Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Nicole Walters. Nicole is married to a wonderful man and mama to three children under 3.5. She blogs about real food, navigating corn allergies, and living on a budget at www.honeysweetened.com.
Why I created it
The last two winters (she’s only three) my daughter has gotten a cough that just stays and stays. Think months. Eventually I take her to the doctor and we use a nebulizer containing a steroid breathing treatment for a few days and it finally goes away. She recently got a cold or a virus and now her cough seems to have settled into that same pattern – for three weeks now. It gets hard for her to sleep due to coughing. She’s thrown up from coughing so hard. I can’t take her anywhere without people thinking I’ve brought a germy child around them.
Obviously, this cough is rough on her and I don’t want her to feel bad. I’d prefer to avoid the medicine route if we can, so I’ve been trying to find some natural cough remedies that will at least allow her to rest at night and give us time to see if it will go away without other treatment. After trying a few different things (warm water with lemon and honey, a spoon of coconut oil, some honey, nettle tea, and so on) I settled on this recipe as the best for us. It incorporates some of the better elements, I know why each ingredient is helpful, and it tastes so good she keeps asking for more.
Lemons are good for detoxing the body, in this case from an illness. They are also high in vitamin C, which is immune boosting. It is naturally anti-viral and anti-inflammatory. It’s also good for breaking up mucous that may be on the throat causing the cough.
Honey, especially raw honey, is well known for its many benefits. It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and full of antioxidants. If you’re careful with only slightly heating this and you buy local raw honey it should help even more with an allergy related cough due to honey’s ability to help arm your immune system for dealing with local allergens.
Coconut oil has many amazing properties, but the important ones here are the anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. All these make it perfect for fighting winter colds and viruses. It has even been shown that coconut oil can bolster the immune system by improving white blood cell counts, which directly fights viruses and infections.
Together this syrup fights inflammation, bacteria, and viruses while soothingly coating the throat and breaking up mucous.
How to Make It
4 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Honey (Preferably Raw)
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
Place in a small pot and gently heat on a very low temperature, just enough to melt the coconut oil and warm the honey to mix easily.
For long term, you should store in the refrigerator but I leave it on the counter for a few days when there is illness in the house. Near the stove or warm crock pot (I use mine often for making broth when sick) will keep the coconut oil melted. Otherwise the coconut oil will solidify and you will need to melt it again before administering.
Administer it whenever coughing occurs, can give multiple teaspoons as needed. Honey is not recommended for those under 1 year of age.
We’ve also added a bit of oregano oil into the syrup when fighting off something pretty bad. Oregano oil is an amazing natural antibiotic. Be sure to use a high quality essential oil for ingestion.
Cayenne pepper or Apple Cider Vinegar can also nicely break up the mucous causing many coughs.
How do you treat coughs at home? What other things would you add?
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