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6 Homemade Cough Syrups

Would you rather suffer through your cough than take that disgusting store-bought syrup? Try one of these homemade cough and sore throat remedies instead. 

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You have the ingredients in your own kitchen to create some natural cough remedies that will soothe that throat and stop the hacking.

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Honey, Lemon & Horehound

For a tasty old-time cough syrup, slice 3 lemons and place them in a pan with honey and a bit of horehound leaves and flowers. Horehound, a bitter herb once popular in cough “candies,” acts as an irritant to trigger the cough reflex and bring up phlegm. Simmer the concoction until the syrup thickens. Strain the syrup and let it cool.

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Rock Candy, Lemon Juice & Whisky

Rock candy, made from crystallized sugar, and one of the oldest forms of candy, is the basis of several old-time cough syrups. One recipe combines 1 box rock candy, 1 pound raisins, the juice of 3 lemons, one half-cup sugar, and enough whisky to form a syrup. Another calls for 1 pound rock candy, 4 jiggers brandy, a half-jar honey, and the juice of 3 lemons. You’ll have to make either recipe ahead of time, as it takes a few weeks for the rock candy to dissolve.

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Lemon Juice, Honey & Cayenne Pepper

Blend lemon juice with a little honey, then add a pinch of cayenne pepper and swallow. The honey coats your throat, soothing irritated tissues, while the lemon reduces inflammation and delivers a dose of infection-fighting vitamin C. The red pepper increases circulation to the area, which hastens the healing process.

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Honey & Onion

Onions contain irritating compounds that trigger the cough reflex and bring up phlegm. Peel and finely chop 6 medium onions. Put them, along with a half-cup honey, into the top of a double boiler or in a pan over a pot of boiling water. Cover and let simmer for 2 hours. Strain and pour the mixture into a covered jar. Take 1 tablespoon every 2 to 3 hours.

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Honey & Lemon

A very simple cough syrup calls for 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon honey. Heat until warm and take as many teaspoons as you need. Add a bit of grated onion for a stronger kick.

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Honey & Cloves

For a throat-soothing syrup, mix 5 or 6 cloves with 1 cup honey and leave the mixture in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, remove the cloves and take 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon of the honey as needed. Cloves dull the pain of a sore throat, while honey soothes inflamed throat tissues.