Thyme has been used for many years to help soothe irritated throats and halt coughing. It is quick and easy to make your own all-natural thyme cough syrup.
While there are many different varieties of the herb thyme, common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is the primary type used for its culinary and medicinal purposes. It is available in many health food or grocery stores and many nurseries offer organic thyme plants that can also be grown indoors on a windowsill. If you choose to grow your own, be sure to choose a sunny spot as thyme prefers sunny locations. Because the plants are small, you may wish to have two or three of them to use for cooking and medicinal purposes.
In one study published in the medical journal BioMed Research International, assessing the ability of 29 different plants to fight infectious microorganism, thyme was identified as one of the most antimicrobial herbs. While this cough syrup is intended primarily for coughs, new research published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine showed that thyme has antibacterial action against E. coli, which is a common source of food poisoning, so the cough syrup may have additional beneficial actions.
When choosing honey, be aware that many of the commercial types of honey that are available have been found to be sugar syrup, not honey. If you are vegan or prefer not to use honey, you can substitute agave syrup or brown rice syrup. Both are excellent options; however, honey has been found to have its own antibacterial and throat-soothing properties that lend themselves to this cough syrup.
Honey Thyme Cough Syrup
The recipe makes approximately 1-1/2 cups.
1 cup water
2 tablepoons fresh thyme leaves or two teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 cup raw, unpasteurized honey
In a small saucepan bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the thyme leaves and cover with a lid. Allow to cool for at least 15 to 20 minutes to allow thyme’s medicinal compounds to be extracted into the water. Strain, saving the liquid. Whisk or stir in the honey until mixed. Store in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Use one teaspoon as necessary whenever your throat is scratchy or when you feel a sore throat coming on.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty Cooking