Ginger Honey cough syrup, photo courtesy of Kayla at Life in Small Town, Wyoming
Recently, we’ve had the yearly sinus fun that comes from the wild weather swings of Spring. We had short sleeve weather, two days of freezing, then we hit 90 degrees the next day. This was compounded by us doing some heavy gardening and cleaning out the chicken coop, exposing us to a lot of dust. The weather and the dust caused my husband and son to have post-nasal drip and a nagging cough from the resulting tickle in the throat.
I am always on a quest to find cheap and natural ways to help treat ‘what ails ya.’ A few weeks ago I read about making a cough syrup by very thinly slicing a hand-sized piece of peeled ginger, place it in a single layer in the bottom of a mason jar and cover it with a very thin layer of raw honey. Repeat single layers of the ginger with thin layers of the raw honey until you have the volume of cough syrup you wish. I used a very large knob of ginger, about the size of my whole hand, to a pint of honey. You will notice the ginger will immediately begin giving up its juice and mix with the honey in the jar, significantly thinning the consistency of the honey. The layering in thin slices gives the ginger maximum honey exposure, which draws out the beneficial ginger juice. Allow it to sit at room temperature for a few days, stirring occasionally if the ginger all floats to the top, then strain out the ginger bits and use the resulting honey mixture as a cough syrup. This works wonderfully for coughing from post-nasal drip and throat tickles.
I normally do not treat productive, deep coughs during the day as it is the body’s main way of removing the problem. However, a tickle in the throat style cough is just annoying and does not serve the same purpose as a productive cough. So during the day I use the honey ginger mix and at night I use Ivy Calm/Bronchial Soothe, to allow the child to get some much needed sleep. I have now been told I can make my own Ivy Calm, so I will be tackling that project later this year.
This cough syrup is surprisingly mild and tasty, as the ginger bite is greatly cooled by the honey. My children, who do not like ginger at all, love this syrup. It’s also good to add to hot tea, serve on top of pancakes or waffles, or any other application where a flavored honey would be used in foods.