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Here’s an Effective Way to Use Onion and Honey for Cough Relief

This post: How to make your own onion-honey cough syrup.

 There’s nothing a mama hates more than hearing one of her children cough on and on all night long.  If the children are miserable, mommy is miserable.  We want something to ease their coughing and bring some relief.

Since I began making my own honey and onion cough syrup and making this herbal cough tea, I have not had the pain of watching my children cough on and on.  At the slightest sign of a cough, I administer one or both of these remedies.

A Few Tips for Cough Relief

It’s important with any sickness to hit it hard immediately before it gets the upperhand.  The moment you hear a cough setting in is the time to start treatment.

With coughs, it’s important to choose remedies that will expel mucus, calm spasms and heal the lungs

While I do always pull out the immune boosters with any sickness, many times they alone won’t stop a cough.  I have seen moms give their children healthy immune boosters and be exasperated that the cough won’t go away.  Yes, give the immune boosters; but add a remedy or two to target the cough and stop it in its tracks.

The amazing thing about natural remedies is that many times you have just what you need inside your kitchen cabinets. For this effective syrup, we’re going to use onion and honey for cough relief.

Why It’s Effective

This particular homemade syrup works well for cough relief for a few reasons.

Onions are a powerful immune booster + antibiotic. They are effective against both viruses and bacteria, and contain quercertin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant. Onions also contain sulphur compounds, which help fight mucus and expell it from our airways. They are the perfect ingredient for a cough syrup!

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Honey also contains antibacterial properties and is a natural antibiotic in its own right. Raw honey, especially, coats the throat and can relieve irritation. Science-backed studies have proven honey to be an effective cough suppressant.

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Let’s get to that recipe!

How to use honey and onion for cough relief.
Onion-honey cough syrup is super easy to make + so effective.

Make Your Own Honey-and-Onion Cough Syrup

Here’s my (Jill’s) easy-to-make syrup, featuring onion and honey for cough relief.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 large, organic yellow onion (makes about a pint of syrup)
  • raw honey
  • double boiler pans (or 1 larger pot + 1 smaller saucepan)


Bring about two quarts of water to a boil in the bottom double boiler pan (or your larger pot). Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer.

Wash, peel, + slice the onion. Place it in the top boiler pan (or smaller saucepan).

Cover the sliced onion with raw honey, at least 1/2-inch above the onion. Place the smaller saucepan inside the large pan of boiling water.

Simmer the mixture on low heat until the onions become translucent. (This is going to be your honey and onion cough syrup.)

Important: be careful not to “cook” this syrup! Heat will kill all those amazing medicinal properties in the raw honey. You want the heat to be hot enough to break down the properties in the onion slices without “cooking” the good stuff out of the honey. Keep the simmer gentle!

Once the onions are translucent, turn off the heat and remove the smaller saucepan. Carefully strain the honey from the onions. I like to use a cheesecloth to strain the honey into a wide-mouth jar, like this one.

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Let the syrup cool for about an hour, then cover the jar with a lid. The honey and onion cough syrup will keep for about three months if you store it in the fridge.


Adults: 1 tablesooon

Children (over one year of age)- 1 teaspon

Do not give this syrup to babies under a year old! Babies do not have the necessary enzymes to digest raw honey.

For children over a year old + adults: This syrup can be taken up to every 15 minutes, as needed. For bad coughs, allow the syrup to slowly trickle down the throat.

If you’re worried about your child not liking this syrup because of the onions, just don’t tell them there are onions in it! I have one of those kids, and she loves this syrup. However, I guarantee she wouldn’t if she knew what was in it. 😉

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Your turn.

Have you ever used onion and honey for cough relief? Tell me about it!

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  1. great! Honey is also a natural antibiotic and contains antibacterial properties. Raw honey can soothe irritation and coat the throat.

  2. Hello! I was wondering where I can find your recipe for
    Healthy soup? Thanks!

  3. I know honey is not good for children under 1 so what natural cough remedy would you recommend for children one and under?

  4. For the onion and honey cough syrup . . .did you mean “double boiler”?

    1. Yes I do! The mistake has been corrected – thanks! 🙂