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Last Updated on July 6, 2024 by Kiersten James

This very old onion and honey cough syrup recipe is still around today because it WORKS. Make a batch in less than an hour to be prepared for cold and flu season.

onion and honey cough syrup in a mason jar on a gray table outside

We are in the heat of mid-summer at the beginning of July and my inbox is already getting hit with cold and flu projections for the upcoming 2024-2025 school year. It seems like every year, they say that “this one for sure” will be the worst year we’ve ever seen”.

In the beginning of August, I begin to look through our pantry to see what we are running low on, what is beyond it’s shelf life, and what we have completely run out of to stock up for cold and flu season.

My storage will typically includes elderberry syrup, fermented garlic honey, St. John’s wort infused oil, blackberry currant jam, ear ache oil, and this onion and honey cough syrup.

Onion and Honey Cough Syrup

This cough syrup only has two ingredients! One onion and enough honey to cover and simmer in a sauce pan.

Onion: Onions have excellent expectorant, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties which work incredibly well (and fast) to calm a nagging cough in both kids and adults.

Honey: While honey has tons of benefits on its own, the purpose of honey in this cough syrup is to soothe irritation and coat the throat.

Supplies:

  • Clean glass storage jar with lid
  • Small pot or sauce pan
  • Cutting board and knife for slicing
  • Medium onion
  • 12 ounces of honey

This cough syrup cannot be given to babies less than one year old due to the risk of botulism infection

Instructions:

Slice an onion as thin as you can with a knife, rotary slicer, or mandolin.

Place the onion slices in a small pot or saucepan. Aluminum cookware should not be used in this case as it is reactive and may change the acidic nature of the honey.

Pour enough honey over the onions to completely cover the slices. I find that this is usually around 12 ounces.

Bring the onion-honey mixture to a simmer for about an hour. Be care to keep the heat at a lower level so the honey doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pan. If this happens, it’s best to start over with a new batch.

Remove the pot from the stove and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. Do not strain the onions.

Pour the cough syrup into a clean glass jar with lid for storage in the refrigerator. I use the wide mouth canning funnel to make this less messy.

Storage and Shelf Life

Since the onion and honey cough syrup is prepared as a stove top infusion and not through fermentation, it must be refrigerated.

I store and use ours for up to four weeks before tossing it and making a fresh batch.

How to Use Onion and Honey Cough Syrup

When a nagging cough strikes, take a spoonful of this onion and honey cough syrup as often as needed.

Toddlers: 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) – this can be done with an old Motrin or Tylenol syringe

Kids 3+ years old: 1 teaspoon ( 5ml)

Adults: 1 tablespoon (15ml)

Condiment: Add the infused onions to salad greens or as a condiment for chicken, pork or any other savory dishes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the sweetness of the honey blends with the onion.

In children and adults with a typical immune system, the common cold, Corona, RSV (also known as whooping cough), flu, adenovirus, Coxsackie diease, and all of the other gross things kids share between each other can be managed at home with home remedies.

There are isolated cases where advanced treatment may be necessary, but this is rare. Always see your healthcare provider for evaluation if you have any concerns.

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The statements made on www.naturalhomeapothecary.com are for educational purposes only. Please consult with your personal physician or healthcare specialist regarding any potential changes to your lifestyle or healthcare regimen.

More Home Remedies for Cold & Flu

Elderberry Syrup Recipe for Toddlers

Easy Fermented Garlic Honey Recipe (Uses & Benefits)

Homemade Amish Cough Syrup Recipe (Kids & Adults)

Home Remedies for Ear Infections in Kids

onion and honey cough syrup in a mason jar on a gray table outside

Onion and Honey Cough Syrup

Yield: 12 ounces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This very old onion and honey cough syrup recipe is still around today because it WORKS! Make a batch in less than an hour to be prepared for cold and flu season.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces of honey
  • Medium onion

Instructions

  1. Slice an onion as thin as you can with a knife, rotary slicer, or mandolin.
  2. Place the onion slices in a small pot or saucepan.
  3. Pour enough honey over the onions to completely cover the slices. I find that this is usually around 12 ounces.
  4. Bring the onion-honey mixture to a simmer for about an hour. Be care to keep the heat at a lower level so the honey doesn't scorch on the bottom of the pan. If this happens, it's best to start over with a new batch.
  5. Remove the pot from the stove and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. Do not strain the onions.
  6. Pour the cough syrup into a clean glass jar with lid for storage in the refrigerator. I use the wide mouth canning funnel to make this less messy.
  7. Store in the refrigerator for up to four weeks before tossing it and making a fresh batch.

Notes

How to Use Onion and Honey Cough Syrup

Toddlers: 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) - this can be done with an old Motrin or Tylenol syringe

Kids 3+ years old: 1 teaspoon ( 5ml)

Adults: 1 tablespoon (15ml)

Condiment: Add the infused onions to salad greens or as a condiment for chicken, pork or any other savory dishes. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the sweetness of the honey blends with the onion.

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