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Onion, Garlic and Ginger Homemade Cough Syrup

bowl containing garlic, onion and ginger for homemade cough syrup
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Coughs are the worst. Often hanging around long after the initial cold is gone, anything that causes you to lose sleep while straining all the muscles in your chest, back and neck is something you want to heal as quickly as possible. In the spirit of the generations of mothers who want desperately to soothe their loved one’s railing breath, I pass this homemade cough syrup recipe on to you.

This natural cough reliever has probably been passed along from mom to mom, with minor variations, for thousands of years. It contains immune-stimulating garlic, germ-fighting and anti-tussive onions, and anti-inflammatory ginger, which are classic and proven ingredients for soothing and shortening colds and flus.

This DIY cough syrup is very easy to make, and lasts 6 months—which will get your family through cold and flu season without a hitch.

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bowl containing garlic, onion and ginger for homemade cough syrup

Onion, Garlic and Ginger Cough Syrup

This homemade cough syrup brings quick, natural soothing to sore throats and coughs.
Print Pin
CourseFood Medicine
CuisineHerbal Remedy
Keywordgarlic, ginger
Prep Time15 minutes
Steeping Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 15 minutes
Servings128 teaspoons


  • 1-2 medium onions
  • 1-3 heads garlic
  • 1 hand fresh ginger
  • 3-4 cups raw cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 quart canning jar


  • Peel and slice the onion, garlic and ginger as thinly as you can.
  • On the bottom of the Mason jar, layer slices of onion, garlic and ginger about an inch thick.
  • Pour sugar over the onion mixture until you can't see it anymore from the top, making another layer about a half inch to an inch deep.
  • Add another inch-thick layer of onions, garlic and ginger slices, then pour in the sugar to cover. Repeat this process, making an onion and sugar “parfait” until the jar is almost full.
    jars containing sugar, garlic, onion and ginger for homemade cough syrup
  • Top off with a bit more sugar and close the lid tightly.
  • In one hour, the sugar will be soft. In two hours, you will start to see liquid forming in the bottom of the jar. In three hours, you will see the syrup forming, and in four hours, the syrup will be complete.
  • Don’t remove the onions, garlic and ginger from the syrup. Just press the mixture back with the spoon when you administer the syrup. Keeps for 6 months to a year unrefrigerated.
  • Take 2-3 times a day, as needed to soothe sore throat and wet or congested coughs.


Calories: 19kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 2mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

About the author

Dawn Gifford

Dawn Gifford

Dawn is the creator of Small Footprint Family, and the author of the critically acclaimed Sustainability Starts at Home - How to Save Money While Saving the Planet. After a 20-year career in green building and environmental sustainability, chronic illness forced her to shift her expertise and passion from the public sphere to home and hearth. Get the whole story behind SFF here.


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