How to Make Your Own Cough Syrup

by Jade Shutes

Cough Syrup: A Simple Honey Cough Syrup for Adults and Adolescents over the age of 7. For those between ages 5-7, half dosage of essential oils. For those below age of 5: use tea with a little honey mixed in. **Do not use honey for children under 1 year.

Here’s what you’ll need:

◻︎ Stainless steel double boiler
◻︎ Stainless steel fork
◻︎ Your Anise/Fennel Herbal Honey or just plain honey
◻︎ Sterilized 4 ounce bottles

To make 8 fluid ounces
◻︎ 1 1/4 cup strong herbal infusion
◻︎ 3/4 cup Anise/Fennel honey or Tulsi/Rose infused honey or just plain honey

How to make the Strong Herbal Infusion

The two main herbs I have used in making cough syrups are: Marshmallow (for dry coughs) and Thyme (for moist coughs). I typically use one or the other depending on the type of cough. Marshmallow is a cold infusion while thyme is a hot infusion. To learn more about different herbs and different types of coughs, see this incredibly informative article by Rosalee de la Forȇt.


To make cold infusion of Marshmallow:
1. Combine 1/2 ounce of dried marshmallow root with 16 ounces of cold to room temperature water in a clean canning jar. Place lid on jar and allow to infuse for 20-60 minutes.
2. Strain tea through mesh strainer.
3. It is now ready to use in your cough syrup recipe.

To make a strong infusion of Thyme:
1. Combine 1 ounce of dried thyme with 16 ounces of hot water in a clean canning jar with lid on. Allow to infuse for 20 minutes.
2. Strain tea through mesh strainer.
3. It’s now ready to use in your cough syrup.

**To learn more about making herbal infusions, read Herbal Infusions and Decoctions – Preparing Medicinal Teas by Juliet Blankespoor.

How to make Cough Syrup

1. Combine herbal tea infusion with honey in double boiler.
2. Gently heat in a double boiler to combine honey with herbal tea, stir with fork.
3. Then immediately remove from heat. You don’t want to boil honey or heat it for too long, just enough to combine the two ingredients.
4. Add in Essential oils of: 35 drops Rosemary ct. cineole, 35 drops Eucalyptus globulus, and 10 Peppermint (very small amount – can easily overtake). **Remember, this is to make 8 ounces of cough syrup.
5. Stir well. Fill 2 – 4oz sterilized glass containers. Use a metal or other type of funnel to fill container.
6. Cap and label. Be sure to keep out of reach of young children!

**NOTE on Calculating essential oil percentage: I recommend 1-2 drops per serving. For a 4 fl. ounce cough syrup you will get approx. 25-30 teaspoon servings. So you would want to have 25-50 drops total in 4 ounces of cough syrup.

**I used this label from online labels.

How to use: 1 tsp / 3 times a day for adults. 1/2 tsp 3 – 4 times a day for ages 5-12.

Shelf Life: 2-4 months.

Contraindications: Pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Do not use essential oils for children under 5 unless qualified to do so. If you are taking medication or have a serious medical condition, ask your doctor or a qualified aromatherapists first before taking.