February 7th, 2012

Home Remedy


Today’s post is a bit of a departure. It is not focused on food or drink. There’s no stunning roast or plate of pasta. No cooling beverage. No beguiling dessert.

And yet, there is a recipe.


An easy one, too, using four items found in most pantries:

Apple Cider Vinegar,
and Cayenne…

plus some water.

And, so quick to put together, so beneficial,
I had to share it with you. Pronto!


Combined, I learned from Maggie, that quartet of pantry ingredients creates a potent remedy to some of the ails of winter: Sore throat, hacking cough, tight congestion.

Combined, they turn into a curious orange syrup that can cut through the croup.

And, the taste is really good!

Like you, we’ve been trying to duck the dreaded cold germs: wash our hands, eat well, get enough sleep, stay warm. Sometimes even the most valiant efforts get foiled.

I first mixed up a batch for Bill over the holidays, when he caught a cold accompanied by a strangling cough. The Remedy went right to work, acting as both a calming agent and expectorant.

So, last month, when I felt run down, tight with a tickle in the throat, I shook up a little Remedy. A spoonful or two seemed to break its hold, suppress the devilish tickle.


Just last night, Bill came home after a long workday. His voice was spent, and he had that dull, woozy feeling you get when the onset of a cold is trying to make its way into your head. He snatched up the little bottle, gave it a vigorous shake, and poured a tablespoonful. “Ahhhh. This is the Good Stuff,” he said.

I’m not saying it’s a cure-all, or some homeopathic miracle drug. But it did a mighty fine job taking the place of store-bought cough suppressants, expectorants, decongestants…

Wouldn’t you rather have a dose of spicy honey-cider syrup from a little jar mixed up in the kitchen than any of those bottles lurking in the medicine cabinet?

I thought so.

Stay warm. Stay healthy.
Take good care. And, if need be, take your remedy.


¼ teaspoon Cayenne
¼ teaspoon Ginger
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar (an organic one, like Bragg’s, is preferred.)
2 Tablespoon Water
1 Tablespoon Honey (use a locally produced raw honey, if possible.)

Dissolve cayenne and ginger in cider vinegar and water. Add honey and shake well. Take 1 Tablespoon as needed for cough. Hoo-wee.
Note: This is potent albeit watery syrup. It also doesn’t dissolve perfectly. Always shake well before using.

If you make this in small batches as the recipe is written, there is no need to refrigerate.
If you prefer, you may refrigerate this. It keeps as long as you need it. I like to make small batches (it is so easy to mix up.) and use it up in a just a few days.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: This remedy and dosage are for adults. I have no personal experience giving this to children, and cannot recommend it for children. Many have reported on this site (see comments) that they have had great success administering the remedy in smaller doses to their kids. This is those parents personal choice, which I respect. If the remedy has helped their family, I am grateful. But it is not my recommendation.


Honey should NEVER be given in any form to children under the age of one year, due to the risk of infant botulism–hence the remedy should never, under any circumstances , be given to an infant.

All best wishes for good health and speedy recoveries,



Blooming Daffodil, photographed Sunday, February 5, 2012. Beautiful, and the earliest I have ever had this flower bloom in my yard.

Posted in Articles, Home Remedies

755 Responses to “Home Remedy”
  1. 22 All Natural Home Health Remedies | Diy & Crafts Says:

    […]   #7 – The Common Cold Home Remedy […]

  2. roghieh Says:

    Great tip dear nancy.as i catch cold every year and it sometimes last for some months i hope your recipe could help me this year.you know i really hate tablet. Thank you???

  3. roghieh Says:

    ;)sorry 4 my wrong email

  4. home interior Says:

    This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I’ve found something which helped me. Kudos!

  5. A Homemade Syrup For Cold & Flu | Health & Natural Living Says:

    […] How To Make A Cold & Flu Syrup […]

  6. 22 All Natural Home Health Remedies | Health Daily Artile Says:

    […] #7 – The Common Cold Home Remedy […]

  7. How To Make A Homemade Syrup For Cold & Flu | Creekbed Threads Blog Says:

    […] How To Make A Cold & Flu Syrup […]

  8. Bella Says:

    I wanted to thank you for posting this remedy! I’ve been using it for years now.
    I’m planing on doing a little write up on it on my blog and link your site to it. Would that be ok?

  9. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Bella–Of course! I’m happy to share the remedy far and wide!

  10. 22 All Natural Home Health Remedies | Diy Idear Online Says:

    […] #7 – The Common Cold Home Remedy […]

  11. Amelie Says:

    I am doing many home remedies for me and my family, with excellent results! Thank you so very much! http://topnaturalremedies.net/home-remedies/oldest-efficient-cough-syrup-world-recipe/

  12. Heather Says:

    you might have answered this but how often can you take this in a day? I tried looking for it but couldn’t find it :-) thanks!

  13. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Heather,
    You could take a dose of the remedy every 4 hours without any trouble.
    Take good care,

  14. good homemade recipesShare Free Kawazone | Share Free Kawazone Says:

    […] Good food matters » blog archive » home remedy […]

  15. good eats candied ginger recipe - Food Recipe Says:

    […] Good food matters » blog archive » home remedy […]

  16. 30 Foolproof Ways To Get Through This Winter | INFESTED Says:

    […] nancyvienneau.com […]

  17. Good Food For The Flu | We Get Healthy Says:

    […] Good Food Matters » Blog Archive » Home Remedy – good food matters: Fresh and simple tastes, recipes and stories from Chef Nancy Vienneau… […]

  18. 30 Foolproof Ways To Get Through This Winter | Ufo Says:

    […] nancyvienneau.com […]

  19. 10 Amazing Things To Make With Apple Cider Vinegar Says:

    […] Apple Cider Vinegar Cough & Throat Syrup – This homemade cough recipe will help sooth the sorest of throats! It’s that time of year when people start to suffer from colds and flu, so this recipe which stars ACV is a great way to help stop the cold in it’s tracks as well as soothing any discomfort of a cold that just won’t budge! […]

  20. An Alternative to Cold Pills | I Am Not Fat...But I Need to Lose Weight Says:

    […] http://nancyvienneau.com/blog/articles/home-remedy/ […]

  21. 22 All Natural Home Health Remedies - Amazing Interior Design Says:

    […]   #7 – The Common Cold Home Remedy […]

  22. 22 All Natural Home Health Remedies - DIY - All in One Says:

    […] #7 – The Common Cold Home Remedy […]

  23. Magic Juice | A Redheads Happy Place Says:

    […] Check out the link…http://nancyvienneau.com/blog/articles/home-remedy/ […]

  24. 22 All Natural Home Health Remedies - House Interior Designs Says:

    […]   #7 – The Common Cold Home Remedy […]

  25. Gayle Rachford Says:

    Thank you SO much for posting this recipe! I recommend it to ALL of my friends and use it myself. Many blessings to you!

  26. seasonal plants for winter Says:

    Hi everyone, it’s my first go to see at this website, and post is actually fruitful in favor of me, keep up posting these types of
    articles or reviews.

  27. brenda howard Says:

    Thanks for this post. I have had it stored in pinterest for 3 years now. Just took my first dose. Summer time cold,scratchy throat starting. Husband had for a week, but until I got it, I didn’t think of offering to him.. I feel so bad. Wow, those spices really hit at 4 am. We shall see. Thanks again.

  28. Holly Says:

    OMG, I made a batch earlier today for my nephew to try who was coughing (I got Mikey to drink the whole batch) and it took away his cough completely. I made it for the second time (tripled the recipe to save some for later) for my sister who was having a coughing spasm to the point of choking. I gave her 2 tbsp and now, she’s not coughing at all. Very surprised to know THIS REALLY WORKS!! I changed the recipe and substituted real ginger (finely minced)for the ginger powder. This is a KEEPER, won’t go back to store bought stuff again. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Kitchen Cabinet Ideas On Pinterest In Progress Village Fl – Cabinet Refacing Tampa Says:

    […] Good Food Matters » Blog Archive » Home Remedy – good food matters: Fresh and simple tastes, recipes and stories from Chef Nancy Vienneau […]

  30. Home Remedy Cough Medicine – Megan's Pinterest Adventures Says:

    […] found a recipe on Pinterest for a healthy alternative to cough medicine (http://nancyvienneau.com/blog/articles/home-remedy/). It’s made from safe ingredients you may already have in your kitchen! The recipe does […]

  31. 30 Foolproof Ways To Get Through This Winter | Celeb, News and Video! Says:

    […] nancyvienneau.com […]

  32. Francesca Says:

    Would this recipe work for canning in a hot water bath?

  33. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Francesca,
    I have never canned the remedy–always used it as needed. But I think that it would work well, because of the high acidity content. Let me know! Nancy

  34. Julie Says:

    I just made this and added 2 drops of Thieves Young Living Essential oil also. Cayenne warms and I gotta say… my throat feels so much better!!

  35. Bree Says:

    I just want to tell you thank you. I’ve made this for two years now, and swear by it. My husband has fibromyalgia, and so we add tumeric to it to pump up the antiinflammatory effects. It has helped so much. I just felt like I needed to tell you! Thank you!!!!!!

  36. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Bree-You just made my day. Thanks for letting me know—I’m glad to learn about adding the turmeric to the remedy. I have heard of its anti-inflammatory properties. All the best to you and your husband. Nancy

  37. AL Says:

    I hope you still check this. You can find similar recipes fort this all over the place now but I still share yours as I found it years ago & we use it ALL the time. It works!!! THANK YOU!

  38. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi AL, Yes I still check this, and still get questions about the remedy from time to time. I am glad that the recipe is out there all over the place. I think mine was one of the first though, and I appreciate your sharing. Take good care, Nancy

  39. 11 Natural Homemade Remedies To Make You Feel Healthy This Winter Says:

    […] Make your own warming cayenne cough remedy. Instructions here. […]

  40. Lisa Says:

    So thankful for this recipe! My fiancé usually never gets sick, out of nowhere he has gotten an awful cough that has kept both of us from sleeping. We were trying everything! Cough syrup; cough drops,
    Honey, tea.. Nothing was working!
    At wits end, I jumped on Pinterest and found this recipe.
    Luckily I had everything and whipped it up. He still coughs here and there but it has Greatly reduced it from what it was!
    Such a miracle concoction! Thank you

  41. Aida Says:

    It is 2:58 am ET, I was having a terrible episode of coughing,to the point of choking. I google the situation and found this on Pinterest, ran to the kitchen and prepared it, took one tablespoon and my cough is almost gone and I can breathe, thank you, thank you!

  42. goodfoodmatters Says:

    To Lisa and Aida—So glad that you found relief. Thanks for letting me know that the remedy did its job! Take good care, Nancy

  43. Home Remedies | Hard Life for the Farm Wife Says:

    […] use as cough drops but have not tried it yet! My children are on the extreme end of picky! This potent liquid remedy makes me giggle still! My parents were sick a couple years ago and I was on a Pinterest kick […]

  44. Melina Says:

    I have been fighting a nasty cold for a week today. It’s been a week of dry scratchy throat and stuffed up/runny nose. I been gargling. Drinking hot tea, Hot lemon water and have ate countless lozenges all this to no avail! A week later I wake up and the cough/dry throat left me with no voice and the scratchiness is to the point I feel like I’m gonna choke or throw up with my coughing fits. I saw this and had to try it! I don’t have ginger here so made it with everything else and added some lemon juice. Took it and an hr later feel better than I have felt all week. My voice is already coming back and for the first time in a week my throat is not unbearably scratchy!! I think I might actually get some sleep tonight the way this is going! Thank so much!!

  45. Hazel Says:

    My 6 yr old daughter was coughing so much she wasn’t sleeping. I got her up to give her some tea with honey..that .didn’t touch the cough. It was getting worse and she was complaining that she was almost throwing up every time she coughed…so to Pinterest we went. I almost didn’t suggest this recipie to her, but I thought, why not, it’s after 10 pm and we are both desperate for sleep. I told her it would be a little spicy and she said, “ok, I’ll try it.” I mixed it up using a little less ginger and cayenne than the recipie called for, and she stopped coughing… IMMEDIATELY! YES! She wanted to finish it all! I couldn’t believe it! This recepie was such a blessing to us tonight! THANK YOU!!!! I saved some for tomorrow!

  46. goodfoodmatters Says:

    so happy that your daughter got relief from this remedy. thank you for sharing this. take good care, Nancy

  47. Andrea Says:

    I need to understand, how in the world are you people (especially kids!) drinking this?? I enjoy spicy things, but with that much cayenne pepper, just a sip was painful, I literally could not do it. Mouth. On. Fire. Yikes!?

  48. Keke Says:

    Well, at least it tastes pretty good. But it didn’t give me the cough relief I had hoped for. Still had coughing and tried adjusting the dosage with no change in result.

  49. adia dajani Says:

    I know a lot of honey is useful for everything body and I love the taste so much I put it with milk Thank you for publishing

  50. Laura Says:

    I cannot thank you enough for this recipe! Like everyone else, both kids and hubby have been coughing for a week now. I’m sure I’m next, but I couldn’t stand listening to them anymore, without being able to help. Nothing over the counter was working, and even teas and the like didn’t help. Out of desperation, and curiosity, I shook up a batch. Not only did they willingly take it, with the little one not complaining about the taste at all, the coughing has slowed. I plan on administering more before bedtime, but it’s working! Thank you!!

  51. Patti and Jeff Wallen Says:

    I Love this recipe! Both hubby and I have been coughing and nothing helps! Until this. I drank some and it helped for almost 5 hours. Hubby Tasted it and made nasty faces but drank it. He is feeling better too! I cant thank you enough!!!!!

  52. Cynthia Says:

    I remember drinking the ginger tea in cold rainy days….it warms you up instantly. Pungent but really good! thanks for sharing these ideas.

Comment on This Post: