Cough Syrup

Cough syrup-I started making this one for Honour who had a bad winter cough, but she’s allergic to alcohol as well as artificial colors and ingredients, and it’s damned near impossible to get a cough medicine without those. As an added benefit- it uses honey rather than processed sugar.

I simmer a tablespoon fennel or anise seed for 10 minutes in a cup of water, with licorice root, slippery elm, and or cherry bark, whatever I have on hand. Seeds, barks and roots need simmering because they are so hard. After they are simmered, I turn off the heat and add a tablespoon of coltsfoot leaves (this is great for the post nasal drip that causes a lot of coughs), and mullein leaves (especially good for bronchial coughs), and red clover flowers. Leaves and flowers are steeped, not boiled. Because it’s medicinal you steep for ten minutes- when its for a yummy tea, you only steep for 3. (You can also use ginger, garlic, onion, chamomile, hyssop, marshmallow root- all of these are good in a cough syrup and while you are looking to get well, you also want be able to take it, so leave out the garlic or anise if you hate that flavor and know it would reduce your ability to take it.) Strain it (squeezing the mass of wet stuff to get out all the good) and add an equal amount of honey. I will heat this together a bit. If the honey is too diluted you’re going to get mead, not cough syrup so it should be thick. Honey is also really good for a cough. You can store it in the refrigerator if it’s not very thick. The dose is a large spoonful every few hours- take another when you start to cough again. This is surprisingly effective with no alcohol, no artificial colors or flavors. But as herbs do effect your body, the effects could be unwanted- stop taking it if you think it’s creating unwanted side effects.