Homemade Sore Throat Syrup

This home remedy for cough and sore throat is a syrup made from an herbal tea. The tea is then turned into a syrup. Easy to prepare at home, though it does involve cooking and reducing the herbal, medicinal tea. If this is too much work, Gaia Herbs also makes two different excellent cough formulas for children, one for wet cough and one for dry cough. We also offer a simpler home remedy for cough in syrup form, but it is just for cough, not for sour throat.

First make a batch of dried herb mixture shown below, which makes between three and four batches of the syrup. It’s easiest to make the full amount of the mix and use it as you need it to make more syrup. No need to refrigerate the herb mix. Just store in an air-tight glass jar (such as a mason jar) away from direct light in a cool storage area.


  • 1 cup fennel seed
  • 1/2 cup licorice root
  • 1/2 cup slippery elm bark
  • 1/2 cup valerian root
  • 1/2 cup wild cherry bark
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon bark
  • 2 tbsp ginger root (NOT powdered ginger)
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange peel (Use dried, because the fresh orange peel will not last in storage. If you want to add fresh to your syrup, eliminate from the dried herb mixture and add 1/3 tsp to the simmering pot. Make sure you finely chop and use the entire peel, white and all, not just the orange coating.)


  1. Combine two ounces herb mixture (about one cup, but measure to make sure) with one quart of water.
  2. Simmer over low heat and let it simmer away until there is just a pint of liquid left.
  3. Strain the herbs from the liquid, and pour the liquid back into the pot.
  4. Add 1 cup raw honey or other sweetener such as maple syrup.
  5. Warm the sweetened liquid only enough to mix well.
  6. Once thoroughly mixed, you may add a few drops of peppermint, spearmint or other oil (your choice) for flavor.
  7. Remove from heat, bottle, and label.

This will last for several weeks to months if refrigerated. Take 1 to 2 tsp every hour throughout the day, or whenever cough is coming on. Look out for the taste. But what an effective remedy! It works!

Thanks to Dr. Mary Bove, the famous herbalist. This recipe was probably from her book An Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants.