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Got a Cough? Use this ancient natural cough remedy in your kitchen to cure your cough fast!

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

It's Fall season and colds and coughs are in full effect right now.

Many of you may have already had a bout of cold/flu/covid in the last few weeks. It's been going around. In fact, multiple people in my family have been sick in the last week. I've been taking care of everyone, but thankfully, I haven't gotten sick myself (Thank God!). Natural medicine and nature cure are all I need, and it's been working successfully since the days of the 2009/2010 H1N1 flu season.

That said, if you've been struggling with a cough that won't go away, I have a great remedy!

This remedy will work better, in my opinion, than most OTC cough syrups (i.e. Robitussin, Mucinex), and may help you avoid taking antibiotics, which can weaken your gut microbiome and immune system.

Ready for the natural cough remedy?

Onion Cough Syrup

It's an old-school home remedy used by naturalists all over the world and it is highly effective. At first, it may sound gross, but it's actually quite palatable. Kids love it, and it'll save you money too!

Onion syrup in glass jar with red onions
Onion syrup with red onions

To make your onion cough syrup you'll need:

  • 1 large red onion, peeled and sliced thinly

  • 3 -4 cloves of raw fresh garlic

  • Water

  • Optional - Couple sprigs of fresh thyme or oregano or you can add 1/2 teaspoon of dried herb. Alternatively, you can add some whole cloves and cinnamon sticks (1 or 2).

  • 1/2 cup of raw local honey

1.) Add your sliced raw onion and garlic cloves to a saucepan and add enough water just to cover (usually 1 - 1.5 cups will do).

2.) Bring your mixture to a boil, then reduce to the lowest heat setting. It's optional to add your aromatic herbs (see above) at this time, and then cover with a lid.

3.) Allow the onion + garlic stewy mixture to softly simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check on it periodically to stir it and ensure it's not burning or losing too much water.

4.) Remove from heat and strain the liquid into a clean glass jar with a lid.

Extra tip: I use a stainless steel fine strainer and press the back of a big spoon on the onion mixture to push through more liquid into the jar. Or, you can use cheesecloth to wring out extra liquid. Just remember to use a big enough jar so there is room to add honey in the next step.

5.) Add the honey to the hot liquid and mix until the honey dissolves. Cover loosely with a lid and allow to cool.

6.) Once cooled, seal the lid and shake the solution well.

How to Dose:

Begin taking 1 teaspoon (5mL) for kiddos or 2 teaspoons (10 mL) for adults, every 2 - 3 hours on the first day until sleep. If you wake up with a cough, take another dose. On the next day, and the days following, take a dose of it every 3 - 4 hours. Continue daily until your cough clears.


The cough syrup can be stored in a clean glass jar with a well-fitted lid and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Truth be told, I've had mine to last longer than that if I added a teaspoon of grain alcohol or brandy as a preservative, but this step is usually not necessary because I always use up the syrup within a week or two.

Keep in mind, when dosing it 3 -4 times daily, you will go through it fast. Also, if there is leftover reserve and your cough is gone, you can still keep taking the syrup as an immune health tonic by dosing it once or twice daily until finished.

Other Considerations:

Now, if your cough is not getting better naturally after a few weeks, see your doctor and get a chest x-ray to make sure you're not experiencing something serious like pneumonia or tuberculosis. Also be mindful that GERD/reflux and COPD can cause chronic coughs, as well as, certain blood pressure medications.

Also, do not give honey-based medicines or products to infants under the age of 12 months due to the concern of botulism. The alternative for infants to substitute honey can be homemade apple syrup or apple purée/sauce.

Hope this helps and feel free to let me know how this remedy worked for you!

Peace, Love, & Blessings,

~Dr. Ray

Evidence-based Resources:

  • Anibasa, F O et al. “Effect of Honey on Cough Symptoms in Children with Upper Respiratory Tract Infection: A Randomised Controlled Trial.” West African journal of medicine vol. 39,9 (2022): 928-934.

  • Singh, Hira & Khar, Anil. (2022). Potential of onion (Allium cepa) as traditional therapeutic and functional food: An update. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences. 92. 1291-1297. 10.56093/ijas.v92i11.123235.


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