Homemade Cough Remedies

Category Home Remedies
You can develop a cough in conjunction with a cold or flu or even as the result of allergies. There are a plethora of medicines you can buy at the pharmacy, but often a homemade remedy will work just as well. This is a page about homemade cough remedies.


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My parents have been using this all-natural method to make their own cough syrup since I can remember. Turnips and honey have awesome natural antibiotic qualities to them. When they meld together, they make a fantastic medicine. This is just as effective as store-bought syrups for cough and congestion, yet it has no side effects. You can keep refilling the turnip with honey to make more of the medicine.

You can use a large turnip and cut it in half, or you can use a small turnip and scoop out the top.


  • 1 turnip
  • honey


  1. Cut turnip in half and scoop out a good amount from the middle with a spoon. Place a couple teaspoons of honey inside the hole so there's enough room for the turnip to "sweat" to create the medicine.
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  3. After a few hours, the syrup will be ready in the middle of the turnip. Drink it, then refill with honey as needed.
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Some of you may already know this, but believe it or not this really works. Whenever I have a cough, I put Vicks on the soles of my feet and then put socks on. My cough stops. Yes, it really does. If you don't believe me, try it on yourself or someone in your family. Good luck, and no coughing.

By Karen Jensen from Woodland Hills, UT

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When my son was little, I always gave him 1 teaspoon of honey with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice for his cough syrup. It always worked!

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September 8, 2009

If you get any cough while you are sleeping, try to wash your throat with any salt water. You can make salt water that adding 1 teaspoon of salt with 1/2 a glass of water.


Also salt reacts against germs.

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Cough associated with itch in the throat can be very annoying. Sometimes coughing gives you a headache and makes you restless, especially at night. Based on personal experience, I have tried using lime to relieve myself from this annoying itch which I think could be a type of allergy, maybe. It keeps coming and it makes me cough most of the time.

Lime As Cough Remedy

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February 6, 2012

Colds, coughs and sore throats are among the most common seasonal complaints. Although coughing sounds unhealthy, it is actually the bodys highly effective way of keeping our lungs and airways clear.

Woman Coughing

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Dry, tight coughs are the worst and they can lead to further bronchial problems. Loosen up that dry phlegm - yes, uck, so you can get rid of it - by breathing in steam deep into your lungs by inhaling the steam of a large cup of hot tea.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 27, 2005

I am looking for a natural cough remedy using brandy. I've been pretty much using it mixed with water. It's the only relief I have found yet. Could anyone suggest other ingredients to add to this mixture? I've had this cough for a week and as soon as I lie down the coughing begins. The brandy works for about 4 hours and then it begins again.


Cindie from South Carolina


By Melissa (Guest Post)
February 28, 20050 found this helpful

My dad used to mix it with a little bit of honey and lemon. I am not sure what the ratio is. Good luck.

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February 28, 20051 found this helpful

In my family we make this remedy, we call it a Hotty Toddy. Heat up about 4 ounces of brandy as warm as you can drink it. Add 2 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and either spearmint or peppermint (1 sprig) or if you only have essential oils 1-2 drops. If it's a real nasty cough add a pinch of cayenne or chili powder.

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By Ela (Guest Post)
February 28, 20050 found this helpful

Why don't you infuse the brandy with some horehound? That's what I use ...

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By syd (Guest Post)
February 28, 20050 found this helpful

Add a little honey to it.

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By dgrams (Guest Post)
February 28, 20050 found this helpful


Try this for hot toddy mix. There are people that swear by this... Good luck. I love it as my grammy use to make it with orange juice.



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By wen1 (Guest Post)
February 28, 20051 found this helpful

My Mom used to give my brother whiskey, honey, and lemon juice, ( i'm sure brandy would be the same) and the ratio is easy, just three equal parts..and the dose would be about the same as regular cough medicine...I'm sure this would help..my brother had asthma very bad when he was young and he would get the nasty croop coughing and the mixture seemed to work great for him..get well soon Wen

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March 1, 20050 found this helpful

If you are only coughing when you lie down at night, and especially if you are older you should seek medical advice.



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September 1, 2009

I have nasal drainage and a bad cough, when I cough it gets to the point of choking. I can't get oxygen to the brain, what do I do?

By susan from Charleston, SC

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January 30, 2013

My father has been suffering from cold and cough from 30 years with lots of phlegm. Due to the cough, my father is now having a pain in his chest and stomach. They did not find any types of problems, such as BP or blood sugar issues. Please can someone suggest a solution, any supplement, or syrup that might help.


By Geeta

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January 4, 2017

These little drops are easy to make and come in handy during cold season. This is a page about making homemade cough drops.

Homemade Cough Drops

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 2, 2009

Looking for an old recipe for a cough remedy that has whiskey and rock candy, but not sure what else if anything?

Zan from Charlotte, NC


Homemade Cough Remedies

To answer your question, it is Jim Beam Rock and Rye Whiskey. Make up a tea using a tea bag, honey, fresh lemon, and rock and rye. Heat it as hot as you can stand it and drink it as fast as you can, then get under the covers. It really helps stop the night coughing. (06/10/2008)

By Butterfly

Homemade Cough Remedies

A spoon of honey melted into warm lemonade with a tsp of sugar. Clears that cough right up and cheap and soothing. I have it all the time. Tastes nice too. (07/06/2008)


Homemade Cough Remedies

A guaranteed cure to stop coughing is to rub Vick's salve on the bottom of your feet (while laying down, or in bed), then put socks on over you feet. It won't be long and the cough will disappear. I'm not sure how it works, but it does. Now you won't have to worry about your child's cough anymore. (08/02/2008)

By Bill R

Homemade Cough Remedies

Take 1 tsp of honey with 1 tsp of brandy, heat and have in the night before sleeping. This works for kids as well as adults. Also you can boil 1/2 cup coca-cola and drink it 3 times a day. (08/18/2008)

By Suresh A

Homemade cough remedy

When I was a small girl and had laryngitis, my mother's Mennonite maid made a syrup from onion, sugar and I think some honey. I took a spoonful or so and my voice came back to normal in no time at all. A miracle.

By Jeanne C

Homemade Cough Remedies

Warm milk, honey, and rock candy (09/24/2008)

By jasmine

Homemade Cough Remedies

Mix Aloe Gel, honey, 1/4 onion and Lime in a blender. Drink a large tablespoon every 2 hrs. Make some green tea with lime, drink it hot. Vapor rub in chest, back, and feet and you will sleep like a baby. For those of you hooked on the whiskey and rum, be careful if you have a fever with dehydration, lots of orange juice with pulp is the best. Do not drink milk if you have a cough. (10/04/2008)

By Jesus

Homemade Cough Remedies

Scroll to Patricia and her husband's Grandma. Wet, cold washcloth on the neck, hand towel around it and I'm telling you that stuff works! My girl (7) was hacking away the 2nd night in a row. My husband, a medic, of course tried the OTC and to no avail. 15, yes, 15 minutes after I tried this, as a last resort before going to squeezed lemon, honey, thyme and all the other good stuff. IT WORKED! 90 min later and she is still asleep, not a beep out of her. I am so grateful! Thanks so much for another great remedy that was delivered from the past. (11/12/2008)

By Christina

Homemade Cough Remedies

Very good one. My hubby got the flu after taking the flu shot & got Claritin from the Dr. I made him this; 1/3 cup of lemon juice,1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Mix well in a 16 oz water bottle, finish filling it with water. Drink as needed day & night, good luck. (11/30/2008)

By kathleen williams

Homemade Cough Remedies

Mexican people use this, and it's very effective: my child and I had a very loud cough in 2007 winter. Our neighbor (an old Mexican lady) told us to boil 2 cinnamon sticks and then serve in a cup with lime juice (not lemon) and drink it hot! That remedy works. I use it every time. (12/24/2008)

By jimmy.

Homemade Cough Remedies

You should not give honey to any child under the age of two. (12/27/2008)

By me

Homemade Cough Remedies

My 8 year old son has had a hacking cough for 3 days. After giving him the maximum dose of cough medicine with no relief, I tried Patricia's recipe from her husband's grandmother (scroll down). I placed a cold wet cloth on his throat and covered it with a dry towel. He stopped coughing instantly and has not coughed once since. Amazing! (12/28/2008)

By Lynn

Homemade Cough Remedies

I am absolutely amazed at the results of Patricia's remedy! I've had a chesty, congested cough for about two days now. Tonight, none of my prescribed meds worked at all. So about an hour ago, in desperation, I crawled out of bed and Googled HERBAL REMEDIES. ha ha. I ended up eating some honey, but the cough still lingered. In even more hopeless desperation, I tried Patricia's remedy as a last resort, and it works. By gum, Does it work. I'm amazed. Patricia, I owe a good nights sleep to you! (01/08/2009)

By Caitlin

Homemade Cough Remedies

Patricia's remedy doesn't work for everyone. Tried it on my 7 year old and she's coughing worse than ever. Different strokes for different folks. (01/14/2009)

By Carl Barkema

Homemade Cough Remedies

My 7 year old started coughing earlier this evening and I tried to have him sip hot water with a little sugar, honey and lemon but he didn't want to drink it. So I just put a tablespoon of honey and a few drops of lemon juice mixed in and had him swallow it in one spoonful and here we are about 15 minutes later and no cough! It really did work immediately. I didn't have fresh lemon so I had to use the sour juice in the container that is shaped like a lemon, but it worked. At least now he can get some sleep. (01/31/2009)

By Tara

Homemade Cough Remedies

My mom has been coughing for the past 2 weeks, turns out that she has pneumonia. The doctors have her on about 4 different prescriptions, and they all work fairly well. But at night, it's really bad, she can't lay down or she will start coughing. She has tried some of the home remedies and they have worked pretty well, but I am desperately seeking help from anyone who is willing to give me some. So thanks to everyone who has posted some of your own home remedies, I will be making a list of some of the ones she should try. Thank you so much!

If you can help me, you can E-mail me at SaraMuFFin88 at(@) AOL dot(.)com
(sorry my E-mail address looks kind of weird, but I was following the directions for putting your E-mail on this comment thing.) (02/02/2009)

By Sara From WI.

Homemade Cough Remedies

In warm milk, add turmeric powder and salt, drink it right before going to bed at night. Let it sit, do not drink water for couple hours. It works and it's safe. (02/12/2009)

By pinal

Homemade Cough Remedies

(Submitted via email)

Mr. Boston Rock and Rye. I bought it at my local liquor store. This is the drink with the rock candy in it.
Tammy. (02/14/2009)

By Sally

Homemade Cough Remedies

I have been reading the comments and suggestions concerning the coughing regarding specifically 6-7 year olds. I tried the spoonful of honey first. I'm waiting 15 min. Not working yet. Okay on to the next, cold wash cloth on neck with towel over it..okay I'm waiting to see, it's a no go. I think this is weird but I'm desperate. Baby chest rub on her feet with socks...waiting, 10 min. later, thank you Jesus! Poor thing, I know she was going to start coughing blood any moment from how hard she was coughing. Oh, I forgot to say that before all of this I gave her a teaspoon of prescription cough syrup that of course did not work. 15 mins, still nothing from the bedroom. All is well. Thanks to all! (02/17/2009)

By Lori

Homemade Cough Remedies

The mixture of 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, and 2 tbsp water is the best remedy I've found. Just made it for my son (it's 3am) who has been coughing every night for weeks now. Tonight was the worst. Within minutes of taking 2 tsp of this mixture he was asleep. He wouldn't let me rub the Vick's on his feet, though I know it works quite well. And we did not want to use OTC commercial products. HURRAY! (02/19/2009)

By Cathy, AZ

Homemade Cough Remedies

It's a miracle, thank you thank you. My 2 year old grandson has had a bad cough for two days now and has had no sleep from coughing so bad. My daughter and I just tried the remedy of putting Vick's Vapor rub on the bottom of his little feet and covering them with socks. To our amazement he stopped coughing within 15 minutes and has finally fallen asleep. What a wonderful and safe remedy. (02/21/2009)

By Suzanne

Homemade Cough Remedies

A lot of great ideas! Just a note, never, ever give little children raw honey (under 1-2 years). Raw honey often contains botulism bacteria. The levels are quite low so that an older person's natural intestinal bacteria wipe them out before they cause harm. But babies haven't developed their natural flora yet and can't protect themselves.

By Paige

Homemade Cough Remedies

I've had a horrible and constant cough for about a week. I tried a tsp of sugar, a big glob of honey and a few squeezes of a fresh lemon and poured boiling water over. I'm sitting here 10 minutes later not coughing at all and I think I've found my new favorite drink. It tastes so yummy. (02/25/2009)

By Kait

Homemade Cough Remedies

When I was a child, we were pretty poor. My parents always got the generic version of Vick's and smeared it on a long tube sock. They safety-pinned it to my neck, like a scarf. When I woke up, I almost always never had the symptoms. This worked for cough and cold (and especially chest congestion). This also ensures your child won't get any Vick's in his or her eyes or mouth through the night. (03/04/2009)

By cortney

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May 6, 2008
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