DIY: Mullein Cherry Bark Cough Syrup |

DIY: Mullein Cherry Bark Cough Syrup

Sarena-Rae Santos August 17, 2022

Recipe by Kate Tietje

As a child, I was famous for having chronic bronchitis annually. There’s nothing like a booming cough to alarm the school nurse, resulting in a doctor’s visit and a prescription-grade cough suppressant and steroids.

If you read our blog, Natural Remedies for Bronchitis, you know chronic bronchitis is a constant irritation or inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes. It isn’t contagious, but it is uncomfortable and relatively long-lasting. Chronic bronchitis typically lasts at least three months, with recurring bouts occurring for at least two consecutive years. Chronic bronchitis symptoms include (1):

  • Cough
  • Production of mucus (sputum), which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray, or green, can rarely be streaked with blood.
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slight fever and chills
  • Chest discomfort 

Little did we know, I probably only needed some mullein leaf.

Why We Love Mullein

If you read our mullein herbal profile, you know mullein leaves, flowers, and roots have been used for centuries to help coughs, bronchitis, asthma, and just about every respiratory issue under the sun. Mullein was traditionally used for tuberculosis (2). The flowers and leaves contain saponins that help rid the body of phlegm and mucilage, which soothes irritated membranes. 

Native Americans often smoked the plant to cure asthma and used tea from the roots to calm coughs. Mullein holds expectorant and demulcent effects, which accounts for this herb’s documented use as an antidote for the respiratory tract (3).

Cherry bark and mullein make an excellent team, alleviating winter coughs and colds. Take twice daily (when waking and going to bed) when a persistent cough arises.

I highly recommend Earthley’s Cough-B-Gone if you’re not a DIY person.

Mullein Cherry Bark Cough Syrup


  • 1 pint of distilled water
  • 1/8 cup dried wild cherry bark
  • 1/8 cup dried mullein leaves
  • ½ cup raw honey 


Step 1: Warm one pint of distilled water over medium-low heat before adding the dried cherry bark and mullein leaves. 

Step 2: Allow to heat for at least 20 minutes, up to two hours (on lower heat). The longer you warm the herbs, the stronger the cough syrup. 

Step 3: Strain out the herbs, and add the raw honey to sweeten (and for additional benefits). 

Step 4: Upon completion, bottle, refrigerate, and be prepared for the winter cough!

Notes: You can make a large batch and freeze it, then warm it when needed. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one month and in the freezer for 8-10 months. 

Usage: Take a minimum of 2 doses (morning and night) and a maximum of 4 doses daily. Ages 2 – 6 should take 1/2 teaspoon, ages 7 – 12 should take 1 teaspoon, and ages 13+ should take 1 tablespoon.

*Cherry bark shouldn’t be consumed for more than 14 consecutive days.

This homemade cough syrup will do the trick whether you’re struggling with bronchitis or a seasonal cold. Don’t buy the toxin-filled over-the-counter syrups when you can make a restorative remedy in a matter of minutes. 

What’s your favorite way to alleviate a cough?

This is the writings of:

Sarena-Rae Santos
Sarena-Rae Santos' journey to natural health began in 2019 when she swayed away from allopathic medicine after becoming wheelchair-bound due to the side effects of 20+ medications. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and dizziness due to nystagmus were the sources of her many health complications. Sarena's symptoms diminished after adopting a healthier lifestyle surrounding whole foods and herbs, leaving her a fantastic quality of life and a passion for educating people.


  1. Could I do this with freshly harvested wild cherry bark? I have a few of the trees growing in my yard and I would love to make it fresh.


    • Hello McKinzie, and thank you so much for your question. Yes, you should be able to use freshly harvested wild cherry bark for this recipe. To our understanding, it just needs to be used immediately after harvesting as there are unwanted fresh compounds that increase as it is drying. Either using it immediately or once it has dried will work. If you need help drying the herbs, check out our DIY: How to Dry Herbs.


  2. I made some of this tonight to help my daughter who has a bad cough. I know it says twice a day, but how much do I give her? A teaspoon? A dropper? Thanks!


    • I’m so sorry to hear your daughter has a cough, Shawna. We recommend taking a minimum of 2 doses (morning and night) and a maximum of 4 doses daily. Ages 2 – 6 should take 1/2 teaspoon, ages 7 – 12 should take 1 teaspoon, and ages 13+ should take 1 tablespoon (I also added this to the post). I hope your daughter feels better soon.


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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