Homemade Herbal Cough Syrup for Children

This homemade herbal cough syrup is a very powerful and effective but completely natural remedy for your children’s cough.

You probably know that when children cough, they don’t sleep and you don’t sleep. 

Even though, we regularly consume homemade elderberry juice and fermented foods to boost our immune system, sometimes we did end up with a cough.

So when my children (who are adolescents now) were younger, I always liked to have some proven remedies on hand for the winter season.

This homemade herbal cough syrup is not only completely natural but very effective. 

Be sure to download your FREE labels here.

However, I am sure this goes without saying that you always want to use your own guidance.  This is not supposed to replace the help and advice of a qualified medical professional.  If your child’s cough lasts and doesn’t improve you always want to seek medical help. 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

The active ingredients in the cough syrup and their health benefits:

The active ingredients in this homemade herbal cough syrup are thyme, sage, and onion.

I always prefer to pick fresh herbs from my garden but you can also use dried.

Thyme is an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and helps to relieve throat pain.

Sage is an immune-booster, anti-biotic, anti-viral, anti-septic, and helps with coughs and bronchitis.

Onion, too, is an immune-booster, an anti-biotic, and a natural expectorant (read more here).

fresh garden sage for cough syrup
fresh garden thyme for cough syrup

What else you need:

Other than thyme, sage, and onion you will need about 3 oz or 100 g of sugar.  You can use any sugar you like.  I prefer coconut palm sugar.  We are only adding it to make it more palatable for children since the herbs can be a bit bitter. 

Then you’ll need a good cup or 250 ml of water.

Everything will be boiled in a pot and then put through a fine mesh strainer into some container.  And lastly, you need a pretty jar or container for your herbal cough syrup. 

ingredients for homemade herbal cough syrup

How to make the homemade herbal cough syrup:

Chop the thyme finely to get about 1 TBSP. If you’re using dried thyme use 1 tsp.  Then chop the sage finely to get about 1 TBSP, or use 1 tsp dried sage. 

Next finely chop 1 small onion (about 3 oz or 100 g).  

Put these ingredients in a pot. 

Add the cup or 250 ml of water and the 3 oz or 100 g sugar

Bring everything to a boil and simmer this mixture for about 10 minutes.

Take the pot of the heat and pour the herbal mixture through a fine meshed sieve into a jar or container.  You can use the back of a spoon to squeeze any remaining liquid out. 

Carefully fill this liquid into a pretty jar or container.  Let it cool down completely and place it in the refrigerator.  There it will keep for about one week.  

Make sure to put a label on it with the date when you made this.  Depending on how many children you have (and mine always had a cough at the same time) you might go through this in a few days. 

How to dose the homemade herbal cough syrup: 

For children up to 3 years, you give them 1-2 teaspoons 3 times a day. 

For children over 3 year, you give them 1 tablespoon 3 times a day.  Continue until the cough disappears. 

Again, if it does not improve within a few days, you will want to seek the help and advice of a qualified medical professional!

Here is the link for your FREE downloadable cough syrup labels.

homemade herbal cough syrup for children
herbal cough syrup for children
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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Herbal Cough Syrup for Children

This homemade herbal cough syrup is a very powerful and effective but natural remedy for your children’s cough.
Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time18 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 bottle
Calories: 12kcal
Cost: $6


  • Measuring cup, small sauce pot, fine mesh strainer, pretty jar or bottle


  • 1 small onion (about 3 oz or 100g)
  • 1 TBSP fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 TBSP fresh sage, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 3 oz sugar or 100 g (I prefer coconut palm sugar but any works)
  • 1 cup water or 250 ml


  • Finely chop the thyme and the sage or measure if using dried herbs. Add to a small sauce pot.
  • Finely chop the onion and add to the pot with the herbs.
  • Measure and add the sugar to the pot.
  • Measure and add the water to the pot.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Put this mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Fill into a pretty jar or bottle.
  • Dosage: for children less than 3 years, give 1-2 tsp 3x daily and for children 3 years and up, give 1 TBSP 3x daily.
  • Always use your own guidance and consult a qualified medical professional.
    Homemade herbal cough syrup


Calories: 12kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @ourgabledhome or tag #ourgabledhome!

What are your favorite remedies for cough? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

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Homemade Herbal Cough Syrup for Children


  1. Since I did not have all the ingredients you suggest on hand, I boiled some cloves, fresh sliced ginger and added a stick of cinnamon. Allowed these ingredients to simmer for about 10 minutes or more. I added some raw honey. This is such a refreshing tea, soothing to my throat and stopped my cough.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! I grow these herbs and always have an abundance. I plan on making this, but will swap the sugar with honey which will have to be added after the staining and cooling down to 100 degrees. 🐝 🌱 🪴

  3. I used to do one just layering a sliced onion and sugar in a sterilised jar. After a few days the juices have leaked from the onion, dissolved the sugar and made something that tastes vile, makes them stink of raw onion, but really works! (Your recipe sounds much nicer)
    Recently I made a very quick, simple one in the middle of the night – just honey loosened up with fresh lemon juice and a bit of water. That seemed to work quite well too

  4. Pingback: Why you need a hot water bottle & how to knit a cover | tutorial - Our Gabled Home
  5. I wish I had a recipe like this when my kids were younger! I love that we can take care of many of our ailments naturally.

  6. We do something like this as well, only my boys call it “devil’s brew” because they hate it! Haha!! It is kind of tough to take, but such a healthier option! Love this, Anja! =) ~Shanna

    1. I like the “devil’s brew” … This cough syrup is pretty sweet which is why my kids always lined up to take it 🙂

  7. Great recipe, i know onion can be so beneficial. I also love sage, and I throw fresh sage in so many recipes and we just eat it by the leaf. I think the best thing is to be preventative, so eating these ingredients before you get sick to prevent the sickness itself. Great post!

  8. It’s always so important to have items like this on hand, especially during fall. I’ll be saving and trying this for sure

  9. This looks fantastic. I also love a warm honey lemon drink for a cough.
    But once you make this, do you need to keep it in the fridge? And how long will it stay good?

    1. A warm honey lemon drink is fantastic! As for this herbal cough syrup, yes, you do want to keep it in the fridge and it will stay good for a week, possibly more with the added sugar.

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