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Simple Medicine: Sage and Honey Cough Syrup

It will probably not surprise you much to learn that I don’t like taking medicine.  While I’m thankful for the availability of strong medicine when it’s needed, I prefer to go with natural methods.  Nature provides so much of the medicine we need, and I like to use what’s right under my nose (and feet, or overhead.)
IMG_9599We have a bumper crop of sage this year, so I am making a few things, including Sage and Honey Cough Syrup.  It’s so simple, but effective.  In fact, this study showed just honey to be more effective than drugstore cough syrup.  Sage is an anti-bacterial, astringent and anti-inflammatory herb, which makes it great for sore throats and coughs.  Sage and honey together make a wonderful cough syrup, and it’s so simple that I think everyone should make a batch.
IMG_9593

Sage & Honey Cough Syrup

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup or more of fresh, organic sage leaves
  • 1 cup or more of raw honey, preferably local (if you don’t have a local source, you can order it here)
  • a clean jar or glass container that can be sealed tightly and can hold at least 12 oz. (I love these and these, and mason jars are also perfect.)

What to Do

  1. Wash and dry your sage very thoroughly.
  2. Trim the leaves from their stems.
  3. Pack the sage leaves into your glass jar, and pour the honey over.  It will take a while for the honey to ooze between the leaves and underneath them.
  4. Stir it up with a clean spoon, and seal the jar.  Stir it up daily and let sit for about a week.
  5. (Optional) Remove the leaves, pressing all of the honey out of them.  You can decant into a bottle that is easier to pour like this kind, or just leave it there and spoon it out as needed.  I am going to keep the leaves in the jar, and pull one leaf out at a time for cups of tea.
  6. Administer medicinally in teaspoonfuls for sore throats and coughs, or stir a spoonful into a mug of warm water with a squeeze of lemon as a soothing tea.
  7. Store tightly sealed in the fridge.  It should last for a long, long time as honey is an excellent preservative.

IMG_9594I used a ton of sage, because we have so much.  I would guess at least two packed cups.  I also used about two cups of honey.  This is of course a very flexible recipe: more sage + less honey = stronger sage syrup, and vice-versa.IMG_9597Here is my honey about three days into steeping.  You will notice that the leaves look more dried out.  Also, the honey has thinned a bit with the addition of the moisture from the sage leaves.IMG_9622I recently spooned some of this sage honey over raspberries and cultured cream as a dessert– very good.  You could also use it in cocktails (like this one.)  I’m sure there are many more uses!  The next time I whip up a batch, I’ll try adding thinly sliced organic lemons.  I hope you’ll be making some of your own medicine this year– this simple Honey and Sage Cough Syrup is a great place to start!  You might also like to make this Elderberry Winter Tonic.

Have you made some herbal medicines for your family before?  What are your favorite natural remedies?

Simple Medicine Sage & Honey Cough SyrupPAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

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34 Responses to Simple Medicine: Sage and Honey Cough Syrup

  1. Christina May 30, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    Thank you!!! I need to find local honey and I will be whipping up my own batch soon.

  2. mjskit June 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    I have a ton of sage as well and I just LOVE this idea! I live with a chronic cough so hopefully this will help. Thanks!!!!

  3. mashaellis October 15, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    We will be making this for sure, I am always on a lookout for homemade cough remedies. Why did you remove the stocks?

    • ariana October 18, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

      Masha, I think the leaves will fit better without the stems, and that part is more stiff, so the leaves can’t be packed in quite as well– but it’s not an important part of the process, and you can skip it.

  4. Diane Var October 16, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    Can you use white sage for this? Thanks :)

    • ariana October 18, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

      I’m sure you could, Diane!

  5. Erin October 19, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

    Would this recipe be okay for a 3 year old? I know my 1-year old can’t have honey yet, but wanted to make sure sage is okay for a toddler.

    • ariana November 18, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

      I have read some warnings on using sage tea in small children. I think just honey would be good.

  6. John October 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    Add some mint leaves…it will add to the effectiveness by opening up the bronchial cells.

    • ariana July 6, 2015 at 9:43 am #

      Great idea, John!

  7. Amelie November 15, 2014 at 8:18 am #

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

  8. Sabdat November 18, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    Plz what’s the other name for sage leave? Not really getting the leave stuff

    • ariana November 18, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

      The other name is Salvia Officinalis. I hope this helps!

  9. Joyce @ Live Laugh Love Post January 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

    Awesome! My husband has frequent coughs, so I found you there! I’m making this for him now. Anyway, thanks for sharing here.

  10. Julia Z March 18, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    Can Not wait to share this with my bee keeping aunt & uncle they are going to love passing it along as well

  11. vickibragg April 17, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

    I have cateracts am alittle afraid to use sagehoney

    • Christine December 20, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

      Can you please elaborate on this? Im interested in knowing about the connection between cataracts and sage honey.

  12. Kathleen July 21, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

    I was wondering if this needs to go in the fridge the day it’s made or if it stays on the counter for the firs week and then should be put in the fridge?

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