I grew up with conventional cough syrup in my home. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I grabbed a bottle of the same brand I grew up using off the shelf at a big box store and almost fell on the floor. The amount of artificial sweeteners, dyes and synthetic ingredients floored me. I started to do some research and then through a lot of trial and error settled on this recipe. It’s true – there are a few oddball ingredients in my homemade cough syrup, but they are all available on Amazon and with just a few “clicks” you too can be brewing a batch of this remedy within a few days (two to be exact if you have Amazon Prime!) Here is my homemade cough syrup no artificial and synthetic ingredients!

BONUS: My recipe is not only doctor developed, husband tested and toddler approved but it WORKS! Let me walk you through the ingredients and illustrate its effectiveness:

Rose Hips

The edible part of the rose is in fact an antioxidant powerhouse with a ton of vitamins A, E & C. In fact, a 2014 scientific review points out, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is “essential to stimulate the immune system by increasing the strength and protection of the organism.” (1) But did you know that rose hips can also reduce joint inflammation and can alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis? (2) For the aches and pain sometimes associated with sickness, it was a no-brainer to include rose hips in my recipe.

Astragalus Root

Widely used in Chinese Medicine for its immune boosting properties, astragalus root is an adaptogenic herb which can fight disease and reduce stress at the same time! Historically, we can trace the earliest documented uses of astragalus root to fight respiratory illness and in recent years, asthma. (3) In addition, we are now seeing more published research highlighting the pharamacological effects astragalus root can have on your cardiovascular system. In a 2013 study from the Journal of Chinese Medicine, astragalus root was used to lower blood pressure and trigylcerides. (4) Improve your immune response, reduce respiratory illness and asthma and even lower blood pressure? Now you know why I had to find a way to include this powerful little herb in my recipe.


Traditionally you may have heard of clove being used to reduce the symptoms of a toothache, because of its ability to reduce pain but did you know that it can eliminate bacteria and yeast? (5) In addition to being a powerful antimicrobial, the sweet, aromatic clove was a natural choice for me to include in this recipe to protect the body against bad bacteria, viruses and other microbes.


You may already be using ginger to treat an upset stomach or nausea and rightfully so. In a 2011 study, heartburn and the discomfort associated with impaired digestion were alleviated by ginger’s ability to improve gastric emptying. (6) In addition, ginger is also loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds and is even effective against several strains of drug-resistant bacteria? (7) An all-in-one anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea and anti-bacterial, I couldn’t make this recipe without it.

Raw or Local Honey

It is no secret your grandmother probably used honey to soothe a sore throat. Consuming raw or local honey can actually be included as a part of a healthy lifestyle simply for its ability to improve circulation, inflammation and SLEEP! In fact, a 2013 study out of the Journal of Family Practice states that raw honey is a “safe and effective alternative to OTC cough and cold remedies for young children with upper respiratory infections promoting a restful night’s sleep.” (8). But, buyer beware! Processed, commercial honey is virtually devoid of any health benefits, so be sure invest in raw honey or in my case, visit your beekeeping neighbor for a local stash. And as with all honey – best to leave this homemade remedy to you little ones over the age of one 🙂

I’ve taken the guesswork and stress-work out of kicking the cough and cold to the curb in your house. I really hope you decide to try this recipe because I just know your little ones will love it and you will get results. And above all, if you know a busy mom who might want to try a doctor developed, toddler approved homemade cough remedy that works, I would be so honored if you shared this article with her.