7 Easy to Make Homemade Cough Syrup for Kids

Easy to Make Homemade Cough Syrup for Kids

Medically Reviewed By
Vandana Sharma (Paediatric Nutritionist)
View more Paediatric Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

A cough is one of the most common ailments that affect children. A cough makes kids very uncomfortable and cranky, and it can be daunting for parents to see their kids in discomfort. Over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medications account for most medication exposures in children which many parents are skeptical about. Therefore, you may want to try homemade cough syrups for curing cough in children. The homemade cough syrups are not only safe for your kid, but they are also very easy to make. Here we shall discuss various homemade cough syrup recipes that you can easily make at home to cure a cough in children.

DIY Homemade Cough Syrups for Children

You may try any homemade cough syrup recipe from the following recipes:

1. Honey and Lemon Cough Syrup

Honey and lemon combination is very good for warding off a cough in children. Honey is power-packed with antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, and it is also a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. Research has shown better results with honey than store-bought cough syrups in reducing the severity of coughing at night. Lemon, on the other hand, is a rich source of vitamin C. The ample amount of vitamin C in lemon helps in keeping the immune system healthy. Both the ingredients in this cough syrup are very effective in providing relief from a cough.

Milk and honey

A. Ingredients

  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 and ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons warm water

B. How to Make It?

  1. Keep the ingredients at room temperature (except water).
  2. Mix honey and lemon juice in a glass.
  3. Add warm water to the mixture to get the desired syrup-like consistency.
  4. Store the contents in a sterilized glass jar.
  5. You can administer one tablespoon of this homemade cough medicine to your kid three to four times a day as soon as you register the symptoms of a cold.

2. Milk and Honey

Milk and honey together work as an effective remedy to cure a cough in children. The soothing properties of honey and the nourishing properties of milk work well in curing coughs in kids. This syrup will not only provide relief from a cough but will also help ease a runny nose. Both these ingredients are easily available at home, and you may prepare this homemade cough suppressant for children as soon as you establish the first sign of a cough.

Milk and honey

A. Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/8 spoon or a pinch of turmeric powder (optional)

B. How to Make It?

  1. Take milk in a heavy-bottomed pan and bring it to a boil.
  2. After it boils, take the pan off the flame.
  3. Once the milk gets warm, add honey and turmeric powder to the milk and mix well.
  4. You may give it to your kid as an effective cough remedy any time during the day.

3. Anise Seeds and Honey Syrup

Anise seeds are well known for their healing properties. It is used in traditional therapies for curing upper respiratory tract infections, such as asthma and bronchitis, and it is even beneficial in battling cough in children. Anise seeds and honey are very effective in treating symptoms of a cough and cold in children.

Anise Seeds and Honey Syrup

A. Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon anise seeds
  • 2 cups honey
  • 1 and a half cups water

B. How to Make It?

  1. Take anise seeds and crush them.
  2. Boil water in a pan.
  3. Once it starts boiling, add the crushed anise seeds in water and boil it till it is reduced to one cup.
  4. Turn off the flame and add honey to the mixture.
  5. Once the mix mixture cools down, store it in a sterilized glass container.
  6. Give one tablespoon to your kid three to four times a day.

4. Honey and Ginger Cough Syrup

Ginger is anti-inflammatory and has medicinal properties too. Honey is loaded with anti-bacterial properties. Together, both these ingredients work wonders in fighting cough in children. These easily available household ingredients can be used to make cough syrup for children.

Honey ginger syrup

A. Ingredients

  • 1 cup honey
  • ¼ cup ginger juliennes; alternatively, you can take ½ cup grated ginger.
  • ½ fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup water

B. How to Make It?

  1. Take a heavy-bottomed saucepan and put water, lemon juice and ginger in it.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer it for 5-6 minutes.
  3. Take the mixture off the flame and let it cool.
  4. Once the mixture cools down, strain it.
  5. Add honey to the mixture and mix well.
  6. Store the contents in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
  7. You may give ½ to one tablespoon of this cough syrup to your kid three to four times a day.

5. Mint and Ginger Cough Syrup

This is an excellent homemade cough syrup for infants sans the honey. Honey should not be administered to babies who are less than one year of age; rather, it is one of the forbidden foods for infants. This cough syrup includes mint, which is loaded with methanol and also has anti-bacterial properties.

Mint and ginger

A. Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped or grated ginger
  • 4 cups water

B. How to Make It?

  1. Take water in a pan.
  2. Add ginger and mint leaves to the water.
  3. Boil the water and then let it simmer over the flame for five to six minutes.
  4. Once the water reduces, take it off the flame.
  5. Strain the water and refrigerate the contents.
  6. Bring the syrup to room temperature before giving it to your baby.
  7. You may give one teaspoon of this syrup to your baby two to three times a day.

6. Onion, Garlic and Honey Cough Syrup

The antibacterial properties of ginger and anti-microbial properties of garlic and ginger can be combined to make natural cough syrup for kids.

Onion, Garlic and Honey Cough Syrup

A. Ingredients

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • ½ cup honey
  • A pinch each of oregano, thyme, and sage
  • ½ cup water

B. How to Make It?

  1. Take water and honey and mix well.
  2. Crush the garlic clove and chop the onion.
  3. Add onion and garlic to the honey mixture.
  4. Add thyme, sage and oregano to the mixture.
  5. Stir all the ingredients well and cover them.
  6. Let the mixture sit overnight.
  7. Strain the contents and refrigerate them.
  8. You may give one teaspoon of this syrup to your kid at the onset of a cough.

7.  Cinnamon and Honey Cough Syrup

Cinnamon and honey are soothing ingredients that are helpful in taking care of sore throat. Try this recipe for a medium dry to medium wet cough.

Cinnamon and Honey Cough Syrup

A. Ingredients

  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • Warm water (optional)

B. How to Make It?

  1. Mix the honey, cinnamon powder, and freshly squeezed lemon juice well in a clean container.
  2. Let the mixture sit overnight for the essence of the ingredients to infuse together.
  3. If your child finds the mixture too strong or thick, you can dilute it with a little warm water to make it more palatable.
  4. Store the mixture in a sterilised, air-tight container.
  5. Offer this mixture to your child, giving them a small spoonful every few hours as needed for cough relief. Do not exceed the recommended dosage, and if the cough still persists, get medical attention.

Disclaimer: The recipes that include honey are only recommended for children above the age of 1, considering the threat of honey for young babies under the age of 1. Make sure not to give honey to children under 1 year old due to the risk of botulism. For children above the age of 1, honey is safe to administer. However, we recommend checking for an allergy to honey first before introducing honey-related recipes to your child.

Other Ways to Alleviate Cough in Kids

Certainly, there are several ways to alleviate cough in kids apart from cough syrup and medication. Here are 5-6 effective ways to alleviate cough in children:

  • Hydration: Ensure your child drinks plenty of fluids, including water and warm soups. Hydration is very important in the process of soothing the throat and thinning mucus to make it easier to cough up.
  • Humidifier or Steam: Use a cool-mist humidifier during dry or cold weather in your child’s room to provide relief from itchy sore throat. The added moisture can help loosen mucus and ease coughing.
  • Honey: For children over the age of 1, a teaspoon of honey before bedtime can be soothing and reduce nighttime coughing. Make sure not to give honey to children under 1 year old due to the risk of botulism.
  • Warm Saltwater Gargle: Gargling is a great addition to treatment practices for cough. It eliminates bacteria, helps reduce throat irritation, and eases coughing. For older children, you can have them gargle with warm saltwater.
  • Elevate Head While Sleeping: If your child has a cough, elevate their head with an extra pillow under the head of the mattress. This can prevent postnasal drip from irritating the throat.
  • Avoid Irritants: Keep your child away from pollution, tobacco smoke, and other environmental irritants that can worsen coughing. Ensure the air quality in your home is clean and healthy. For example, keep air-purifying plants in your home. This will also give an aesthetic look to your home.

Remember that if your child’s cough persists, worsens, or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

All the above-mentioned homemade cough syrups are very effective in treating cough in kids. However, if you notice your kid’s condition not improving or deteriorating further, you should seek immediate medical help. Sometimes children may be allergic to certain ingredients. Therefore it is recommended to consult your doctor before administering any homemade cough syrup to your kid.


1. Coughs: Meds or Home Remedies?; Seattle Children’s Hospital; https://www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/coughs-meds-or-home-remedies/

2. Goldman. R. D; Honey for treatment of cough in children; Can Fam Physician.; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4264806/; December 2014

3. Coughs and Colds: Medicines or Home Remedies?; American Academy of Pediatrics; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/Coughs-and-Colds-Medicines-or-Home-Remedies.aspx

4. Ashkin. E, Mounsey. A; A spoonful of honey helps a coughing child sleep; The Journal of Family Practice; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3601686/; March 2013

5. Keith. W; Anise; Nutrition Today; https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/fulltext/2022/03000/anise__potential_health_benefits.10.aspx; March/April 2022

Also Read:

Home Remedies for Cough in Children
Best Home Remedies for Fever in Kids
Effective Cough Remedies for Kids at Night

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