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Homemade Cough Syrup for Toddlers and Adults

Homemade Cough Syrup for Toddlers & Safe Over-the-Counter Options

Inside This Post: Natural Homemade Cough Syrup for toddlers is a great home remedy to have on hand for sore throats and coughs. DIY Cough Syrup for coughing & to sleep better.

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Make Your Own Natural Homemade Cough Syrup 

We don’t get sick often, but when we do, I tend to give the body time to fight off the illness naturally while trying to stay comfortable. When possible, I don’t immediately turn to over-the-counter medicines because I want to give the body time to fight the infection on its own.

However, there are still times when illness hits and coughing strikes. It’s no fun. No one likes a coughing fit, or how much it disrupts a good night’s sleep.

However, coughing is one of the body’s natural ways of clearing airways and getting rid of what’s not supposed to be there.

You’ll need to distinguish between a cough that’s irritating, and one that’s damaging, even dangerous before you decide which route to take. For example, if you hear a barking cough it may be Croup and this should be treated by a medical professional.

When illness includes coughing (like a strain of the flu or bronchitis), I like to use natural remedies and even my homemade cough syrup to ease symptoms so myself, and my little ones can get some rest and on the road to recovery.

At the first sign of illness, or if we’re around someone who is sick, I whip up a batch of homemade elderberry syrup. I keep a bag of dried elderberries in my pantry just for this reason, especially if I don’t have any frozen to thaw out.

I have two ingredients I researched to including in our own homemade cough syrup and work really well, especially at night when coughing tends to be more persistent.


Natural Ingredients for Homemade Cough Syrup 

Mix these three main ingredients together and you have yourself a super immune boosting syrup that will help alleviate coughs and sore throats!

Add in a bonus ingredient such as ginger, turmeric or cinnamon for flavor and additional immune boosting benefits.

Natural Homemade Cough Syrup for toddlers is a great home remedy to have on hand for sore throats and coughs. DIY Cough Syrup for coughing & to sleep better. 

Raw Honey

I use raw honey, never pasteurized honey, because of the natural anti-viral, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties found in the raw version. Pasteurized honey has been heated and the benevolent enzymes have been killed off, making it useless. Look for organic, raw honey and local is always best if you have access to it.

Honey naturally soothes a cough and sore throat by coating and relieving the “tickle” in the throat.

In a study conducted by Penn State University, honey was discovered to be better at alleviating cough than over the counter drugs. The study by Dr. Ian Paul found that a small amount of buckwheat honey, given before bedtime, provided better relief for kids from night time cough and sleep difficulty than the use of dextromethorphan (DM), found in many cough suppressant medications.

It’s also been found that 1 teaspoon a day of raw honey can help to relieve allergies, and when taken prior to pollen season, can be effective in boosting your immunity to pollen.

Caution: babies under one year old should not have honey.

Natural Homemade Cough Syrup for toddlers is a great home remedy to have on hand for sore throats and coughs. DIY Cough Syrup for coughing & to sleep better. 

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a common ingredient in home remedies for good reason! It’s rich in Vitamin C and helps your immune system. It’s packed full of anti-viral and antibacterial properties, effectively cutting through phlegm – which is helpful with a cold as this is when mucus tends to accumulate.

I personally drink warm lemon water or put it into my tea to help when I have a stuffy nose because I find it helps clear my sinus and breathe better, especially at night.


Coconut Oil 

Coconut oil is packed with antioxidants and contains lauric acid, which is antibacterial and antiviral. Coconut oil can be used to help prevent colds by boosting the immune system, especially when taken before a cold has struck.

Once the cold has set in however, coconut oil can help to reduce the severity and length of sickness, and is quite soothing when it’s added to warm honey-lemon water or chamomile tea.


More Natural Ingredients You Can Add to Your Homemade Syrup:

  • Ginger – Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and does a good job at relieving chest congestion.
  • Cinnamon Cinnamon helps boost the immune system and improve taste.
  • Turmeric – Turmeric is a natural way to help bolster the immune system by increasing the immunomodulating capacity of the body. When you add turmeric to your daily diet, and especially during flu season, or when you’re battling a cold, it can give your immune system a needed boost.
  • Chamomile – Chamomile soothes muscles, making it useful in relieving the “tickle” in the throat, plus it promotes restful sleep.
  • Marshmallow Root – Marshmallow Root has one of the highest mucilaginous contents of all herbs and coats and soothes the throat.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple Cider Vinegar restores the body’s pH factor, which becomes more alkaline during a cold. It also helps slow down mucus production and thins mucous.
  • Cayenne Pepper – Cayenne is hot and spicy, yet it relieves pain.  How? Cayenne pepper relieves pain by suppressing a chemical that carries the pain message to the brain.


Homemade Cough Syrup Recipe for Toddlers & Kids 

Using the three main ingredients, you can play with these as your homemade syrup, or choose to add one of the bonus ingredients such as 1 teaspoon of ginger, cinnamon or turmeric for flavor and immune boosting properties.


  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Honey (local honey is best)
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • **You can also add 1 Teaspoon Ginger, Cinnamon, or Turmeric for additional natural benefits



  1. Mix all the ingredients except honey together in a small saucepan and heat over low until coconut oil is melted.
  2. Remove the pan from heat and let cool.
  3. Add honey (you don’t want to add it directly while it’s cooking over heat. If temperature gets over 135f, it will start pasteurizing the honey and kills off all the natural potency of raw honey.)
  4. Take warm syrup by the spoonful as desired. You can also mix the syrup into water or tea.
  5. Once the syrup is cooled the coconut oil will harden. You can store these in ice cube trays and freeze for later.
  6. Gently warm up your homemade cough syrup up before using again – do not overheat and avoid using a microwave. See warming instructions below. Coconut Oil melts at 75 degrees so you don’t need much heat for it to liquify.


Warming Directions: 

  • If you store your mixture in a glass mason jar, you can let the sealed glass container sit in a bowl of warm water to re-liquify before using.
  • You can spoon some of the mixture into a small saucepan and gently warm at very low heat. You do not want to use high heat because it will kill off the natural benefits of your ingredients.
  • If you freeze your mixture into ice cube sized pieces, you can pull out one cube and allow to sit at room temperature to liquify before taking a spoonful or putting into your tea.
  • If you freeze your mixture into ice cubes, simply put one cube into warm tea and allow it to liquify before drinking.



  • As an adult, I’ll take 2 tablespoons at a time, every few hours as needed
  • For kids, I have given my children 1 spoonful or 1 tablespoon at a time, every few hours as needed

Homemade Cough Syrup for Toddlers

Looking For a Safe Over-The-Counter Cough Syrup?

I understand that sometimes you don’t have all the ingredients you need or the time, and it’s convenient to grab something at the store.

This list was compiled by Mamavation as the safest brands to use because they only use natural ingredients

Many conventional cough syrups contain potentially dangerous ingredients with a long list of negative side effects compounded by multiple active pharmaceuticals and toxic added ingredients.

There are the only safe brands Mamavation in their investigation of bad to best cough syrups found to be safe.

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