In the past when I have been sick I kept up with my normal activities and subsisted on cold medicine. I would try and fight the sickness instead of allowing it to pass through me. As a result I stayed sick much longer than needed and I would often get sick again soon after. These days I know that rest is key.
As a few of you know I have been tinkering around in the kitchen making herbal medicine for the last few months. I’ve developed a few tinctures and essences just for my own use to learn about the process and get to know more intimately the effects of particular plants. Towards the end of my cold I developed a cough and decided to make a cough syrup and see how it went. I am happy to report it works really well and I’ve been looking forward to sharing this simple recipe with you.
Learning how to make simple and effective remedies has been an empowering experience. As someone who spent years being sick taking loads of conventional drugs, it feels amazing to know I can create a medicine to relieve my cough. I’m not saying I’ll never go to a doctor again or take medications if absolutely necessary nor do I want to take the place of a medical professional. What I want is to learn to take care of myself on a new level and deepen my relationship with my own health. I want to become more self-reliant and this humble cough syrup is a step in that direction.
Thyme is an aromatic, savory, warming herb that supports our lungs. It aids in relieving chest congestion, coughs and indigestion. According to several studies done by Dr. Paul Lee, a professor at UC Santa Cruz, thyme has a strengthening effect on the thymus gland which boosts immune function. Thyme can be used externally as a disinfectant.
In Ayurvedic medicine thyme is considered an antiseptic, astringent and expectorant. Thyme is used to treat respiratory issues and headaches. It reduces vata and kapha. An Ayurvedic remedy for treating coughs is using a drop or two of thyme essential oil in a facial steam. This will help to clear congestion and soothe the throat.
Raw honey has a long medicinal history and is a very powerful remedy with many uses. It has many antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Raw honey has been used to treat seasonal allergies, coughs, dry skin, constipation and to enhance immune function. Traditional Chinese medicine classifies honey as sweet and neutral and associates it with the lungs, large intestine, spleen and stomach.
To receive the full benefits of honey it is important to consume raw honey. Excessive heat will strip honey of its medicinal and nutritional properties. Ayurvedic medicine has been using raw honey medicinally for ages. It is well known that cooked honey has no benefits and causes mucus. It reduces vata and kapha.
I purchase local raw honey from the farmers market. It should not be given to children under 12 months or consumed by diabetics.
Honey Thyme Cough Syrup
makes 1 cup
- 1 oz. fresh thyme
- 3 c. water
- 1/2 c. raw honey
- Add the thyme and water to a pan over low heat. Put a lid on top, slightly ajar so steam can come out. Simmer at the lowest setting possible until the water is reduced to 1 cup. This will take a while so be patient!
- Strain the thyme and let the tea sit for a few minutes.
- Stir in the honey until dissolved completely.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 6 weeks.
- Take 1 teaspoon every few hours as needed to relive cough.