Homemade Herbal Cough Syrup (Settle Your Sore Throat & Calm Your Cough)

Whatever time of the year we can find ourselves, or our loved ones, being struck down by coughs, colds, congestion or flu! This post gives you directions for how to make one of the best homemade herbal cough syrup natural remedies you’ve ever had! It is a terrific natural home remedy and safe for all of the family.

This Homemade Herbal Cough Syrup Recipe Tackles 2 Types of Cough!

Before you make this remedy you need to first identify the type of cough you have. This will enable you to select the best herbs for making your syrup. Later in the post we have included a list and infographic that you can print out. It will help you identify the right herbs to treat your type of cough and throat infection.

Cough Type 1 – The Dry Tickle Cough.

You know the type I’m talking about. 

A harsh, almost scratchy type of cough., It usually comes with a dry tickling sensation in the back of the throat.  It may also be teamed with a difficulty breathing and may even affect your speech.

Dry coughs can be caused by a variety of factors.  Most often they are caused because of the common cold infection.  However dry cough may also signify laryngitis, asthma, bronchitis, upper respiratory tract infections, sinusitis or even pneumonia.

Anti-inflammatory herbs help to calm and soothe so are the best choices for dry tickling coughs.

This make a homemade herbal cough syrup a great choice if you are seeking natural remedies.

Cough Type 2 – The Wet Phlegm Cough.

This second type of cough is just as easy to recognize. It can be identified because of the body’s reaction to it. A constant cycle of mucus and phlegm production.

Phlegm often builds up and starts to impact the chest and throat. This may be followed with the appearance of yellow, brown or green mucus. With a type 2 cough you will dislodge this phlegm when coughing.

The wet phlegm cough is associated with the upper respiratory tract and normally due to a the flu.  However they may also be caused by severe allergy or hay fever.

Hot steam style bath remedies are a great treatment for these wet coughs. Taking hot tea, soups, a hot bath, and facial steaming (inhaling steam through nasal passage) all helps to loosen phlegm and break up congestion.

When making the cough syrup for wet coughs, you want to choose herbs that have expectorant properties.  This will help to expel the phlegm from the body.

best herbs to choose for the homemade herbal cough syrup recipe
The Best Herbs To Choose For The Homemade Herbal Cough Syrup Recipe.

Choosing Herbs For The Homemade Herbal Cough Syrup.

Below you will find a list of the best herbs to use when making the cough syrup.  Please remember this list is not exhaustive so feel free to add to it and use other herbs if you prefer. 

You will note that we have included in our list which herbs are best for a dry cough and those best to treat a wet cough (and of course those that can be used for both)

The homemade herbal cough syrup recipe is found below the list of herbs. It is a wonderful remedy and is extremely effective and very versatile.

You can mix and match the herbs and blend to suit your needs. Simply choose the herbs to match your symptoms each time you use the homemade herbal cough syrup.

anise seeds - homemade herbal cough syrup

Anise Seed
Naturally warm and deliciously spicy, Anise seed is an excellent choice for the relief of dry coughs.  It is also an excellent remedy to aid breaking down difficult to release phlegm. Spasmodic coughs,dry and raspy will find relief with Anise seed.
cinnamon - homemade herbal cough syrup
Cinnamon Stick Chips
Cinnamon is a wonderfully warming herb.  It helps with our circulation, relieves congestion, and boosts immunity.  This makes it an ideal  addition to our homemade herbal cough syrup – perfect for both dry and wet coughs.
elecampane - homemade herbal cough syrup
Elecampane Root
Elecampane Root is a natural expectorant, therefore it is a perfect remedy for wet phlegmy coughs.  It also helps greatly for coughs which develop the tell tale thick yellow/green mucus. Elecampane Root is perfect for bronchial and sinus infection.
garlic-homemade herbal cough syrup
For centuries Garlic has been used as a treatment for the symptoms of cold and flu.  This is largely due to it being a natural and very powerful antibiotic. Garlic helps boost your immune system and is both a drying herb and an expectorant – meaning it is an excellent choice for wet coughs that are producing a lot of phlegm.
ginger - homemade herbal cough syrup
Ginger Root
Ginger is a warming herb that has been clinically proven to reduce inflammation, increase circulation, boost your immunity and relieves coughs and sore throats. Ginger is, in my opinion, a “must include” herb/spice for every homemade herbal cough syrup you make!
hyssop - homemade herbal cough syrup
Hyssop is a wonderful addition to your cough syrup. Hyssop’s properties enables both cooling and moistening which makes it an awesome herbal remedy for dry tickly coughs. It is also a great choice of herb if you are suffering from a painful sore throat.
licorice root - homemade herbal cough syrup
Licorice Root
Licorice Root is excellent for soothing inflammation and will aid in the relief of all types of cough. It’s properties make it perfect for dry irritated throats.  It is also a natural expectorant, which helps clear wet phlegm coughs. Apart from the healing benefits Licorice Root is a great addition to your syrup as it’s natural sweetness can help mask other bitter herbal flavors.
marshmallow root - homemade herbal cough syrup
Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow Root is mucilaginous and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.  This makes Marshmallow Root ideal for dry inflamed throats. Marshmallow root is a wonderful herbal remedy for soothing sore throats and easing dry irritating coughs.
mullein leaf - homemade herbal cough syrup
Mullein Leaf
Mullein Leaf is a terrific herb for healing because it is an antispasmodic and an expectorant.  This makes it a great natural remedy for wet coughs and spasmodic coughs. Mullein Leaf is very effective for clearing infection and reducing pain.
onion - homemade herbal cough syrup
While it may sound odd the humble onion is one of the best natural remedies for treating cold and flu symptoms.  It has been used for centuries as a purifier to kill germs when family members were ill. It has also been used to clear ear infections. Onion is a terrific antibacterial, an expectorant and an anti-inflammatory making it a wonderful ingredient for your homemade herbal cough syrup.
thyme leaf- homemade herbal cough syrup
Thyme Leaf
Thyme is a very powerful natural disinfectant and an antiseptic.  This makes it ideal to help fight off colds and infection. Thyme Leaf is an excellent addition for syrups to clear all sorts of coughs but it is especially effective for treating dry coughs.
wild cherry bark - homemade herbal cough syrup
Wild Cherry Bark
Wild Cherry Bark is probably best known as a Native American herbal medicine.  The cherry bark has traditionally been used for the treatment of runny noses and colds but is also incredibly effective at combating dry and irritating coughs. Warning – The overuse of cherry bark can be toxic. It is therefore not recommended that you use it for more than 2 weeks at a time.
Slippery elm bark - homemade herbal cough syrup
Slippery Elm Bark
This is another great herb with mucilaginous properties.  The Slippery Elm is an excellent ingredient and can be used to treat all types of cough. It is an amazing aid and helps to soothe inflamed membranes.
Red Clover Blossom - Homemade Herbal Cough Syrup
Red Clover Blossom
This is another common herb which has been used for centuries as a cleanser and a natural immunity booster. Red Clover is used for treating bronchitis and other upper respiratory infections. It is a warming herb which helps relieve chest congestion.  Great for both dry and wet cough.
Camomile - homemade herbal cough syrup
Chamomile Flowers
Chamomile is a well known herb and used in many natural medicinal remedies. It is naturally soothing and  has anti-inflammatory properties which makes it an excellent ingredient for the treatment of all kinds of coughs. Chamomile has natural calming properties so will help you to rest and sleep better while you recover from illness.

Homemade Herbal Cough Syrup Infographic

Below is the homemade herbal cough syrup infographic you can print or embed on a website.

Homemade herbal cough syrup

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Here Is The Homemade Herbal Cough Syrup Recipe!

This includes the herbs that I tend to use, but remember, you can add herbs you prefer.

You can substitute any herbs you do not like with those you do. The table of herbs above will guide you to choose the most appropriate to treat your needs.

Syrup Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Filtered Water (distilled water will ensure full life span)
  • 1/3 Cup Dried Licorice Root
  • 1/3 Cup Dried Wild Cherry Bark
  • 1/3 Cup Mullein Leaf
  • 2 Tbsp. Broken Cinnamon Stick (approx 1 stick)
  • 2 Tbsp. Freshly Chopped Ginger Root
  • 1 Cup Raw Natural Honey
  • 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice (Freshly Squeezed)


  1. Add the water and herbs to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, remove from the heat and strain the herbs through a sieve or cheesecloth. Make sure you squeeze the herbs ensuring you get the maximum herbal liquid goodness from them!
  4. Add the raw unfiltered honey and freshly squeezed lemon juice to the herbal liquid and stir.
  5. Allow the mixture to cool before adding to a sterile and airtight container.
  6. The mixture will keep in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.
  7. Take 1/2 or 1 tsp every 3 hours, or as needed

The mixture is safe for children 12 months or older.

Homemade Herbal Cough Syrup (Settle Your Sore Throat & Calm Your Cough)

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