To Top

How to Make Honey Lemon Thyme Cough Syrup (and why you would want to!)

This cough syrup not only works, but it tastes delicious! You’ll be tempted to self-medicate even if you don’t have a cough!

Watching my little one cough is the worst. She has a cold. It’s viral, so it just has to run its course. She’s snotty and drippy and hacking. She wakes up coughing and crying. (In fact, she woke up just now, so I’ll be back to finish this article later…) (Ok, I’m back.) As a parent, I want to do something! And if it’s me that is sick, I want some relief too!

Why You Should Not Use Over the Counter Cough Syrup

Cough and Cold medicines are not for kids under 4. Ever. Many parents opt for over the counter medications, despite the fact that they are not labeled for babies and toddlers. According to WebMD, a nationwide survey of parents of kids under age 2 said that they have given their kids cough or cold medicine.

In fact, cough medicines have potentially fatal side effects in children under 2 if they are overdosed! In 2008, manufacturers voluntarily removed cough medicines from the shelves for children under 2 and re-labeled all cough syrups to recommend ages 4 and up. The FDA sends out reminders every year telling parents not to give cough syrups to kids under 4.  (FDA Special Feature 2016)

Over the counter cough syrups don’t work. There really haven’t been any research studies that prove that they actually provide relief! The American College of Chest Physicians issued new guidelines in 2006 since studies showed that cough medicines just don’t work! (NY Times Article)

Ingredients in this Recipe


Sure, thyme is great in a stuffing or as a part of a meat rub, but in a cough syrup?

Thyme is an often over looked herb that has some powerful healing properties! It helps with laryngitis by relaxing the muscles of the trachea and bronchi to open up airways. It also has antimicrobial properties that can help with a cold!

There are lots of different varieties of thyme. Lemon thyme tastes great in this recipe.


Honey in a cup of tea or hot water has been a remedy for coughs and sore throats for centuries! Tradition has already shown that it works but also, according to the Mayo Clinic, honey worked well in children 2 and over to reduce nighttime coughing and increase sleep in one study. Honey coats the throat and calms a cough.

*Honey should never be given to infants under 1 year old due to a rare but serious disease called infant botulism.


The acidity of lemon breaks up mucus in the throat and helps clear it. Although I don’t typically buy organic lemons since most of the pesticides are left on the peel, in this recipe I recommend organic since the lemons are soaked in honey.

Recipe for Honey Lemon Thyme Cough Syrup

As always, I promise to only post recipes that WORK! As a testimony, Brynlee woke up coughing at 3 am last night and just couldn’t stop. I gave her some of this and it calmed her cough so she could sleep…and she did until morning! Plus, it really helps her not sound like a man from laryngitis!


1 handful fresh organic Thyme (lemon thyme tastes best)

2 cups water

1/2 cup Raw Honey (buy it locally or buy Raw Honey here)

1/2 organic Lemon, sliced


Wash the handful of thyme and put it in a saucepan. Cover it with water (about 2 cups). Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes. You should be left with about 1 cup of water.

Meanwhile, slice 1/2 lemon and put it in a jar. Cover it with honey (about 1/2 cup).

After the thyme and water mixture has cooled a bit, strain out the thyme leaves and stems and add the water to the jar. Put a lid on the jar and shake to mix all ingredients.

Refrigerate for up to a month. To serve, give the jar a gentle shake and pour out about an ounce. Brynlee likes to drink it out of a glass that is “just the right size for me”, she says. Don’t tell her its a shot glass.

You can also add a spoonful or two to a cup of hot water or tea. The steam helps with nasal congestion as well!




Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Living Natural Mama is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

1 Comment

  1. Mandy Allen

    December 19, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks for this option! She is at the 2 week mark and we don’t want to do anti- iotics. We want to get her immune system strong.

Leave a Reply

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Remedies