Homemade Cough Syrup

The King's Medicine Cabinet Dr. Axe

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  1. Karis says:

    That sounds like a lot of essential oils to be swallowing. Some therapists recommend never swallowing essential oils, but I know that you do personally take them internally (from several posts). What is your opinion on this controversy and regarding the limits for internal eo application?

  2. Tonia says:

    You think this should only be made by the spoonful as needed, or mabey timeframe for making up say 5-10 spoonfuls during the need. I realize the need to stir but might help w/ family… Mabey mix up enough say for each member to have 2-3 spoons a day, I think it would work now picking your brain!

    • Making up enough to last anyone who may need it through the day is what I do. It’s so easy and fast to make! Otherwise, you could make up some and it should be fine for 3-7 days.

  3. coco says:

    Yeah…my dad made this when we were little. Except he used rum instead of essential oils. Made you feel amazing.

    • Linda Wolf says:

      :D We had “hot toddies” with water, lemon, honey, and bourbon! (Just a tiny bit though) :D Mom also rubbed mentholatum or vicks on our chest and wrapoed a warm towel around our neck. Sounds silly, but it worked!
      We didn’t have all of the wonderful information about essential oils that we do now…

  4. Lynette says:

    If you put all those drops on one teaspoon of honey what do you need the jar for. Where’s the recipe to fill the jar?

    • I made the recipe small because I like to make up just enough to be used over 1-3 days. The jar is there to mix the ingredients in, not as much for long term storage. I think the recipe would be fine for longer periods of time, but it’s so easy and fast to make that I like to keep it fresh.

  5. Darci says:

    Hi Dr. Axe,
    This sounds like a great cough syrup. I use EO’s a lot but have never made my own cough syrup. Question: why does one need a jar if just adding honey to a spoon then adding the EO’s to that? I guess I was expecting the recipe to mix everything together in the jar then take a teaspoon as needed. This sounds much easier, especially if I wanted to mix it and give it to someone.
    How young can a child be to take this? My grandson is 17 mo old and I know there are some EOs they can’t take internally or have to be very diluted.
    Thank you for all you do! I LOVE your recipes and your articles!!

    • I definitely agree! Mixing the contents in the jar before consuming it on the spoon makes sense so I clarified the directions, thanks for letting me know. I would use this recipe with kids 2 years and older.

  6. Therese Owen says:

    I have just begun using essential oils. I purchase mine from Young Living so I know they are therapeutic grade oils. I have been following the JJ. Virgin diet since January 2014 (20 pound weight loss). So my immune system is in great shape. I find that the purest form of anything I ingest works better for me so I stay away from highly processed foods, I started following you on Facebook because I liked the emails I received from you about the oils and natural recipes. Thanks for all the great posts and emails.
    Therese Owen

  7. Amanda Nelson says:

    Yes the fake EO u shouldn’t ingest however young living is all natural from the ground to the bottle I was fortunate to watch the process myself I and my 2 yr old take oils all the time ! What an amazing gift God has given us !!

  8. Johnnie Sue Stewart says:

    What is the JJ Virgin diet?

  9. leona coyne says:

    essential oils

  10. Rob says:

    Hey Josh – I’m severely allergic to both HONEY and BANANAS. Have eaten neither for more than 37 years. Also – have been almost Gluten-Free for that same duration. Recently discovering Leaky Gut Syndrome, Candida overload, etc – I’m inspired to increase my “Natural Lifestyle” as much as possible. Is there something you might suggest/prefer, as an alternative to HONEY in your HM Cough Syrup ?? I’m desperately trying to overcome the SUGAR ADDICTION too !! Thanks for any help, mate.
    Cheers – Rob

  11. Rob says:

    Thanks Josh. I will look into your Candida Cures, GAPS, etc later on tonight (eastern Aussie time). I hadn’t considered Maple Syrup as a sub. for Honey. Thanks for that !! Thanks for such fantastic info you provide, for those who are willing to seek. Best wishes for further success for all.
    Cheers – Rob

  12. Renee says:

    Which is better local honey or a raw honey like your link takes me to?

    • I think it’s best to find honey that has not be processed as this will have the most amount of health benefits and live enzymes present. I would see if the local honey is raw.

  13. Mary says:

    I have an allergy to honey. Is there an alternative?

  14. Becky says:

    With government regulations in place for our food, the requirement to put “all Natural” on a label, only requires 10% of the item be actually natural. With no government regulations in place for essential oils, we need to really do our homework. This presentation by Dr. Pappas, teaches us that lots of essential oils are adulterated, and passed off as all natural. Thank you for his knowledge, and for sharing it with us all.

  15. Ozlem says:

    Thanks for this info. I also read pineapple helps a cough too.

  16. Tiffiny says:

    As for the essential oils, not all companies are pure therapeutic grade oils that you can ingest. (even if they say “100%” on them, they are technically only allowed to have 50% of the specified oil in the jar. I only know of 2 essential oil companies off hand that are pure therapeutic and that is DoTERRA and Young Living.

  17. TIMMY says:

    i wish it didnt cost the $170 for the 4 oils… im a single guy :(

    • Gwyn says:

      The Frankincense is particularly expensive from this group but it is good for so many things that you will find it well worth the investment. Depending on the company (and yes only 100% pure “therapeutic” grade) you can choose to purchase 5ml instead of 15ml bottles which also saves some money.

  18. Drew says:

    You comment on the amount of sugar in normal cough syrup but don’t mention that honey is practically pure sugar. Why is the amount of sugar in this cough syrup good, and the amount of sugar in regular cough syrup bad?

  19. Firebird says:

    Honey is still sugar!

  20. L.Harbold says:

    How often should you take this in a days time?

  21. Gina Nuenke says:

    Essential oils should never be taken internally unless directed by a certified herbalist or aromatherapist. That recipe has a lot of essential oils in it and should not be swallowed. Dr. Axe, I love a lot of your natural remedy posts and follow you, but I have to disagree here. Research shows that there is no such thing as “certified pure essential oils” or “therapeutic grade” essential oils. Those are terms that were trademarked by Young Living and DoTerra. There is no agency that grades essential oils and there are many other places to find pure essential oils other than the expensive MLM companies. As long as you purchase from reputable companies who openly display the MSDS sheet for their oils and only buy steam distilled pure oils, then they are just as good and pure as YL or DoTerra’s oils. Essential oils are too volatile to be taking them internally and it has nothing to do with the purity of them. You can get more than enough good benefits from inhaling their vapors and rubbing them (properly diluted) onto your body.

  22. Judi J Moore says:

    I’m interested in your recommendation on essential oil. Brands you endorse?
    Thank you!

  23. Michelle says:

    What would you suggest for a child under the age of 1 year? Congestion and small cough? Currently rubbing EOs on baby, On guard and Breathe by DoTerra

    • I would always consult with your physician but I have had many patients that have used elderberry and seen results from that

    • Elizabeth says:

      I know this is an old comment, but I wanted to make sure to respond in case someone else is wondering. Babies and children are extremely sensitive and essential oils are powerful, even though they are natural. First of all, please make sure to dilute all oils. Secondly, I wouldn’t use onguard or breathe on a baby under 1. (I am a Wellness Advocate with DoTERRA by the way). I think that is too much for a baby. They both contain many oils and they both contain 1 or more oils that you should always use extreme caution with around babies.
      If you’d like to know what I would do (I have an almost 1 year old who just had these symptoms 2 days ago), I would use 1 drop of lavender and 1 drop of lemon and add it to 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Rub that on the baby’s feet and cover with socks. You can also rub it on the back of the neck and arount the ears and chest. If the baby has a fever, you can add 1 drop of peppermint but you need to dilute it even more because peppermind is one of those oils you want to be careful not using too much of on babies as it contains menthol.
      Please use caution when using essential oils on babies and children as they absorb them very quickly and not all oils are safe to use on them!

  24. LadyEm says:

    How often would you recommend taking this cough remedy?? (I just mixed and swallowed it!) lol. hoping to kick this cough before it gets much worse. (Also did a steam tent with DoTerra’s “Breathe”, and mixed a eucalyptus, peppermint, thyme, FCO blend in a roller bottle for my chest.)

  25. Tracy White says:

    Where do you buy your glass containers from?

    Thank you

  26. Vicky says:

    I would like to make this cough syrup but I don’t have the frankincense essential oil. Could I replace it with other essential oil? Maybe thyme could be an option? It has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Or clove essential oil? Which one would you recommend?

    • Denise says:

      I use lemon , cassia and myrrh on a spoon with coconut oil for my cough syrup. Have had great results with it! You can also use cinnamon instead of cassia and should use cinnamon for small children. :)

  27. Alishaa Asakura says:

    sugar..raw sugar organically grown is not the same as white sugar…as when we consume REAL sugar..which is not acid…it is actually good as it sloughs of bacteria and viruses that would have clung to our intestines…and cause problems…as white sugar …the bacteria and parasites love it…..

    HONEY and Brown Sugar (ORGANIC) is great if our cough is caused by bacteria…or virus of some sort but what about if our coughing and mucus build up pouring down from our head to our throat is causing the coughing…and it is triggered by allergies from toxic air~~environment pollution??? will this cough syrup work???????

  28. Karin Brumfield says:

    Is This The Same Dosage I Can Use For A 4 year old?

  29. Cindy says:

    Hmm. Why would a jar be needed to mix only 5 drops and a spoonful?

  30. Janice says:

    There used to be a syrup that my dad bought called pinex and then mixed with honey I think. Worked like a charm. It doesn’t seem to exist today, wish I knew what was in it. I would assume some pine something but I don’t know what.