I can hear the germs beating the door down, see them crawling all over my kids when they come home from their grimy schools. Let’s be honest, children are dirty little creatures with bad habits and sub-par hygiene. They share food and drinks, they touch everything & everyone, they cough without covering their mouths and they come home to us giving bacteria laden kisses. Of course, I welcome these dirty affections and would never let my germ-a-phobia interfere with love. But, as it naturally goes, kids get sick. Kids get their friends sick. Kids get you sick. You get your co-workers and friends sick. They get their kids sick. So on and so forth. Presently, my teen girl is holed up in her bedroom fighting the flu while a friend has a little munchkin who is bed-bound and feeling quite yucky. We’ve all learned that reaching for cough and cold syrup is risky business these days. If your sickling is less than 6 years of age you really don’t have many options. Unless you’re treating severe symptoms like high fevers or infections, you, like me, may want to try a more natural approach to soothing coughs, sore throats and sniffles. So, what’s a home nurse to do? I always turn to this homemade cough-calmer. It has a sweet, intense flavor similar to an herbal cough drop and is inexpensive to make. You don’t have to worry about overdosing your patient or measuring out perfect milligrams. Just a couple of spoonfuls every few hours or whenever coughing or throat pain is at its worst. This is a great remedy for kids and adults alike. Just be sure not to administer to kids under 12 months of age as honey can cause illness in baby’s belly. Along with a bowl for the soul, this little concoction should get you back on your feet in no time.
So…why does this stuff work?
Honey has been long used as a cough remedy. It coats the throat and the sweet taste encourages salivation, thinning mucus. Honey also contains antioxidants that help boost immune response.
Ginger has antitussive properties, making it a natural cough remedy.
Cayenne pepper gargles have long been used as pain relievers. Native Americans swore by this spicy little pepper. It contains a substance that blocks pain receptors. Your throat will thank you.
Lemon and apple cider vinegar
Along with promoting good bacteria, vinegar creates an acidic state that bugs don’t like. Lemon is a vitamin C boost and flavor enhancer, as well as an acid.
Natural Cough Syrup
3 oz raw honey
1 lemon, juiced, peels reserved
1 tablespoon natural apple cider vinegar, with the “mother”
1 teaspoon raw grated ginger
Good pinch of cayenne
Combine vinegar, cayenne and ginger. Mix lemon & honey and add to vinegar. Place sliced lemon peels in a mason jar, old baby food jar, or resealable plastic food container. Cover peels with syrup. Store at room temp for up to 24 hrs, or 3 days in the fridge. The best time to administer is right before bed, but feel free to use as often as every hour. Syrup can be warmed before use.