All purpose cough syrup


There are a good many herbs that can help with coughs but this recipe is one that I found works well for both chesty and dry coughs. It has proved really popular with young and old alike and people keep coming back for more each winter! It takes a day or so to brew but can be kept for up to 6 months if stored in a cool dark place. The following recipe is for 1 litre of cough syrup:

In a large saucepan put a tablespoon each of balm of gilead buds, aniseeds, elecampagne root, marshmallow root, wild cherry bark and half a tablespoon of liqourice root. Add about 600ml of water, bring to the boil and simmer very gently for half an hour or so with the lid on. Turn off the heat and stand overnight or for at least 6 hours or so.

Next strain off the liquid (squeezing thoroughly to get as much liquid as possible from the herbs) and discard the herbs to the compost heap. Put the herbal liquid back in the pan and now add a tablespoon each of thyme, mullein leaf and white horehound and bring to the boil with the lid on. Once boiling, turn off the heat and stand as before, overnight or for about 6 hours. Strain the liquid from the herbs, squeezing thoroughly and add a tablespoon of slippery elm powder and a pinch of cayenne powder before pouring the liquid into a 1 litre glass bottle. You should have about 500ml of herbal liquid hopefully.

Add about 500ml of vegetable glycerine, close with a secure top and shake well to mix. The syrup can be taken in the dose of a teaspoon in a small glass of water up to 5 times daily for adults. Halve the dose for children 7 and over, quarter dose for children under 7 and do not give to babies under 1 year old, take the adult dose yourself and breast feed your baby. If you are not breastfeeding, a simple tea of liqourice root (half a teaspoon of liqourice root per cup) given 5 drops at a time every 2 hours or so should work fine.


All of these ingredients (including vegetable glycerine) are available in a ready to make recipe kit in our online shop.


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