Coughing, sneezing, **honk-honk**! Things aren’t looking good when you don’t feel well, and sometimes the desire to reach for that same bottle of over-the-counter cough syrup seems way too tempting and easy. But did you know research has shown simple honey works better for coughs than those cough syrups? And let’s face it – cough syrup tastes pretty darned nasty. With a few herbs added to your honey, you’ll have a truly effective cough syrup you can safely use; and with no side effects! (Unless you count not hacking.)
Take one cup purified water in a saucepan and about 1 tsp. dried ground ginger or 1/2 inch peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger. Place the ginger in the saucepan and heat water to a slow simmer. Simmer until the water is reduced to half, then turn off the heat. Add 1/2 tsp. ground licorice root and 1/2 tsp. dried horehound to a tea ball and steep in the ginger tea, covered, for 20 – 30 minutes. (You may leave the ginger root in the pan if you like strong ginger flavor. Personally, I find it more soothing to a sore throat and cough when the ginger flavor is spicier.) Remove tea ball and strain ginger. If the tea has cooled, return to pan and heat it up a little. Turn heat off and add 1/2 cup honey and stir until totally dissolved. Wait for mixture to cool and store in an amber bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keep refrigerated. Good for a week.
My advice is to make this up now so that when you need it, it’s there waiting for you. I’d also advise you make a fresh batch every season. When you get coughing, take 1 or 2 tablespoons. Nice thing is, you can take this as you need it! No overdosing issues, no groggy head. You can also experiment with herbs. Try adding cayenne pepper to the batch when it’s finished. Yes, it’s HOT but wow, cayenne does wonders on congested lungs.