Mom’s Natural Cough Syrup

Two weeks ago I went down with a bad cold that trickled down to every member in my family—including my two kids. After a couple of days of no significant improvement I went to see Dr. Chi, my oriental medicine doctor, who treated me with acupuncture and suggested I went home, got some rest, and made some honey and onion cough syrup. Her suggestion took me back to my childhood as this was my mom’s go-to when my siblings and I got sick. 

Naturally, I went home and grabbed an onion and some honey and got to work. I asked my mom if this concoction actually works, and she said “Of course it does! It was your great-grandma’s recipe”. It is now my honor and duty to pass on the recipe and benefits of this homemade remedy. It’s really simple and all you need is two ingredients: raw honey (you can use Manuka honey too) and onion. It has antibacterial and antiviral qualities, and the syrup is a soothing expectorant for the throat. 

Benefits of Onion: Believe it or not, raw onions are considered to be the most powerful natural antibiotics. They contain the compound sulfur which fights off both viral and bacterial infections and eases the symptoms of sore throat. They also contain phytochemicals that act as stimulants for vitamin C within the body helping to fight mucus and promoting the expulsion of mucus from the airways.

Benefits of Raw Honey: Raw Honey contains natural antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that help fight infections, calm a cough, soothe a sore throat and boost your immune system. The flavonoids and polyphenols, which are the two main molecules in honey, neutralize the free radicals in the body which build and strengthen the immune system.


  • 1 sliced large organic onion
  • 2 tbsp organic raw honey 
  • Slice a large onion into half-moons and place into a jar or bowl.
  • Cover the onion slices with the honey.
  • Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let infuse overnight at room temperature (approx 70 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Move the onion slices to the side and take 1tsp of the syrup 2-3 times a day.
  • Cover the jar & store in a cool place. 
***Recipe contains raw honey so not for babies under 12 months. 
***While these statements are supported by my research and personal experiences, they have not been verified by the FDA or a medical professional. These statements are not intended to cure or treat any ailments or diseases. Please consult a qualified healthcare professional before starting any at-home regimen to ensure these techniques are right for you.
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