What do you do for a nasty cough? You might smear Vicks VapoRub on the soles of your feet; many readers find that approach helpful. Or you might look for an over-the-counter cough syrup. In the US, these mostly contain dextromethorphan as the active ingredient. Researchers have questioned its effectiveness, especially for young children. Can you make your own cough syrup at home?
Thymol for Calming a Cough:
Q. I had a hideous cold with a racking cough on a layover at the Amsterdam airport about 20 years ago. I went to the pharmacy for help and was given a cough medicine that tasted exactly like a thymol-based cough syrup that worked well on chronic bronchitis when I was a kid. This Dutch elixir worked just as well. I’m guessing oil of thyme may be the magical ingredient.
Making Thyme Cough Syrup at Home:
A. Thymol, essential oil of thyme, is an effective cough suppressant. To make your own thyme cough syrup at home, here is Dr. Low Dog’s recipe:
Add two tablespoons dried thyme to one cup near-boiling water and steep for ten minutes. Strain and add one teaspoon of lemon juice and one-half cup organic honey. Take one tablespoon as needed. Store in the refrigerator.
Try a Cup of Thyme Tea:
If you haven’t made your cough syrup, you might want to try a nice hot cup of thyme tea. Steeping thyme in hot water seems to release thymol that can reduce the urge to cough. To make tea, use a half-teaspoonful of dried thyme leaves for a cup of hot water. Steep it for about five minutes. Then strain the tea and sweeten it to taste.
Do you have a favorite home remedy to quell a cough? Tell us about it in the comment section below.