Make your own Herbal Cough Syrup

Herbal Cough Syrup Recipe. Credit: Hackney Herbal

Published: 3 Feb 2022

Ahead of our upcoming London Food Link supporter talk and demo with Hackney Herbal on 17 February, Nat Mady shares a recipe for a Herbal Cough syrup, perfect for the winter months. 

Syrups have traditionally been made as a way to preserve the benefits of fresh herbs throughout the winter period. Taking herbs in the form of a syrup can also be a more palatable way to incorporate some of the more bitter tasting plants. This recipe can be made by using either fresh or dried herbs depending on what is available to you. If you are using fresh herbs use double the quantity of the dried herbs in the recipe. In this recipe a large amount of sugar is required to act as a preservative so it can be stored for later use. This combination of herbs makes a great immune system tonic as well as a nice remedy for the respiratory system. 

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Herbal Cough Syrup Recipe


  • 20g of dried thyme 
  • 10g elecampane root
  • 5g fresh ginger root chopped
  • 10g dried elderberries
  • 10g dried rosehips
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 500ml water
  • about 500g sugar (or 500ml honey)


Place the elecampane, ginger root, elderberries, cinnamon stick and rosehips into a saucepan and cover with water and bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes to make a decoction.

Turn off the heat and add the thyme to the pan and infuse for a further 20 minutes minutes.

Pour the decoction through a sieve to remove the herbs. Placing a piece of muslin cloth or cheesecloth inside the sieve can help to catch smaller bits.

Pour into a measuring jug.

Add the same amount of sugar or honey as their is liquid eg. if you have 400ml of decoction, add 400 g of sugar or 400ml honey.

Heat the mixture gently and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.

Allow to cool and then pour into sterilised glass bottles or jars. Store in the fridge and use within 3 months. 

Dose: Take 1 tablespoon a day with hot water as a tonic or six times a day when you have a sore throat, cold or cough.


Join our exclusive Hackney Herbal talk

Remember to join us for our exclusive workshop (5pm, 17 February) with Hackney Herbal where you'll have the opportunity to learn more about herbs for seasonal health.

The event is free for London Food Link supporters,  email us and we'll send you the details!

Or join London Food Link  to take part. You also get access to lots of other great benefits.