Cough Syrup?

I just heard the latest. “They” are now saying, “Don’t give your children cough syrup.” Hmm, haven’t I been saying such things for years? But I’m sure my reasonings are not the same as theirs, nor my solutions.

Oct. 11, ’07 – “the voluntary withdrawal of oral infant cough and cold medications from store shelves.” Oct. 18-19, ’07 – An advisory committee “voted to recommend to FDA that cough and cold active ingredients should no longer be available for use in children under six-years-old.”

Anyhow, the news didn’t affect me in the least. I haven’t bought or given my children OTC cough syrup for decades. But I thought if any of you did, you might want to know my grandma’s recipe. She wasn’t a big herbalist or anything, so there’s nothing unusual in this recipe. It’s easy enough for anyone to get the ingredients and anyone to make.

My mom was raised on it herself, and used it for her 7 children. She found it especially helpful for my older sister who has bad asthma that the doctors didn’t diagnose right away back then. And I’ve used for our 10 children when we’ve needed it.

It’s onion syrup, and it does a great job of cutting through the phlem and soothing the cough. This weekend, after a night at Chuck E Cheese’s while we are on the road, a couple of my children started coughing at grandma’s house. She pulled out the onion and started chopping. Here’s how.

Slice one large onion into a stainless steel sauce pan. Cover with raw honey – a cup or more. Put the lid on the pan and heat on a very low burner. Stir occasionally. How long? Hmm, good qustion. Until it’s done? The honey will turn to the thin liquid. The onions will get limp and transparent – and the fragrance will fill the house. I figure the aroma begins the healing benefits before you even consume the syrup. Anyhow, a couple hours maybe? Maybe less, maybe more. Let it cool enough to take. Take a couple tablespoons full. You can keep it in a sealed container – glass jar with lid or Tupperware. If you won’t use it all up right away, you can store it in the refrigerator as is, or you can strain the onions out an keep in the cupboard for a while. Especially if you refrigerate, reheat gently, until a warm thin syrup, before taking each time. You may be able to heat it enough just by putting the container in hot water. If you don’t refrigerate and don’t have time to rewarm it each time, just use as is.

At home I generally will add fresh lemon juice too, either to the batch after it is cooled or just to the individual dose. When we aren’t able to cook the onion syrup, or if we’re dealing with a sore throat and not cough, we just mix raw honey and fresh lemon juice. If even that can’t be done, if we’re somewhere else, I just take a spoonful of honey and add a drop or two of therapeutic-grade Lemon Essential Oil.

I hope you find these beneficial real foods helpful when your family needs a health boost.

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2 Responses to Cough Syrup?

  1. patty-jean says:

    thanks Lisa, i’m going to try this. i did wonder if i could still store it in the cupboard after straining the onions if i added the lemon juice at the end?
    from fellow AR mama

  2. YES! I am now doing that all the time. It is much easier for us. I strain the onion, add lemon juice/eo and just keep it in a jar in the cupboard. I know we have had it up to a month or two before using it all and it has been fine.