Homemade Vegan Cough Syrup

Happy Fall Y’all! Has the seasonal change brought on any colds for you lately? Perhaps the chilly weather has stung you with a cough or sore throat?

Yeah, me too. Boo.

When you have children, it’s hard to avoid seasonal colds. Every parent knows all too well the value of hand washing. If you have a toddler, you understand the constant vigilance that must happen if you don’t want them sticking their dirty hands in their mouths.

And *sigh*, you know toddlers are sneaky bastards.

Especially if you have a son, you may have seen that twinkle in his eye, after he did something you told him not to do.

“You mean I can’t jump off the couch?”
“Don’t you want me to pull the cats tail?”
“I was only testing out our toilets capabilities of flushing random objects.”

And so on.

So it’s no surprise that households can become contaminated quickly– and we mamas have to swoop in and nurture the casualties. Yup, we don’t get no sick days.

Yet when my kids do fall under the sickness spell, I don’t pull out the drugs.

Just Say No to Drugs (And YES to Plants!)

Using over-the-counter drugs for minor issues (no pun intended) will actually weaken your child’s immune system. There’s also a risk of overdose or allergic reaction (scary!). I only use the boxed stuff as a last resort, when my child has a high fever that I can’t break naturally.

In all honesty, using natural remedies are a safe way to help ease the discomfort your child may be experiencing while battling a cold.

Related: Quick & Easy Natural Remedies for Sore Throats (Safe for Kids!)

Plants are amazing helpers!

For coughs and sore throats, one thing I’ve enjoyed is mixing up my own homemade vegan cough syrup. It’s basically like creating a strong brew of tea, and you take it in small doses.


My herbs of choice have been:

  • Plantain– Anti-bacterial, plantain is wonderful for the common cold. It also aids the body in clearing mucus in the chest (giving you a good hack). Plantain is good for healing skin irritations, which makes it a great candidate for soothing a sore throat.
  • Lavender– Anti-septic, lavender is also a great herb for a cold. With its soothing and sedative properties, lavender will relax the throat and the chest. Any time you are feeling icky, lavender is a good plant to call on!

Related: Lavender Infused Chocolate Fondue

My initial reasoning for choosing these herbs is because over the summer I had a lovely amount of plantain and lavender growing in my backyard. It was awesome!.

The pictures in this post feature some plantains I harvested and dried. I used loose lavender tea this go ‘round, because my lavender plant had already had its peak. *sniffles* I also had to make this batch on short notice- you never know when a cold will strike!

Lavender Dried

You can use your herbs of choice, but just remember, the closer you are to its source, the better.

Here are some other herbs that can assist you in colds/coughs:

Garlic, mullein, slippery elm, marshmallow, licorice, horehound, eucalyptus, peppermint

Oh Honey, Honey

Most homemade cough syrups call for honey- this makes sense because true honey has many healing properties. However, unless you are a beekeeper who uses humane practices, you’ll probably be buying honey from a store. In that case, most honey often isn’t real honey at all!

It’s up to you if you want to use local honey or not. However, for this recipe, I opted for coconut nectar instead.

It helps sweeten it up a little and has 16 essential amino acids for a little health benefit. I’m not sure if the coconut retains its anti-septic healing properties after being transformed into nectar, but it’s probably the healthiest option I can find at this point (other than leaving out a sweetener all-together).

If you want your syrup to be thicker, you may want to adjust your ratio to equal parts tea and coconut nectar. The only other way to thicken this to a syrup without using honey is to create a syrup with sugar on the stove, but I don’t think that’s helping your cold LOL. For me, I’m okay with it being less syrup-y and more healthy.

This is heavenly served warm btw. Give your child (or yourself!) 1-2 tablespoons once an hour, or as needed.

Keep refrigerated for extended use- I would use within two weeks.

Cough Syrup Ingredients

Homemade Vegan Cough Syrup



  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Pour into French press and add your herbs.
  3. Let stand for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Pour into pint jar and mix in coconut nectar.
  5. Use as needed (see above).

*If you don’t have a French press, no worries! Just heat water and use a tea ball (or two) and let your herbs steep for 30 minutes.

Want something easier? Click here to get the recipe for my Chocolate Vegan Cough Syrup!

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  1. 1 2/3 C water
  2. 1 Tbsp dried lavender
  3. 2 Tbsp dried plantain
  4. ¼ C coconut nectar (optional)
  5. French press*
  6. 1 pint jar for storage
  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Pour into French press and add your herbs.
  3. Let stand for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Pour into pint jar and mix in coconut nectar.
  5. Use as needed (see above).
  1. Don't have a french press? No worries! Simply heat your water and use a tea ball (or two!) instead. Let steep for 30 minutes.
Beautifully Bohemian https://www.beautifullybohemian.com/wordpress/

Cough Syrup Remedy!

How do you battle toddler colds naturally? Share in the comments below!


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Love the idea of homemade cough syrup. Since cold season is around the corner, I will keep this handy!


Thanks Anne! I’d love to hear how it turns out:)


There is so much unhealthy stuff in conventional cough syrup that I don’t use them anymore so I am so delighted that you created your own natural vegan cough syrup and shared it with us at the Plant-based Potluck Party. I’m pinning and sharing.


Thank you!!! I love using this stuff, it’s very calming and soothing.


I have heard that marshmallow and lavender are good for coughs – thanks for sharing the recipe with us Randi


Oh yes I’ve got some marshmallow I have to try out- very excited about it! Thanks for stopping by Amberjane!


Really cool idea! Most cough syrups are so unhealthy so this is a great alternative! Love that you used coconut nectar instead of honey. I’ve seen so much about how so many bees are killed in the making of honey if they do not use humane practices.

Thanks so much for linking up with us for #HealthyVeganFridays! I’m Pinning and sharing!


Thanks so much for stopping by Mary Ellen! I agree- most cough syrups have crazy ingredients in them and I personally feel uncomfortable giving that to my kids! For acute problems, this stuff really does the trick!


“And *sigh*, you know toddlers are sneaky bastards.”
Ahahahaha that made me giggle ;p They really do like to get into everything and push the bondaries, don’t they?
This is such a great idea. I’ve actually just been sucking it up when I get a cough and working my way through it miserably. I can’t actually even have cough syrup as I take Hormone Replacement Therapy and it interferes with it – but I think this would actually be ok (I’ll of course run it by my doc first). I love how you grew these things in your backyard too! You are a domestic goddess!


LOL YES they do get into everything!!
This would be a great alternative to try since you can’t take over-the-counter meds anyway (which is probably for the best, but I have “waited it out” many times and I know it’s not fun!). You could also try making your own Fire Cider (I have the recipe in the archives), because that is FANTASTIC for common colds. I hope you get a chance to try some of these natural remedies, I promise you won’t regret it! Sending hugs Kimmy:)

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