Remedy Technique: THYME COUGH SYRUP

A reliable and effective remedy for ordinary coughs that is easy to make from supermarket ingredients

♠ The herb thyme (Thymus vulgaris) that we know so well from cooking is the key ingredient here.

♠ Medicinally this herb is very antiseptic and helps to kill germs.

♠ It is also an expectorant: a tonic that helps to open up the lungs and cough up phlegm. So, it can help to kill germs and clear out a mucousy cough.







Not recommended due to  honey or high sugar content


No, Thyme is NOT safe.

Use Marshmallow Leaf instead.


Yes, both mother and child benefit from the medicine this way.

Thyme Cough Syrup: An introduction

Why Make Syrups?

♠ Thyme works well in a tea or tincture BUT the syrup is more concentrated and much more effective, so it is well worth making.

♠ The honey or sugar form a thick protective layer that helps to soothe and coat the throat and ease the cough.

♠ They are also essential for preserving the extract so don’t cut down on the amount in the recipe. Doing so would make a runny syrup that would go off rapidly and would need to be thrown away.

Introducing Thyme Cough Syrup

Recipe Technique: Photo lessons and pdf recipe info

This recipe makes approx 500 ml of cough syrup so make sure that you prepare enough clean, dry bottles for this amount.

Step 1

* The syrup can be made with fresh or dried thyme.

* If using fresh thyme from the garden then you can use the stalks as well as the leaves.

Step 2

* This syrup is easy to make using packets of dried thyme that are readily available in shops.

* Confusion alert: the text in this photo is in Portuguese!

Step 3

* Put the dried thyme (40g) into a clean dry pan.

Step 4

* Pour on the water (900ml).

Step 5

* Stir together to prevent the herb floating on top of the water.

Step 6

* Over a gentle heat, bring it to a simmer.

Step 7

* Put on the lid and gently simmer for 20 mins.


Step 8

 * After 20 mins it will have turned a rich brown colour.

Step 9

* Get another clean, dry pan and a metal sieve.

Step 10

* Strain the liquid into the new pan, and discard the herbs on the compost.

Step 11

* Heat the liquid again, leaving the lid off this time.


Step 12

 * Leave off the lid, and simmer until this reduces to about 1/3 of the volume e.g. 250 -300 ml.

* The more gradually you do this, the better. It tends to take 30-45 mins.

Step 13

* After reducing it, measure the amount of liquid.

Step 14

* Pout it back into the pan and bring it to a simmer.

Step 15

* Pour in 450 ml of honey (or sugar).


Step 16

* Bring this to the boil, stirring continuously. If you don’t do this then it can turn to toffee!

*Turn off the heat as soon as it starts to bubble and boil.

Step 17

*Get the bottles ready [make sure that you have cleaned and dried these properly, they are best used warm from the oven, see the pdf for details preparation instructions].

Step 18

* Pour the syrup into the bottles (careful now!).

* A funnel helps, if you have one.

Step 19

* Leave bottles to cool down completely before putting on the lids and labels.

Step 20

* A dose of syrup in this glass, approx 5-10 ml. (It’s a very small glass!)

*Store the bottles in the fridge.

I don't have time! Where can I buy a herbal cough syrup suitable for children?

I haven’t been able to find a Thyme cough syrup that is suitable for children. The ones for sale in the shops contain other ingredients too, making them too strong.

Instead I recommend buying Marshmallow cough syrup.

This one is safe and suitable for children: