Try these three recipes for homemade cough and sore throat relief.

Winter is on the way, and it brings all sorts of germs along with the colder weather. The common cold, influenza, and strep throat can all leave a person's throat dry, scratchy, and uncomfortable. Instead of paying a lot of money for over-the-counter cold remedies that may cause unwanted side effects or contain questionable ingredients, it is possible for someone to make homemade remedies that are just as effective as those found in the store. 

Making cough syrupcough drops, and throat sprays at home enables people to know exactly what is going into their bodies. There will be no need to worry about questionable ingredients, potential allergens, or bothersome side effects. Homemade remedies for coughs and sore throats cost practically nothing to make while offering the same benefits as their flashier, more expensive drugstore counterparts.

Homemade Cough Syrup

Homemade cough syrup is an ideal way to soothe a sore, irritated, and dry throat. It coats the lining of the throat, helping to reduce symptoms such as coughing and the resulting irritation. Cough syrup also helps relieve a sore throat that results from post-nasal drip. Most over-the-counter cough syrups contain dextromethorphan, which is a chemical cough suppressant. It can cause many unpleasant side effects, such as dizziness, nausea, and constipation or diarrhea. Therefore, many people prefer a more natural remedy. 

This recipe includes olive oil, which reduces inflammation and helps coat the throat. The honey helps suppress coughing, especially the nagging type that keeps a person up at night and interferes with getting a good night's sleep. Any type of honey will do, but buckwheat honey is thought to be the most effective at reducing nighttime coughs in children. Lemon is the third ingredient in this homemade cough syrup. It contains vitamin C, which is a key booster of the immune system, reduces inflammation, and has antimicrobial properties.



  1. Add all of these ingredients to a small pot. Turn the burner to a medium-heat setting. Slowly stir and heat until steaming. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. 
  2. Pour the liquid into a mason jar or other kind of jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store the cough syrup at room temperature on the countertop for up to one and a half months or in the refrigerator for up to three months. This recipe makes 32 servings.

For the best results, warm and stir the syrup before using. It should be taken at the first sign of a cold. This home remedy is also effective on coughs and sore throats that are triggered by seasonal allergies. Take 1 tablespoon as needed for coughing. This syrup is safe for children ages 6 months and older.

Homemade Throat Spray  

A sore throat spray is another handy tool to have around for the inevitable cold and flu season. Homemade sore throat sprays are safe for children and adults. This spray is easy to use, and people can keep bottles of it at work to reduce the symptoms of an irritated throat after putting on a presentation or talking a lot in a meeting.

This spray not only soothes the discomfort of a sore throat, but it also helps to fight off the bacteria that live in the warm, wet throat environment and actually cause the inflammation. This recipe contains several essential oils, including lemon. This antioxidant oil has antibacterial properties and vitamin C. The peppermint essential oil reduces inflammation and also has antimicrobial effects. Eucalyptus essential oil is energizing and helps to eliminate bacteria from the throat. Clove essential oil helps to loosen mucus and provides a good flavor to the spray. 

The raw honey coats the throat, reducing pain when swallowing. Raw apple cider vinegar provides antibacterial and antifungal properties to help prevent throat infections. The sea salt contains important trace minerals, which help to prevent dehydration and restore a proper electrolyte balance. Cayenne pepper brings a natural heat that assists the body with fighting off bacteria, and tea bags contain important antioxidants that help to flush out infections.



  1. Boil the water. Steep the tea bags in the water until the water is just above room temperature. Remove the tea bags and add the honey, sea salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir the mixture until the ingredients are completely dissolved. The thick, raw honey may require whisking. 
  2. Add the apple cider vinegar and essential oils. Use a funnel to pour the mixture into the dark glass spray bottles. The recipe makes about 100 servings of throat spray.

If the throat spray is being made for children, it is still effective with lower amounts of the essential oils. For a stronger throat spray for adults, add a few more drops of the oils. The dark glass spray bottles are needed in order to keep the essential oils active in the presence of light, which can degrade their antioxidant properties. This recipe makes 6 ounces of spray. Store it in the refrigerator for up to three months or in a dark, cool cabinet for up to a month and a half.

Shake the bottle before each use. This throat spray can be used daily during the cold and flu season as a preventive measure. It can also be used at the first sign of a sore throat. One serving is one push on the spray button.

Homemade Cough Drops

Homemade cough drops are another good way to soothe a sore throat. They are portable and can be packed into a small tin or container and taken along when traveling, going to work, or running errands. Not only do they taste good, but they also can relieve irritated, dry throats and quiet persistent coughs.

These drops contain raw honey, which reduces irritation and inflammation. Using raw honey that is locally harvested might also help to lessen symptoms in people that are allergic to pollen. This homemade remedy also includes cinnamon, which has been used in natural remedies for centuries and is known to reduce cold and flu symptoms. 

The coconut oil in these drops is a healthy fat and contains lauric acid, which is an antiviral and antibacterial agent. It also boosts the immune system. Coconut oil provides a coating on the inflamed lining of the throat, which could help to lessen the pain when swallowing. This ingredient also mitigates the effects of a dry throat and reduces the frequency of coughing.



  1. Scoop the coconut oil into a mixer bowl and beat until it is whipped and fluffy. Add the honey and cinnamon and continue whipping until mixed. 
  2. Pour the mixture into small ice cube trays. Freeze the drops in the trays until they are hard. This process takes about 20 minutes. Pop the cough drops out of the ice cube trays. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

These drops are safe for people ages 5 and older to use at the first sign of a sore throat, cough, or cold. This recipe yields 20 to 25 homemade cough drops.