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Quirky Cough Syrup

This cough syrup is my own concoction and the recipe is derived from the ingredients in the basic honey lemon cough remedies from the supermarket and ... a chicken soup that has a hell of an effect on colds.

All the ingredients are for loosening up a chesty cough and to get rid of the phlegm.

You need:

2 jars of honey 400g each
3 medium sized onions
Ginger (the size of a big thumb)
fresh Thyme & Sage (small handful)
2-3 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp Glycerine

a small to medium sized cooking pot
a sieve

Keeps well in fridge.
Preparation time: 1 1/2 hour

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Fill one jar of honey into the pot


  • peeled and thinly sliced onions
  • peeled and thinly sliced ginger

and bring to boil.

Careful it bubbles and boils over easily!

Let it simmer on lowest heat for about 45 minutes to an hour. Check on it once in a while so it doesn't get too dark or bubbles too much. On a gas cooker a heat diffuser can be useful.

Wash the Thyme and Sage, but dry it off as well as possible. Sage is very strong, so if you don't particularly like it go easy on it. Otherwise use about 2/3 Thyme and 1/3 Sage or even 1/2 and 1/2.

When the onions have become golden/brown, turn the heat off and add the herbs.

Let cool


  • lemon juice
  • Glycerine

and put trough a sieve.

Mix well with the second jar of honey and fill back into the honey jars to keep it in the fridge.

Some info regarding the procedure:

By boiling the onions and ginger all the phlegm dissolving bits go into the honey. However, honey contains a lot of good things as well which get destroyed by boiling. So I only use half the honey to heat up and the rest goes into it when cold.

The herbs go into the heat but are not boiled, like brewing a tea to get all the essential oils out without destroying them.

Lemon juice is added to firstly make it more palatable, secondly to liquidise the concoction for easier sieving, and it is soothing on the throat. You can easily add more lemon juice, but you don't want to have the syrup too liquid.

Glycerine is soothing for a sore throat.

How to use it:

I either just take a teaspoon full and let it slowly dissolve in the mouth, like a usual cough syrup, and I do so whenever I feel like it.


I put a good teaspoon into a cup, add lemon juice to tast and add just enough hot water so that it becomes a hot sweet/sour drink. You will have to try out the amount. If the first sip already feels good, you got it right.

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Author: Rika