How to make your own Homemade Cough Syrup using 3 natural ingredients

written by Kat Jeffries August 21, 2017
Homemade Cough Syrup

It certainly is cold and flu season here in Australia and it appears to be hitting us hard. Everywhere you turn, a friend, colleague, schoolmate or family member is being struck down with the dreaded lurgy! News outlets are currently reporting that Australia is experiencing its worst flu outbreak on record, with over 70 000 cases of flu already reported this year (a figure that is racing towards the 2015 record of 100 000 cases).

In addition to the flu, there also appears to be a number of strains of the common cold virus making their way around our workplaces, schools and playgrounds. Unfortunately, at least two of these have hit our house in the last month with both Charlie (my two-year old son) and I coming down with a horrid dry chesty cough, runny nose and sore throat. Thankfully both my husband and my dad have managed to avoid the germs, although we’ve very kindly shared the bug with my mum (and I can tell by her cough that she’s extremely grateful!). So to return the favour, mum has shared her mum’s Homemade Cough Syrup, a natural and easy recipe for easing the most nasty cough and cold using only three ingredients.

The recipe itself was actually passed down from my mothers grandmother all the way down to me and my cousins (that’s four generations), however I can’t help but attribute it to my mothers’ mum, Muma M’liss (pronounced “Melissa” without the “a”). Muma M’liss was a funny old soul. She adored animals and cared for all things that came in search of love. She loved to cook for people and to bring food to others, doing meals on wheels for many many years. She wasn’t fond of the doctor and thought that Vicks VapoRub solved all of lifes’ problems, and yet she managed to survive 8 heart attacks, a late diagnosis of coeliac disease and an amputated leg all before she passed away at the ripe old age of 90. Basically – she was a trooper. And of course, whenever anyone was sick, out came the cough syrup.

Papa, Muma, Alice and I – approximately 1988/89


It’s funny how home remedies of the past are making a comeback. Natural remedies that have been used for years with only anecdotal evidence behind them are now being backed by scientific research which tells us that they might genuinely be good for our mind, body and soul. Interestingly, the 3 simple ingredients in this particular recipe are proving beneficial in many different ways.  Given I am not a trained nutritionist I won’t go too much into these benefits, however a quick glance of the internet shows numerous research papers citing the various antibacterial, antibiotic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of honey, lemon and olive oil. Together, they make a powerhouse combination that soothes an irritated, sore and dry throat and is the perfect way to ease a cold naturally.


Homemade Cough Syrup

various antibacterial, antibiotic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of honey, lemon and olive oil

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for not visiting your local GP or chemist (and believe me I see my share of both with my Chronic Fatigue), and I would encourage you to look after yourself as best you can with the support you have around you. However, if you’ve got a persistent cough that just won’t go away, then why not give Muma’s Homemade Cough Syrup a go – it just might be the answer you need during this cold and flu season!

Have you tried it? Let me know what you think in the comments below! 


Muma's Homemade Cough Syrup

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Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • ½ cup light tasting extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup honey


  1. Combine all three ingredients in a small saucepan on a medium heat on the stove.
  2. Allow to heat until almost to the boil, then return to a simmer for 3-5 minutes stirring frequently.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool
  4. Pour cooled syrup into a 300ml sterilised jar. Store in the cupboard for up to two months.
  5. Take 1-2 tablespoons of the syrup every couple of hours or as desired.  Warm as required or consume at room temperature. Shake well or stir before use.

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