10 Herbs to Make Cough Syrups

What Herbs Work Best For Cough Syrups

Making cough syrups is a nice way to introduce herbal medicine to your family. It can calm that annoying cough, soothe that sore throat, and offer a bit of love in tasty way for your little patient.

I try to keep enough on hand for the winter months, but it somehow seems to be in short supply by the time Spring rolls around. Here are 10 herbs to get you started. There are many more that can be used, but these are simple to find and most herb gardens contain at least a few.

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    Andrew Dernie/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    This is one place that thyme really shines. Make your cough syrup with Thymus Vulgaris, leaving the other varieties for the stockpot.

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    Mint. © SummerTomato

    The soothing mentholated flavor that mint adds to a cough syrup can't be beat. It makes a lovely flavor that even small children enjoy taking.

    I add mint to almost all my herbal syrups. It adds a soothing taste and helps brighten some of the other, heavier herbal flavors.

    Make An Herbal Dessert Syrup

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    Hyssop. © Lemon Meringue Pie

    Not as commonly known as a medicinal herb, hyssop is usually grown as a landscape addition. Hyssop is at the top of the list for useful cough syrup herbs. It has a lovely taste and doesn't need to be covered by other flavors to be administered.

    At the same time, it has been my experience that hyssop is an herb that is best harvested and used right away, instead of purchased dried. It seems to age quickly once dried, and there is no way of knowing how old some of the supply is that you buy. For best results, buy from a reputable herbal dealer or simply pick your own.

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    Violets. © A.Jeanroy

    Violets are much more than a teeny pop of color in the lawn. They are perfect for a soothing cough syrup. Pick them during the spring, when they are prolific, and enjoy the reward of this one of a kind syrup for the family.

    Use the flowers or the leaves. I use flowers fresh and leaves either fresh or dried for syrups. Both have a mild flavor that blends well with any of other herbs on this list. In fact, I use the tea for that post nasal issue that we sometimes get from winter allergies.

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    Horehound. © DeaCarte.com

    A classic cough remedy, don't forget this pretty herb in your cough syrup!

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    White Pine

    White Pine
    White Pine. © Bird Eye

    Often viewed as just a tree, White Pine is actually an extremely useful plant to get to know. Many times, you see the bark being referred to in remedies and this is true, but for a cough remedy (especially a deep barking cough), I use the needles with equally great results.

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    Yarrow. © Horia Varlan

    Yarrow once again delivers. Easy to grow and especially easy to find in the wild, as a cough syrup herb it is a must have.

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    Sage. © Cyancey

    Sage is often referred to as the Throat Herb, with good reason. It has a rich history of being used for mouth and throat ailments. Making this strong tasting herb into an herbal syrup is a good way to get it down.

    I have found that sage is a bit too medicinal tasting on it's own, especially for the younger ones. I like to mix sage lightly into my basic herb mix before making the syrup.

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    Mullein. © A.Jeanroy

    Mullein once again makes the list as an important herb to have in your herbal medicine chest. Be sure to consider mullein in your cough syrup mix.

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    Ginger Root
    Ginger Root. © blumenbiene

    Ginger is a wonderful addition to your herbal mix. Some may not call it a true herb, but it has such a warmth and soothing quality, that it is a must have for an herbal syrup.

    Please note this document has not been medically reviewed.