Yes, I’m crazy and I make my own cough syrup.

I’ve promised you my cough syrup recipe and here it is!

Take a knob of ginger (about three to four inches long), peel and slice it. Dump in a pot.

Using a paring knife or veggie peeler, peel off long wide strips of zest from half a lemon. Dump in same pot.

Mash the crap it of the remains of that lemon half with your hand (over the same pot so as to not lose any juice). Dump mashed up lemon corpse in the pot as well.

Pour about 2 cups of water over the whole mess and boil away till you’re only left with abut a half a cup of liquid. Turn off the heat and let it cool a bit.

Strain into a jar. Add enough honey to make the consistency syrupy. (About 1/4 cup should do it.)

Add about 3-4 oz of your choice of good strong liquor. Whiskey, scotch, or brandy work particularly well for this. If vodka is all you have it will do but strong brown liquor is better. My grandfather’s first line of defense for any type of bug was a good strong drink. He lived to be 90, despite the fact that life expectancy for people born the same year as he was 48.9 years. He obviously did something right.

Anyway… Stir or shake it all up and refrigerate. Take about two to three tablespoons every few hours to calm cough and soothe throat. And follow the rest of my get well routine too!

I didn’t take a pic of this (mainly because it looks like a Grey Poupon jar full of pee). So here is a photo of my ginger tea which is a much weaker, non alcoholic version of this.


You may be wondering if this works as well as the stuff you can buy in the drug store. In the interest of science, I performed a little comparative study. Last week I had a nasty bought of bronchitis and had been using my homemade cough syrup. I compromised my principles of only taking chemical medicines when absolutely necessary (due to peer pressure) and took some major brand chemical cough syrup that begins with the letter ‘R.’ The one that Chris Rock does this skit about. In case you still haven’t figured out which brand I’m referring to.

So I took the recommended dose of the chemical crap. You know what happened? Nothing. I stopped coughing for a short period immediately after taking the syrup. Exactly the same thing that happens with my 100% natural, mostly organic medicine.

I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seats wondering about the results of the meta analysis of cough medications I’ve gathered. (And by “meta analysis” I mean “anecdotal evidence I’ve figured out after a lifetime of bronchial infections.”) Well, here they are: unless we’re talking super heavy duty drugs (the kind of Rx cough meds that contain things like codeine and hydrocodone), the natural stuff works just as well as the chemical stuff, with the added bonus of no side effects or worrying about what you’re putting into your body.


PS, This entire post is my personal opinion. I have no medical training other than watching Discovery Health Channel and ER, and reading articles on WebMD and Wikipedia. While I feel that this gives me the equivalent of an MD, I am in no way qualified to give you any sort of medical advice.


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