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

875 Responses to “Home Remedy”
  1. Michelle Says:

    Haven’t slept well in days. Just found recipe on Pinterest. AMAZING! THANKS FOR SHARING!! Good night ????????????. My husband REALLY THANKS You

  2. Laura Says:

    I’ve been feeling bad with a sore throat and bad cough, my dear Husband as well. Well, I made your Remedy, so far so good!! I actually feel the pressure in my chest ease up! Your Remedy is a must in our family from now on. Thanks!!!

  3. Sohan Saini Says:

    It,s very easy to make this recipe, I have recorded in my diary. It may help to cure with minimum expenses.

  4. Jim Says:

    Excellent. It works. My kids tried it as well. Got them to plug their noses when swallowing–its pretty strong–but tastes pretty good I have to say.

    Its the go to cold medicine—and I agree–if you feel something coming on–get this stuff in ye!

    Thank you,

  5. Melrj Says:

    This is not working for me…still coughing horibly…sigh

  6. goodfoodmatters Says:

    So sorry–take good care, and I hope you get some relief.

  7. Gidget Says:

    Plan to try this next time

  8. Lori Says:

    This works great for me. I’ve never experienced a natural homemade remedy that works so well.

  9. Jennifer Says:

    We’re feeling hopefull from the reviews. Tx!!

  10. Serina Says:

    This concoction is AMAZING! It really works. Yes, it’s a bit strong but the tastes subsides in a few seconds. It is effective immediately. Try it for yourself. You will be glad you did.

  11. Tracy Says:

    Add more honey and pumpkin spice or whatever flavoring you choose will improve the taste.

  12. Cheryl @ PDF Says:

    I think you saved my life tonight! LOL. I’m at the tail end of a head cold, but I think the cough is actually getting worse. I couldn’t catch my breath this evening for the painful non-stop coughing! I’ve even strained the intercostal muscles between my ribs from so much coughing. I found your post, had all the stuff, mixed it up, and took a tablespoon. And behold… I haven’t coughed in over an hour so far. Just sent this to my sister-in-law to make for her husband. She said it may save their marriage! LOL. From the bottom of my heart (and my lungs), thank you!!!

  13. Lorinda McKinnon Says:

    Is it wrong that I’m almost hoping to catch the crud just so I can try this out? Pinned it for later, because . . . winter germs.

  14. Laura K. Says:

    I don’t usually comment on blogs, but I must say that this really is good stuff! I felt under the weather on Sunday, tried two doses of this on Monday, and now it’s Tuesday and I feel almost 100%, but still have a bit of a cough. I think this is really just a great immunity booster, and that helps you get over colds quickly. That being said, I’m glad I found this recipe, and will make it a bit less spicy the next time. Thank you!

  15. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Laura, Thanks for sharing your experience—so glad the remedy helped you. Take good care, Nancy

  16. piccarina93 Says:

    It says here the recipe doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Can it be refrigerated if desired?

  17. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Yes, it can.

  18. Carina Garcia Says:

    My tonsils are swelling up terribly. I’m going to talk to my doc about it. I’m not actually coughing. Do you think this remedy would help for a tonsil soar throat?

  19. goodfoodmatters Says:

    It may help ease the pain of a sore throat, but if you have tonsillitis, you’ll likely need a prescription med from your doctor to treat it.

  20. Nereo Says:

    How often do we take a tablespoon?

  21. goodfoodmatters Says:

    As needed. every 4 hours shouldn’t hurt. take good care!

  22. Sarah Says:

    I managed to catch the cold that my daughter brought home from preschool last week, and I had a horrible, hacking cough start up this evening. I had taken two Mucinex DM pills which hadn’t touched the cough at all, and I was getting desperate because coughing every thirty seconds was so painful. I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided it was worth a shot. I didn’t have ginger, but a quick Google search told me that the cardamom I had in my cabinet was a close relative. I mixed everything up and took a dose, and the coughing stopped immediately! I seriously have only coughed five times in the past two hours! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!

  23. goodfoodmatters Says:

    You are welcome. Thanks for sharing your experience, Sarah. I’m glad to learn that cardamom worked so well as a substitute.
    Take good care, Nancy.

  24. LeRayne Says:

    I know that I am SUPER late to the party, but I have a rather silly question that I would really like to know the answer to. One of your commenters (Laura K., I believe) said that this recipe is a really great immunity booster, my question is do you recommend taking at least one dose a day during the cold & flu season in order to keep your immune system in tip-top shape? Thank You! Merry Christmas a few days early!!

  25. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi LeRayne, and Merry Christmas to you!
    I can’t say that it would be a great immunity booster–I honestly don’t know. But it couldn’t hurt.

  26. Pharma Franchise Says:

    In winter seasons cold and cough is common, but it is very pain full and disturbing in working for anyone. This home REMEDY medicine for cough is very good,because all of these things are used like Honey,Ginger,and Cayenne are natural and these things have no side effects.
    Thanks for increasing our knowledge and i really want to suggest some of my friends about this home remedy medicine and i also use this.

  27. Suzie Says:

    I’m ending a bout of bronchitis and found this recipe as I was making a batch of Elderberry Syrup for an immune system boost. I took a dose, and other than the slight burning sensation in my throat and stomach, it’s really quite palatable. Best of all, my coughing has ceased for almost a half hour…and counting! Thanks for sharing your remedy!

  28. Whitney Says:

    This was a miracle cure for our family. My kids now make it on their own. Thank you!

  29. Kristen Says:

    Oh heck yeah!!! So far so good! I’m making this for my dad. He cant shake his cough for the life of him!!

  30. Sarah Says:

    One spoonful of this and my throat was on FIRE!!! I’m hoping it works or I fear taking another spoonful.

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  32. Shauna Says:

    Just dosed my teen and my hubby both…from a nonstop volley of coughs in our house, to silence. God bless you!

  33. goodfoodmatters Says:

    so glad you all got relief! take good care–

  34. Genesis Says:

    Any tips to make this less spicy? Or is that what gives the potency?

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  36. Dawn D. Says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I look forward to using this on the next go ‘round with sore throat and coughs in my household.

  37. Chesney Says:

    Sounds great. I’m really excited to try this I’m trying to take control of what goes into my family as much as possible and so far so good

  38. Homemade Cough Remedy | barefeetinthekitchen.com Says:

    […] enough to calm a cough and soothe a sore throat.Recipe gently adapted from and with thanks to Good Food Matters. Servings: 6 Calories: 3 […]

  39. Hot Mess Press Says:

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  40. Jingles Says:

    Whoa man this stuff has some kick to it. Talk about spicy. This works okay still coughing and it buns my throat. How can I make this more comfortable to swallow. I did add more honey now my lips and throat burn I need help to tone this down

  41. Carrol lindsay Says:

    Brook this morning I decided to write this recipe in my journal and use it. I feel a bit stuffy and there is some drainage and throat clearing. I will take a spoonful and continue to drink plenty of liquids. I’m sure this recipe will help I believe anything that is a part of God’s earth is the better thing for the body. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe with everyone. I’m grateful. As I look back my mom use to give us a spoon of goose grease and honey when we were sick or played sick. The was horrible especially when we faked being sick to get out of going to school. Today there is no goose grease the honey we have.
    Carrol in Chicago

  42. pooja Says:

    Great post! Just a word of warning, though, sometimes it’s best NOT to suppress a cough. Coughing helps protect your lungs from the mucus in your head. For children and pregnant women, it especially might not be a good idea to suppress a cough if you are sick.
    A few other things to help your immune system kick a cold is to avoid sugar (it really reduces your immune system’s strength) and avoid dairy (it can increase mucus production). Eating cruciferous vegetables helps make your immune system stronger.

  43. Mimi John Says:

    This recipe is just amazing. I couldn’t stop coughing this morning and tried this recipe. Coughing immediately diminished and now only an occasional cough. Seems like a miracle!

  44. Andrew Says:

    Best to drink in summer

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