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Homemade Medicine Made Simple: Sweet Lemon Honey & Thyme Cough Syrup RecipeSweet Lemon Honey & Thyme Cough Syrup is a wonderful, homemade cough syrup recipe that will help you or your kids stop coughing the next time you come down with a cold. What I love the best about this remedy is that I can make it quickly with a handful of simple ingredients found in my pantry or backyard!

Can you believe it? My crew is down with yet another cold! They’re getting better only to leave the house and pick up the next little thing they come across. I swear. I’m just about ready to put ourselves on quarantine the rest of the year. If folks are too inconsiderate to stay home when they’re exhibiting cold symptoms, well then I’m going to have do the staying home myself.

Homemade Medicine Made Simple: Sweet Lemon Honey & Thyme Cough Syrup Recipe

Homemade Medicine Made Simple: Sweet Lemon Honey & Thyme Cough Syrup RecipeI’m flirting with coming down with this cold myself. I have the early symptoms they all had, but they aren’t getting any worse. Could it be the tablespoon full of elderberry syrup I’m taking a few times a day since I noticed them coming on? I’d like to think yes.

The rest of the sick ones have a dry cough with this cold. It’s pitiable when they get on a jag during the nighttime in particular. So I’ve made them a little cough syrup with a few ingredients I have lying around. It’s the least I could do and it’s so simple that it feels like just as much work to write it on my to-do list and check it off when I’m done as it does to actually make the syrup!

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A couple winters ago when we were sick, myself included, we thoroughly enjoyed a homemade honey lemon cough & sore throat syrup. This year however, I’ve given it a power boost by mixing in an infusion (tea) made from fresh thyme leaves. Fresh homegrown thyme leaves, I might add. (Sorry. Super excited I was actually able to grow some thyme this year. AND that my chickens didn’t kill two of the plants in their dust bathing this summer.)

Thyme works to calm the muscles spasms of coughing making it a wonderful addition to any cough syrup and the lemon & honey are ever so soothing to the raw, sore throat! I don’t normally  keep ginger root, though I should, which is a shame because it would make a fine addition to this syrup working to help with either the congestion or the upset stomach from the drainage that accompanies a cold.

The only question that remains is, “Is it palatable?”
Um. Heck yeah! But don’t take my word for it. Let’s just take a look at my sticky kitchen floors from the sick children sneaking in the fridge and self “medicating” when I’m not looking. That should be all the testimony you need!
•Don’t have fresh thyme?? No problem! You can also purchase dried, organic thyme leaves here  and use them instead. I’ve purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs many times over the years and have always been pleased with them.

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Homemade Medicine Made Simple: Sweet Lemon Honey & Thyme Cough Syrup Recipe
Sweet Lemon Honey & Thyme Cough Syrup Recipe
  • a handful of fresh thyme sprigs(or buy organic, dry leaves here)
  • 1 pint of water (2 cups)
  • ½ cup honey (raw is best, but regular will do)
  • ½ lemon chopped
  1. Place the lemon in the pint jar and cover with the honey. The honey will macerate the lemons and draw out liquids which taste so delicious!
  2. Meanwhile, toss the thyme leaves into a saucepan and cover them with the water.
  3. Bring the water to a gentle simmer and reduce it to half, about a cup of tea.
  4. When the tea is reduced and cooled a bit, strain the sprigs & leaves, add it into the pint jar and stir it well.
  5. Give it a shake and use a spoonful as needed.
  6. Store your homemade cough syrup in the refrigerator for about a month.

Homemade Medicine Made Simple: Sweet Lemon Honey & Thyme Cough Syrup Recipe



  • Kaitlin

    This looks awesome! Do you take the thyme leaves out after cooking or leave them in?

    • Oh yes! I suppose that would be helpful info! I wrote up the recipe after the first batch and all the leaves stayed on the stems so I just plucked them out. Some fell off the next time and I did strain them.

      • heena

        Been suffering last whole week with a terrible throat….can barely speak….and coughing constantly. ….I am certainly trying this out….
        Just one clarification…how long does it take for the syrup to be ready to consume once we mix the yea with the honey and lemons….do u mean the syrup lasts one month or that it gets ready in a month

        • I’m so sorry I missed this! I hope you’re feeling much better by now! For anyone else reading: The syrup will be ready to use in a few hours. As you stir you’ll feel the honey is much thinner/waterier from the lemon juice. The syrup will keep then in the fridge for a month. Hope that clarifies!

  • grammyprepper

    If you did choose to add ginger to this, how much would you recommend? How about some garlic for it’s antiviral properties?

    • I would start the ginger at maybe half a tablespoon and adjust it to taste afterwards. As to the garlic, I personally would leave it out. I think it would throw the flavor off. And since kids care more about flavor than whats good for them I know I’d have rough time administering it. They are pretty good about taking little garlic pills cause theres not too much tasting that way.

  • Pia

    I hope you manage to stay out of a flu blown cold Quinn. I myself is recovering from one. Today is my first day out of bed since Tuesday. I was hit hard this time and mainly just slept for the last week. I will go take a spoon of my elderberry sirup right away.

  • Jen

    Could you use bottled lemon juice for this and how much? I know fresh is better, but sometimes not always attainable.

  • Kirsten

    I always keep ginger root in the freezer. No more waste from forgotten ginger in the fridge and it is so easy to shred from frozen exactly what I need for chai, cough syrup, or cooking.

  • Lisa

    Was up making this at midnight trying to find something for my son to help quite his cough. It worked! Thanks!

    • Lisa

      Oops quiet not quite. 🙂

    • Wonderful Lisa! I’m so glad he’s feeling a bit better!

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  • Christine

    Your blog seems to be organic, then why is a Terminix (pest control) ad appearing?

    • I’m sorry Christine, I have no control over certain ads on my site that, sadly, are necessary for me to pay my blogging bills. My guess is that google is smart enough to see that you are interested in pest control, but not discerning enough to realize not that kind of pest control. My mom sent me a link to the house she brought me home from the hospital to because it’s up for sale right now. Google serving me ads for real estate. I tried another ad server recently and it was all fast food & Disney ads which I thought fit even worse. I tell you this to show that I am conscientious about the ads and apologize not only that they are necessary to use, but that they are bothersome to you. Blessings, Quinn