling sympathy sickness :) goodfoodmatters Says: February 9th, 2012 at 1:57 pm uh-oh! hopefully the remedy will help knock it down fast! Mary Says: February 9th, 2012 at 8:46 pm This sounds amazing. I just pinned it to try soon! Thank you so much. Beth Says: February 10th, 2012 at 7:19 am I’ve never seen a recipe like this posted before, but it’s such a great idea. Thanks for posting! (And I hope I don’t need it.) Caroline Says: February 10th, 2012 at 2:19 pm What a wonderful post, Nancy! I should make this for my mom and drive it down to her, as her antibiotics haven’t been working! Dan McDonald Says: February 10th, 2012 at 3:18 pm I’m sure the taste beats an OTC remedy, I’m going to try this when I need to! But hopefully not anytime soon. FOODESSA Says: February 10th, 2012 at 4:10 pm Many times we see recipes shared by our blogger friends and get enthused about making it sometime soon. At the time, we really are excited about the recipe…but not as much as I’m excited about this one Nancy. Your testimonial about this concoction has me convinced. I’ve had lung weaknesses more times than I care to mention. I love the combo of ingredients…and better yet…I have all of them in my pantry ;o) Again, mille grazie! Ciao and have a wonderful weekend, Claudia Faith Says: February 12th, 2012 at 9:08 am This is brilliant, Nancy! Once it’s mixed, do you keep it in the fridge or at room temp, and about how long will it keep? Thanks for sharing! goodfoodmatters Says: February 12th, 2012 at 9:34 am Faith, We’ve kept it at room temp. There’s nothing in it to spoil–the vinegar keeps it stable. Generally, it’s gotten used up within a week, as it’s been needed. When you start with a small batch–one recipe—you’ll use it up in a couple of days. Jessica Says: February 12th, 2012 at 12:11 pm Thanks for sharing! I’ve never gotten around to using one with cayenne, despite hearing of its benefits. Just gave it a shot now and if nothing else, the simple kick it gives you is enough to be worth making a batch! Kiran @ KiranTarun.com Says: February 13th, 2012 at 10:53 pm Thanks for sharing — I recently recovered from a long and painful cold & cough. This remedy is similar to what I had, and I can tell you it worked wonders :) Juliana Says: February 14th, 2012 at 2:21 pm Nancy, thank you so much for this recipe, I sure will save it for when is needed…I much prefer home remedies. Have a great week :) FatemehLoves Says: June 24th, 2012 at 5:12 pm I made something similar when I was sick recently. I used an onion, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, and carrot juice. It was so smelly and so hard to keep it down. I had to make a taste orange chaser to get it down but it was still pretty difficult. Bottom line- I got better in a few hours! -Fatemeh ❤s Meagan Says: July 12th, 2012 at 3:49 pm Thanks for the post. Found it via pinterest. Great timing as my family is sick right now. Have you used it with kids before? Would you recommend it for them? (I have a 3 yr old and 1 year old). goodfoodmatters Says: July 12th, 2012 at 4:04 pm Hi Meagan–I have never used it with kids, and so cannot recommend. there is nothing in the list of ingredients that would hurt anyone, adult or child, although a child’s palate might find it harsh. Of course, a child’s dosage would be much smaller. best to you and your family. Brenna Says: July 13th, 2012 at 8:47 am My boyfriend is allergic to most ingredients in cough syrups; I’m so glad I found something that will help to ease his discomfort when he gets a cold or a tickle! Thank you so much! Theressa Douglass Says: July 18th, 2012 at 4:09 am This is so great! With my two children who occasionally get sore throats, a little cough, I can just whip this up at home and not worry about over-dosing my children with medications that can have so many side effects. Thank you for sharing!!! Carol Says: July 18th, 2012 at 6:10 pm So, you only make 4 T. at a time? If I made a small jar’s worth how long would it keep? goodfoodmatters Says: July 18th, 2012 at 7:36 pm Hi Carol, You can certainly make a double or triple batch at a time–I have done that. It should keep fine for a week. I wanted to give you the basic recipe, which might get used up within a couple of days. EJ Says: July 24th, 2012 at 8:42 am My mother in law, who we all refer to as “Nuna” always made a similar syrup that actually got rid of my son’s throat nodules when he was a young boy. He was always hoarse so I took him to the doctor’s office. The doctor said he had to just whisper and no chorus in school until his next appointment, then he would schedule him for surgery to remove the nodules. Well, in six weeks, I took him back to the doctor and to his amazement, he could not even find where the nodules were – there weren’t even scar tissues and my son’s voice was back to normal. Now this is a true story. Emmie Says: July 25th, 2012 at 7:01 am I’ve just made up your recipe for the cough syrup, x3. It seems rather watery – should it be? goodfoodmatters Says: July 25th, 2012 at 7:41 am HI Emmie–yes it is not thick, like a syrup. Lisa Says: July 28th, 2012 at 1:13 pm I have had a miserable cold for the last two days so I just made a batch. In the second it took for my eyes to bug out from how spicy hot it was my nose was already feeling better. It’s been about ten minutes and I am a believer. This is the most relief I’ve had and I didn’t really think it would work. I don’t recommend this for small children, though…really, really hot! goodfoodmatters Says: July 28th, 2012 at 1:58 pm Hi Lisa–thanks for sharing your experience. Best wishes for a speedy recovery! Emily Says: July 30th, 2012 at 5:12 am This is the good stuff! I’ve been making it for years and 4x the recipe. Makes a little over 2 cups and keeps well in one of those funky shaped POM bottles. I also take it with a shot glass. LOL And it is also a pretty good marinade! jacquie Says: July 30th, 2012 at 3:07 pm I just made a batch and for some reason my pepper didn’t dissolve well. Does the mixture look grainy also goodfoodmatters Says: July 30th, 2012 at 3:19 pm Hi Jacquie I have found that you always need to shake it vigorously in the jar before getting your spoonful. The pepper does tend to separate a little bit. I am wondering if your honey slightly crystallized? (if it is cool/cold) Make sure all ingredients are fresh. Thelma Says: August 2nd, 2012 at 1:52 pm Hi Does this coughh syrup need to be refrigerated, and how long does is last?Where do you store this? goodfoodmatters Says: August 2nd, 2012 at 2:21 pm Thelma, I make it up in small batches, which tend to get used up in a matter of days. I don’t refrigerate the small batch. If you want to make a larger batch, I would refrigerate it. Make sure the container is very clean, with clean, tight cap. There’s really nothing in it that would go bad. Nonetheless, I’d use it within a couple of weeks. Mayra Says: August 2nd, 2012 at 4:08 pm Can kids take this? Like the ages 2 and 3? kristin Says: August 2nd, 2012 at 4:43 pm For those concerned with how well this keeps, if you keep the organic honey in a sealed container it should not spoil. At all. Honey is a natural stabilizer and apple cider vinegar lasts a long time. So I would think that the recipe can last a couple months at least since there is no perishable goods in the mix, since the ginger looked ground. If the honey crystallizes at the bottom just heat it gently in hot water, let it sit for a bit, then stir. goodfoodmatters Says: August 2nd, 2012 at 4:53 pm Mayra–I really cannot recommend it for young children–it is cayenne and ginger Hot. Kristin–thank you for your insightful comment. as I have mentioned, there is nothing in this that can spoil. Keep it in a clean sealed jar. debbie Says: August 3rd, 2012 at 11:06 pm thank you so much for this i will try it winter time is bronchitis time for me im not looking forward to the bronchitis but i will have a new healthy cough remedy to try and im not looking forward to winter yuck thanks again Ursula Bowen Says: August 4th, 2012 at 2:32 pm I’ve been sick with sinus infection all week. I’ve tried everything over the counter, came across this recipe this morning. Just made my first batch and took my first dose. I have to say I already feel better!! Thanks so much! Abby Says: August 6th, 2012 at 7:42 pm Works great, tastes AWFUL! Bahkti Says: August 7th, 2012 at 3:14 pm Wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I think it will be a great help for all the visiting athletes who are here in England for the Olympics and will probably get English Summer Colds :( Much kindness. Julie Says: August 8th, 2012 at 12:52 am How many tablespoon/teaspoon of each ingredient do you put in to make a small batch? goodfoodmatters Says: August 8th, 2012 at 4:57 am Julie, when you follow the recipe as it is written, that will make enough doses for a couple of days. I would double the recipe, for a small batch. Naturally the recipe triples and quadruples easily–but I would start with doubling. Good luck and good health. Paula Johnson Says: August 10th, 2012 at 11:09 pm I’ve been making this for years. My sister and oldest daughter ask me to make it when they are ‘under the weather’. I also take it to restore my proper body ph. Ph going wrong (my opinion) is what brings on the illness in the first place. Anyway, it works very well. Thanks for affirming what I already knew. GMTA Amanda Reed Says: August 13th, 2012 at 10:07 am Another amazing benefit is that if you use local honey regularly, it helps build up immunities to local plant allergens like (pollens and weeds). Just sayin. :) goodfoodmatters Says: August 13th, 2012 at 10:15 am Great point, Amanda—thank you! Catherine Says: August 13th, 2012 at 12:23 pm Hello. I came to your page via a link on Facebook. I was wondering about the shelf life of this mixture, and does it have to be refrigerated? Also, how often does one take it while ill (ie once a day, every few hours, etc.?). If I have chronic congestion, would a spoonful of this daily help as opposed to the decongestant pills? Sorry for so many questions, but I’m really interested in this, but I don’t want to make it if it won’t keep. I don’t get sick very often (I’m lucky), but I do have allergies and chronic congestion and post-nasal drip. Thank you for your time, and for sharing this recipe! =) Catherine Says: August 13th, 2012 at 12:26 pm Hi again. I guess I should have read some of the comments first about shelf life and refrigeration, etc. But I’m still wondering about dosing, and such. Thanks! =) goodfoodmatters Says: August 13th, 2012 at 12:53 pm Hi Catherine—regarding dosage, take one tablespoonful as needed for cough, etc. I think one every 4-6 hours would be fine. There’s nothing in this that could hurt you. I don’t have chronic congestion, so I can’t speak to how it would work–a dose a day—versus decongestant pills. But I bet it would be very helpful and better for you than the pills. Crystal Says: August 13th, 2012 at 7:17 pm My dad learned about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar when I was a teenager, and would mix up a concoction using it, hot jell-o, and maybe some honey. It’s pretty strong stuff, but it broke up congestion really well. I still make it when I’ve got a cold. I have saved this recipe and will try it when I get a cold this year (because I’m sure I will). Gloria Says: August 14th, 2012 at 5:49 am My Mom used to make a good cough and sore throat cure with honey a small amount of whiskey and menthol crystal (which you no longer can buy) it really worked. I will surely use your recipe when I get sick. Brooke_Hart Says: August 14th, 2012 at 4:43 pm are you using powdered Ginger? would the recipe work with grated fresh ginger? goodfoodmatters Says: August 14th, 2012 at 7:26 pm hi Brooke–yes, I use powdered ginger in this recipe–it’s easier to use, dissolves quicker. but I imagine grated fresh ginger would work very well, too. peter Says: August 14th, 2012 at 9:11 pm i do this as well. add lemon juice and garlic for immune booster to help get over the crud. Mary Says: August 15th, 2012 at 9:31 pm Hi, I was just wondering if this is safe for pregnancy and nursing. It’s seems like it but just wanted to make sure! Thanks’n goodfoodmatters Says: August 16th, 2012 at 4:11 am HI Mary, It does seem like it would be perfectly safe for pregnancy—all natural ingredients. The vinegar’s acid in the remedy solution prevents bacterial growth. That said, I don’t know what the prevailing wisdom is about eating honey during pregnancy–I think it is fine, but I would check with my doctor or midwife. Shaaron Says: August 17th, 2012 at 12:37 pm Thanks for this home remedy. I hate cold meds and I’ve had this annoying cough for several days. I already made some and took a dose. I think it’s helping….YAY!!! A DITTY A DAY / Song the Seventh Says: August 18th, 2012 at 1:15 pm [...] written today. But I’m sick today, and I just want to lay around, drinking spoonfuls of firewater and listening to [...] Cough Elixer | Just a glimpse Says: August 19th, 2012 at 11:47 am [...] Cough Elixer [...] Gabi Says: August 19th, 2012 at 9:01 pm Am going to try it now!!!! Thank you, thank you. Gabi Molly Says: August 20th, 2012 at 6:45 am I’m using this as a natural remedy to get over my cold, do you mind if I share it on my blog with a link back to yours? Its working so well! goodfoodmatters Says: August 20th, 2012 at 7:31 am Hi Molly-I am happy that this home remedy is working so well for you–Please share this (with a link back) on your blog. Nancy Molly Says: August 20th, 2012 at 5:05 pm Thanks!! Sharon Whitaker Says: August 20th, 2012 at 6:33 pm Does this mixture have to be refrigerated and if not will it go bad? goodfoodmatters Says: August 20th, 2012 at 7:25 pm Sharon, as the recipe stands, it does not need to be refrigerated–honey, vinegar, powdered ginger and cayenne are all shelf stable, and that really doesn’t change after they are all mixed together. wishing you good health! Jennie Says: August 20th, 2012 at 10:26 pm Just made some and I can’t wait to try it. I wish you had the measurements to make more then what seems to me, a tiny bit at a time… Mrs. Boggess Says: August 22nd, 2012 at 7:31 am I just made this for my family since the kids have a cough and aren’t feeling well. I am pregnant and have that getting sick feeling so I wanted to stop this ASAP. I took 1 T. and gave my kids 1 t. My kids are 4, 6, and 8. I just put it in a medicine cup and told them to drink it FAST and then had some peppermint tea or water for them to drink after it. Emme Says: August 22nd, 2012 at 1:29 pm A friend sent this to me and I can’t wait to try. I’ve recently had my tonsils taken out and am trying to recover from that with a horribly irritating tickle that keeps me up at night. Thank you so much for posting. Michelle Says: August 22nd, 2012 at 10:31 pm I totally love home remedy methods! My dad even got me a book on all different at home remedies which come in handy. It’s really neat. I’d love to try this out, but I was wondering is there something I could substitute for ginger? I found out the hard way that I’m allergic to it. Donna Says: August 23rd, 2012 at 7:29 am My grandfather used to make a similar cough syrup. he came from Scotland and this was many years ago. I wish I knew what the measurements were, but it was cider vinegar, molasses, a cut up onion and he used to boil it. Not sure if there was anything else in it, it broke the congestion up right away. If anyone has heard of this please reply. A DITTY A DAY / Song the Twelfth Says: August 23rd, 2012 at 3:17 pm [...] my voice from this damn cold that I’ve been successfully fighting. Maybe it’s all that firewater that I’ve been taking that *has* so successfully helped my body fight this [...] goodfoodmatters Says: August 23rd, 2012 at 4:16 pm Michelle–I don’t really know an adequate substitute for the ginger. It wouldn’t hurt you to try the recipe without it. The combination of honey-cider vinegar-cayenne is potent. I have heard that turmeric dissolved in warm water with lemon is beneficial against congestion–but I will have to find out more about it. Sonja G Says: August 24th, 2012 at 9:49 am Just found this on pinterest, love that site. I am so going to make this now, feel a cold coming on. Warning: Would not give this to my husband though. He is allergic to bees and recently tried a small spoon of local honey for his seasonal allergies and had a reaction – shallow breathing, heart racing. Fortunately he is OK. I guess because honey is produced by bees he is also allergic to that. Just a warning for others. But for us “normal” people,LOL, I would so give this a try. Thanks! Sarah Says: August 25th, 2012 at 1:47 am Well. I didn’t have everything, but I gave it my best shot – Substituted fresh lemon for the Apple Cider Vinegar (probably the most important ingredient) & substituted cinnamon for the ginger – I only have fresh right now, and I can’t process it b/c its 2am. So with husband coughing super hard, I gave it one last home remedy shot. This was in addition to the epsom salt, peroxide, baking soda, ginger bath and the eucaliptus, lemon, garlic, and ginger steam. I think if this doesn’t help, i’ll just go buy a coffin. :( Poor man! Anna Says: August 25th, 2012 at 11:09 am Came across this post just in time as my husband and I are both coming down with end-of-summer colds. Just had a T. and am looking forward to not getting sicker! Meagan Says: August 26th, 2012 at 4:49 pm I have had a sore throat and a cough for 2 days now and remembered I had reposted this so that I would have it for later. I just made up a a batch and I can already feel my cough breaking up. The OTC things have never really worked for me so I’m glad that you posted this. Thanks! Nikki Says: August 26th, 2012 at 6:47 pm I found this on Pintrest as I was recovering on the sofa from a bad cold/sore throat. I didn’t have the ginger and didn’t feel up to going to the store to get some but I’m a true believer! I gritted my teeth and prepared for a really bad taste as it went down but it was actually much more pleasant than I thought it might be. Certainly WAY better than store bought cough syrup and much better for you. Thank you for sharing this! I’m feeling much better already! goodfoodmatters Says: August 26th, 2012 at 7:09 pm Sarah I’m so sorry! Hope he improves soon Meaghan Anna and Nikki– I’m so glad that “the remedy” has brought you relief best wishes to all of you! Nancy Experimenting Says: August 26th, 2012 at 7:11 pm My 18month old daughter gets a croupy cough every once in a while and there are no over the counter medicines that I’m comfortable giving her. I just tried this with her (seriously like 10 minutes ago) because she’d been coughing/hacking for 20 minutes with no relief. I only gave her 1/4 teaspoon, and administered it with a syringe like we would Tylenol. She’s always been good with spice (was eating Tandoori chicken at 10 months). I haven’t heard a peep from her since giving it to her. Other moms of young kids should seriously consider their kids’ tolerance for spice and use appropriate dosage, but these are the same ingredients we use to make our pulled pork, just in a higher concentration. Super pumped at finding a home remedy! goodfoodmatters Says: August 26th, 2012 at 7:28 pm Hi Experimenting! Thank you for sharing this information about your success with your 18 month old AND the dosage size you administered. I had been leery of recommending it for the wee ones as I have only used it for adults. My best to you and your daughter. Colleen Says: August 27th, 2012 at 5:52 am Found this recipe on pinterest and made it last night. I have a terrible cough and sore throat. It started working immediately and gave great relief but it only lasted about a half an hour :( I ended up taking OTC medication in the middle of the night and that hardly worked at all! So I guess some relief is better than nothing and there’s nothing harmful in it so I like that! Tiffany Says: August 27th, 2012 at 11:44 am I only have fresh ginger root, can I use that? If so how much should i use? Im ready to try this right now!! Yay cold and flu time!! goodfoodmatters Says: August 27th, 2012 at 1:34 pm Tiffany, you may use fresh ginger root. Powdered ginger, I have read, is 8 times more potent than fresh ginger root. So, based on this recipe, you would need 2 Tablespoons of fresh ginger. good luck and be well. Jerrie lohr Says: August 27th, 2012 at 3:08 pm I have suffered from allergies for forty years and have bronchitis usually twice a year. if this works, I will be so very grateful. Thank you for sharing. Cindy Says: August 27th, 2012 at 7:57 pm Soo I thought I would try this because it wasn’t cold meds from the store. It was HOT, which then made my nose run, when it didn’t before hand. Didn’t really do anything for my cough at all. Sorry just didn’t do what I thought it would do. Seems to have also chapped my lips. UGH! Not fun. Oh well it was worth a try. Thanks for sharing tho. Charmaine Says: August 27th, 2012 at 9:39 pm My husband has been hacking all day and evening. I thought I might try this but don’t have any of the pepper. What would you suggest for a substitution? Jen L. Says: August 27th, 2012 at 9:51 pm “Hoo-wee!” lollllllll! This is great. I’m allergic to most decongestants, so my grandma used to make her own cough syrup for me out of whiskey and peppermint. It is FOUL. This looks like a much better option! thanks for sharing! Bethany Says: August 27th, 2012 at 11:25 pm I am wondering if there is something you can do in place of the Cayenne? I had cancer treatment and can’t do anything with spicy in it anymore or it seriously burns my tongue and I have to down a whole bunch of dairy products to save it. Can you think of anything that I can put in place of the Cayenne that would still work well? Also acidic burns, but I can tolerate that much more than spicy. Would like to start finding homemade vs storebought remedies. goodfoodmatters Says: August 28th, 2012 at 5:00 am HI Bethany and Charmaine—I’m afraid that I can’t tell you a suitable substitute for cayenne. It has important properties to clear mucus and relieve congestion. It is antimicrobial, aiding sinus infections. Bethany, I wouldn’t want you to use something that would cause you further discomfort. CindyR Says: August 28th, 2012 at 6:31 pm Thanks for this recipe and a way to not use OTC’s. Interesting thing about this, after all my readings about RA and Fibro, these ingredients are some of the natural ones to help with joint pain as well. I will be sure to keep this elixar handy !!!! Lovin Spirit Says: August 28th, 2012 at 6:59 pm I’m going to definitely use this however, im going to juice some fresh ginger and omit the water and see how that works. 10 Magical Things To Make With Apple Cider Vinegar Says: August 29th, 2012 at 6:23 am [...] Apple Cider Vinegar Recipe 5 Apple Cider Vinegar Sore Throat Syrup via NancyVienneau.com [...] Tracy Says: August 29th, 2012 at 12:22 pm Used this today as my son woke up with a cough. The other boys had to try it as well. They love it! Even though it has a kick and they rarely like spicy, they like this for some reason. Ellen Says: August 29th, 2012 at 4:17 pm My husband and I are using it now for a late summer cold. It certainly opens up nasal passages. Ashley Says: August 29th, 2012 at 6:05 pm i tried this tonight for my 13month old because i HATE giving him meds he doesn’t need but hearing him hacking kills my soul!! I tried it first and other than the kick it had from the cayenne i thought it was good and it took away the tickle i had in my throat… that being said my little man was not happy about taking it but after a sippy of milk and some popcorn he was fine it was about the same reaction as taking any meds and an hour later i’ve not heard him cough so fingers crossed we will have a peaceful nights sleep!! Dee Says: August 30th, 2012 at 2:39 pm To Bethany – can you put this mixture in a clean, needleless syringe from the drug store, and administer it by placing the syringe on the inside of your cheek near your throat, bypassing your tongue? Nancy E. Says: August 30th, 2012 at 6:29 pm What is the shelf life for the mixture? Is this to be put in refriderator or counter? goodfoodmatters Says: August 30th, 2012 at 7:13 pm Nancy E.—With honey, cayenne, powdered ginger, and cider vinegar, there is nothing in it that will spoil. I make up a batch as needed, and I keep it on the counter, ready to use. No refrigeration needed. I’m sure that you will use up a small batch in a matter of days during an illness. Be well, Nancy Paula Johnson Says: August 31st, 2012 at 2:48 am I’ve been using a similar ‘remedy’ for colds, flu etc for more than 10 years. My sister and kids always come tell me to mix them some when they start seeing signs of cold, congestion,sore throat and flu. It helps get the stuff under control within a couple days usually. My recipe didn’t include the ginger, but I am sure, given that it helps calm stomach issues and nausea would add to the benefits of the syrup, it will be a good add to mine. Probably make it more palatable too. I use the honey, cayenne and water in equal amounts, so it can have a real bite to it. Ginger might smooth it out. Paula Johnson Says: August 31st, 2012 at 2:50 am Oh silly me. I tell the family to take it in a small shot glass 2 or 3 times a day. It does keep on the counter top nicely, but I often refrigerate it and it keeps pretty much forever that way. Kathy Says: August 31st, 2012 at 10:17 am do you have to add the cayenne it cause my throat to swell? goodfoodmatters Says: August 31st, 2012 at 1:09 pm Kathy–you don’t have to add the cayenne, but I cannot promise that you’ll get the best results–a property of the pepper is its power to cleanse, open up sinus passages. Of course, you wouldn’t want to use it if you experience swelling in your throat. annette Says: August 31st, 2012 at 5:35 pm 35 years ago my mother would make a variation of this. no vinegar, but she would use slippery elm, cayenne, garlic and if i was lucky, honey and lemon. and my 10 year old self fought it tooth and nail. i don’t remember if it worked because i hated it so much. but i’m sure it worked. and she still makes it, only we’ve all talked her out of the slippery elm…it was the most disgusting element. Michele S Says: September 1st, 2012 at 11:06 am Im allergic to vinegar. Is there a substitute for it that someone could suggest that’ll work in its place??? LaDonna Says: September 1st, 2012 at 11:11 am Hi, I am out of cayenne at the moment, can I use red pepper instead? Thanks for the post :) goodfoodmatters Says: September 1st, 2012 at 2:13 pm Michele S–I would make it with fresh lemon juice. It will not have the same shelf life–you’ll need to refrigerate it and use within a week. LaDonna–be sure to grind the red pepper very fine (if it is red pepper flakes) Danyelle Says: September 2nd, 2012 at 1:33 pm thanks so much for the cold remedy!I will definently be trying this for my family:) Mary P Says: September 2nd, 2012 at 3:50 pm Pinned this and then needed it a few hours later! I just had to tell you that since I started taking it my pregnancy heartburn is GONE! I know ACV, honey, and ginger are all good for the stomach, so I’m gonna do some experimenting and see if it continues working without the cayenne. Thanks!!! Judy Says: September 2nd, 2012 at 7:49 pm I think I will give this a try. I will swear by the honey, lemon and whiskey. I used it as a child and gave it to my children and grandchildren. Maybe this one will work just as good. Thanks for the recipe. Homemade Cough Remedy | Pin-spire Me Says: September 2nd, 2012 at 8:41 pm [...] recipe comes from the blog, Good Food Matters. Since I have no expertise in this area, I didn’t stray from the recipe except to make a [...] Homemaker Monday: Making Plans and Partying | The Meltaways Says: September 3rd, 2012 at 6:08 am [...] Homemade Cough Syrup from Good Food Matters [...] Jennifer Says: September 3rd, 2012 at 12:58 pm I made this for my little brother and it worked wonders! He has been moaning all day and do I made him this and hot tea and then he drank it and the hot tea and it made his sore throat AND stuffy nose go away! It was so easy to make and I’m only thirteen! Kelly Says: September 3rd, 2012 at 5:46 pm Amazing stuff! Found this on Pinterest. Gave it to my toddlers who caught the back to school crud. Two doses, 8hrs apart, barely a cough in that time, noses stopped running too. Strong smell, tastes okay, works!! We will be keeping this one for our home remedu cuboard! Mary Vasquez Says: September 3rd, 2012 at 9:04 pm Well, we had everything but cayenne, but figured that was an important ingredient, so we substituted hot sauce/tabasco. Hoping it works. Definitely was hot and spicy going down! My husband loved it! If it works I will be forever grateful cause I have been suffering for 2 weeks now and nothing is working! And my hubby has a scratchy throat too. I dont even know anymore if it is a cold or allergy symptoms or both. Very aggravating! I’ll keep you posted with results! Beth Whitaker Says: September 4th, 2012 at 12:00 am For sore throats, using essential oils: 2 drops sage 2 drops rosemary 2 drops thyme rub on neck. My family will only let me use it on them at night, but seriously, immediate results. No more sore throat! DIY Cough Remedy | The Green Sister Says: September 4th, 2012 at 9:13 pm [...] I found this at nancyvienneau.com [...] Jenrose Says: September 5th, 2012 at 1:42 am Add cocoa to this, and it will suppress even the worst coughs. Cocoa contains theobromine, which actually works directly on the vagus nerve to suppress the urge to cough, without suppressing the ABILITY to cough. So you can still get gunk out of your lungs, you just have a heck of a lot more control over it. goodfoodmatters Says: September 5th, 2012 at 5:01 am That is such an interesting piece of information about cocoa, Jenrose–I didn’t know this. The remedy could be easily tweaked. Thank you for sharing this! Danielle Says: September 5th, 2012 at 7:28 am I took this 5 minutes ago. My throat seems to be tickling less and it really didn’t taste bad! Thank you! Bev Says: September 5th, 2012 at 10:32 pm I have reflux so I do not eat spicy/hot items. Do you think this would be effective if I cut the cayenne to a very small amount? goodfoodmatters Says: September 6th, 2012 at 6:39 am Bev, I wouldn’t want you to experience reflux discomfort because of this remedy. But I will say that the honey does help coat. I have not tried this with reduced quantity of cayenne, but it might be worth it to you to experiment. Take good care, Nancy Debbie Says: September 6th, 2012 at 8:30 am Coming down with a cold, mixed this elixer up last night before bed as throat was starting to feel dry & cactus-like (no soreness though). Took 1 Tbs. and was able to sleep through the night except 1 time when I woke up & took a 2nd dose. This stuff tastes like h# but then so does OTC stuff that is filled with who knows what chemicals and doesn’t even work. Nancy, this stuff really worked. I got better results than hoped for! Thank you for posting. Carol Says: September 6th, 2012 at 9:07 am Sounds wonderful – thank you for sharing! Joella Bernas Says: September 6th, 2012 at 1:59 pm I wanted to say that your remedy is a God Send…although I knew some of the home remedies, I would rather stay away from the drug store items Home Remedies are God’s Gift to us and we should and I will do this and I thank you with that said I send you all my Love Light and Joy Your sisSTAR AND A COSMIC MOTHER IN THE FAMILY OF LOVE AND LIGHT LET’S GET STARTED ON PARADISE READY………SET………..GO…..AND A WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH Birgit Says: September 7th, 2012 at 3:28 am Sorry, I’m from overseas – can you please explain what the abbreviations “t.” and “T.” stand for? Thank you very much! goodfoodmatters Says: September 7th, 2012 at 3:53 am HI Birgit, small “t.” stands for teaspoon, capital “T” stands for tablespoon. No apologies necessary! In the future, I shall spell these out to avoid confusion. kim odell Says: September 7th, 2012 at 5:59 am I want to try this and to add the cocoa suggested in one comment. any suggestion on how much cocoa to add? I will experiment if necessary but if known would rather start with that. thanks for the recipe! so hoping it works. :) sue temple Says: September 7th, 2012 at 9:08 am thank you! i have bad reactions to the dextramethorphan used in ALL cough remedies on the market. I am going to whip some of your cough medicine up for the winter cough. Linda Says: September 7th, 2012 at 10:54 am can i sub fresh ginger? seems like it would be better than dried but i guess it wouldn’t keep as long if i used fresh? what do you think? Wendy Swenne Says: September 8th, 2012 at 2:16 am Hi, I just saw this remedy at pinterest and wrote it down, for when I need it. Thanks so much. And what I also find to help, with a runny nose…. grate the peel of a lemon, and squish out the lemon juice. Then add a piece of fresh grated ginger (the size of a thumb or such), and add half a liter water to it. Boil it for 10 minutes. Drain it into a container, so the grated parts are separated from the water. Then drink it, as hot as possible. You can also add honey to it. For me it worked quite quickly to relief my running nose (don’t know how to say that in English…. maybe you use: the sniffels…. I don’t know). jan Says: September 8th, 2012 at 8:07 am my fathers cough medicine for us when we were little was 4 oz whiskey 4 oz honey and 4oz lemon juice. Mixed up and we were given a teaspoon @ night when we went to bed. Bad? Never hurt me and it would nip that cough and congestion Katrina Says: September 9th, 2012 at 7:25 am Havent scrolled through all the post, so I do t know if this has been brought up. Anyhow children under three years of age should not ingest honey as there is a high risk of botulism for them. I have tried substituting organic maple syrup for my eight month old. Let you know how that works out. I know that there arehomeopathic attributes honey allievates with cold but at least the maple syrup makes it a little more palatable. Good Food Matters » Blog Archive » Home Remedy « Muskegonvegan's Blog Says: September 9th, 2012 at 8:07 am [...] http://nancyvienneau.com/blog/articles/home-remedy/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Categories Uncategorized [...] Gretchen Says: September 9th, 2012 at 3:33 pm Do u make this and store in fridge? How long will it keep? Amanda Says: September 9th, 2012 at 3:58 pm Would Agave Nectar work? Stephanie Hayden Says: September 9th, 2012 at 6:22 pm This is fantastic! I am a singer, and I hate constantly taking cough drops and nasal sprays for a tight, dry or hoarse throat! I’m going to give this a try THIS WEEK! Bianca Says: September 9th, 2012 at 9:50 pm I want to know is it safe for children?? goodfoodmatters Says: September 10th, 2012 at 4:25 am Gretchen–if you make the recipe as it is stated, it will keep, sealed in a clean jar, for as long as you need unrefrigerated. There is nothing in it to go bad. Amanda–I haven’t used it with agave nectar, but I imagine it would still work. Stephanie—best of luck to you Blanca–if you read through the comments (I know, so many!) you will come across those from mothers who have had success with their children—using Much smaller doses.(like 1/4 teaspoon for an 18 month old) Some mothers have substituted maple syrup for the honey for children under 3. I personally have not administered the remedy to children and so cannot recommend it. But these mothers have had success. Elisa Says: September 11th, 2012 at 7:42 am I love your blog, thank you! A kiss from Buenos Aires http://terapiafloralyastrologia.blogspot.com.ar/ Dani B Says: September 11th, 2012 at 4:16 pm Was just on Pinterest and coughing my lungs out before I came upon this post! I shot right up to make the concauction and tried it right away, chest isn’t as tight any more and I am coughing much less! The taste isn’t as bad as I thought it would be! I go on holidays tomorrow and hope this cough is gone sooner rather than later!! Thanks again Mirlo

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