Honey Lemon Cough and Cold Remedy

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:

Honey Lemon Cough and Cold Remedy
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 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.
*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.

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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