In the early 1990’s, I ran a series of home healing courses in community centres around Melbourne and Victoria. The recipes I shared in the courses are too good to leave in forgotten in my archives. These are effective home remedies but don’t forget the usual caveats (below).
You’ll notice that these syrups use quite a lot of sweeteners. Syrups by definition are sweet. Honey has long been used to help ease painful coughs. Horehound is a particularly bitter herb and is unpalatable without sugar and/or honey.
White horehound syrup
White horehound (Marrubrium vulgare) is effective for harsh, sore coughs. Especially spasm-y coughs including bronchitis and asthma. If the cough is dry, you might find you start to bring up a lot of mucus once you start taking the syrup.
2 tablespoons dried white horehound (leaf)
2 cups of boiling water
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 dessert spoon lemon juice
1 cup safflower oil.
Make a strong infusion of white horehound (2 tablespoons of herb to 2 cups of water) in a teapot. Leave it to steep for 20 minutes. Strain the tea, add the remaining ingredients and stir until dissolved. If the tea has cooled down too much to do this, bring the tea to just under a simmer and stir until syrup thickens.
Adult dose: 2 tablespoons of syrup in hot water as required (maximum four times a day)
I only use organic herbs to make medicines. Southern Light Herbs in Victoria often have locally grown white horehound, of exceptional quality. Be careful with non-organic sources and overseas brands, as this herb has been known to be misidentified or substituted with other herbs.
Slice a large onion and cover with honey. Over the next hour or two, the onion will release a lot of fluid to form a syrup. Take a tablespoon of the syrup (straight or diluted in water) four times a day, to help expectorate mucus from your lungs.
“It tastes better than it sounds!” Just block your nose when taking it and it will taste like honey.
Caveats: see a qualified health practitioner if symptoms persist. Continue to use asthma medication as directed by your doctor. Do not give an adult dose to a child. There are various calculations for dosing children. This is a handy guide to calculate doses.