Honey Lemon Cough and Cold Remedy

cough remedy (5 of 5)This is our favorite cough, sore throat, and cold remedy.  Even the kids love the taste of it.  Which was important to me, because even the best natural remedy won’t work if it doesn’t get taken.

Colds are our most common complaint around here, so it was important for me to find a natural remedy that could be made up quickly and with ingredients that I had on hand.  After doing lots of reading about the benefits of using garlic internally for boosting immunity, I knew that I wanted to use it in a cold remedy.  But how to make it palatable?

While researching natural remedies for coughs and sore throats, I kept coming across honey and lemon as two common ingredients.  Since our colds are usually accompanied by coughs, I had an ‘aha’ moment.

I experimented with a simple blend of honey, lemon, ‘bruised’ garlic cloves, and smashed ginger root.  The sweetness and flavor of the lemon honey masks the strong taste of the garlic cloves, and you just get a hint of spiciness.  We use it when we start to feel a cold or sore throat coming on, and to soothe a cough. (See the update below the printable recipe for a couple more great ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.)

My kids like the taste enough to ask for it, and remember to take it regularly.

Here’s how to make it:

4.7 from 3 reviews
Honey Lemon Cough and Cold Remedy
Prep time
Cook time
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This is our favorite cough remedy for the whole family, from kids over a year old* all the way up. It's soothing, sweet, and it does its job at soothing throats and coughs when we're feeling poorly.
Recipe type: Remedy
Serves: 6-12
  • ½ c. Raw (unheated) Honey*
  • Half a lemon
  • 2 fresh or frozen garlic cloves- don't use the pre-minced stuff. It's lost its strong medicinal properties.
  • a chunk of fresh or frozen ginger* (optional)
  1. Fill a small jar halfway with raw honey.
  2. Squeeze the lemon half into the honey and stir.
  3. Crush the garlic cloves and ginger. You don't want to pulverize them, or you'll end up with little bitty chunks floating around in the honey...just crush them one good time, to start the enzyme reactions in the cloves. I like to whack the cloves of garlic with the side of my meat tenderizer mallet, and I do the same thing to the ginger.
  4. Drop them into the honey and stir.
  5. We store this in the fridge, because the cold feels good on hot, scratchy throats.
*I would never use raw honey for babies under a year old, due to a natural bacteria that can make them very sick. If you have a little one under a yaer old and want to try a cough remedy, I recommend using maple syrup instead of honey.
**Raw honey has active enzymes, 'good' bacteria, and tons of other beneficial stuff that normal, pasteurized grocery store honey doesn't have. If it's raw, it will say so on the label. Local honey is also a great choice.

How to take it:
Take a spoonful of honey as needed, avoiding the chunks of garlic and ginger unless you just reeely like the taste of garlic.
Keeping it going:
We keep the mix going as long as we have colds in the house by adding more honey and lemon to taste as we use it up.
I also refresh the cloves of garlic and ginger daily, removing the old ones with a fork, and adding new ones.
Update: Since writing this post, I’ve discovered the amazing properties of turmeric in fighting off infection and inflammation…I wrote a mini-article on turmeric, and share how to add this amazing herb to the lemon/honey mix to create a cough remedy based on this basic recipe.  Add a pinch of cinnamon as well to further boost the effectiveness.


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  1. Good Things By Jenn says

    I am so glad I came across your website and this recipe! I have been battling a cold for several days, and needed some relief. I am pretty stubborn when it comes to taking medicine. I whipped this up, and oh my gosh, it worked wonderfully! Definitely a recipe I’ll keep!

  2. Charles says

    This sounds awesome.. Will post results! Thanks! Also, do you think instead of leaving the whole garlic in we can press the garlic?

  3. Erica says

    Been researching on this topic too and your post just confirmed what I read. Excited to try this on the kids!

  4. Hair-pulling Dad of 1&1/2 says

    My household is going through the later phase of whooping cough- I’ve been reading tons of things but now that I’ve read your posts and comments on this we’re gonna give it a try. My almost 2 yr old has that nasty cough sequence bothering him and my cosleeping pregnant wife. ~X•S
    I’ve read some stuff about the boosting of vitamin c as well so we started that already. I’m recovering better than my other 2, mostly because I don’t go down without a fight and I’m not squeamish to try the nasty recipes and methods to clear things up. I get sinus drainage at night time but don’t have the coughs anymore.- I work at night so that probly helps with the nighttime stress of cough/sleep mix.

    I hope to get my lovelies feeling better soon! Thanks for putting this information out for public view. I’ll share your webpage to my Facebook to let even more people know!

  5. esther o brien says

    thank you so so much for such practical advice on these wonderful natural remedies. I take a mixture of all in different forms at different times. Have you any advice on a natural product for night sweats, (hormonal menopause), my nights are miserable, energy low, otherwise in great health.
    looking forward to hearing from your,
    esther o brien

    • Gwen says

      Esther, I’m not as familiar with the hormone balance issues, but that’s something I am going to be studying and writing on this year, so stay tuned!

      • Anna says

        Get the book “What your doctor may not tell you about menopause.”
        It goes over your symptoms and what vitamins, herbs, and creams will work for
        those. It saved my life.

  6. Rhonda Clonts says

    Is there a beginners book on Herbs that you recommend? I started my own little garden this season. Am looking forward to reaping the benefits.

  7. says

    I use a really potent mixture of all hot ingredients, but I’d never heard about the use of turmeric. Thanks for the information!.

  8. Geoff says

    We have been fighting whooping cough for weeks. Starting on your cough mixture with turmeric (we have a kilo of organic turmeric just waiting to be used). Will let you know how it goes.
    This bug is NASTY. My 18 yr old has been coughing his lungs up for at least a week. We have been heavy on the liquid consumption, beef broths, chicken soup etc. Have to hope the turmeric could be the difference.
    Thanks for all the info

  9. aman says

    I will definitely give it a try, thanks for your effort helping others without a fee.. By the way, do you have any remedies on sleep disorder or insomia? Am having difficulties going back to sleep after having a pee between 2-4am…

  10. Amy says

    Thank you for this recipe, plus it’s add-ins, as well as your wassail recipe…that’s how my search tonight started…for your wassail! :) Gonna try making both tomorrow to get me over this cold quickly, before Thanksgiving!!! 😉 Thank you!


  1. […] it, and my symptoms were the same as hers).  There it was…a few search results down…Honey Lemon Cough and Cold Remedy.  I had the three required ingredients on hand…raw honey, lemon, and garlic cloves.  I […]

  2. […] with it, and my symptoms were the same as hers).  There it was…a few search results down…Honey Lemon Cough and Cold Remedy.  I had the three required ingredients on hand…raw honey, lemon, and garlic cloves.  I whipped […]