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Homemade Decongestant and Cough Remedy

Homemade Decongestant and Cough Remedy

A Natural Decongestant that’s Fast and Simple

If you’re like us, you’d rather seek natural remedies like a homemade decongestant before taking chemical cold, cough and flu medicines. We use natural remedies whenever possible and only take pharmaceutical cough syrups and decongestants, as a last resort because we’ve found them to have unpleasant after effects.

In fact, in many ailments throughout our family, natural remedies have outperformed pharmaceuticals. Given that plus so many other benefits, including cheaper and healthier, we’re always willing to try natural remedies long before opening a bottle of pharmaceutical meds.

The good news is that it’s very simple to make a homemade decongestant!

DISCLAIMER: To reiterate the statements on our website, this should in no way be construed as medical advice of any kind. We’re simply sharing home remedies that work for our family.

Natural Cold and Flu Preventatives

The alkalinized silver has helped me to avoid a nasty cold when the rest of my family succumbed. I’ve also used silver to great effect for several different abscessed gum infections. Each time the alkalinized silver took care of it in less than 24 hours. The pain was gone and continued application kept it from infection and caused it to disappear completely in just few days.

Our first line of defense is to start boosting our immune resistance the moment we’ve been exposed or it feels like something has invaded our system. We start with a strong dose (double tea bags) of herbal cold care and immunity boosting herbal teas for cold and flu first with 1 tablespoon of Manuka honey and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

We also make and keep fire cider on hand. But fire cider needs to fermented over a few weeks. So if you feel a bug coming on and you don’t have any backup of the fire cider in your fridge or pantry, you can make this natural decongestant recipe in just minutes.

Here’s a simple homemade decongestant, cough and cold remedy, followed by a step by step ‘How-to’ video.

Homemade Natural Spicy Cider Decongestant and Expectorant

Excerpted and adapted from Claire on

Image: Everyday Roots homemade decongestant

Ingredients: Cayenne pepper, honey, lemon juice, ginger, apple cider vinegar.

Magic Homemade Decongestant Mixture

Here we’ve added our own nuances to Claire’s recipe. We like using manuka honey for health and healing remedies especially. It’s very expensive, so we reserve it for healing remedies.

Another addition is that we’ve added turmeric for its additional potent healing properties. When using turmeric, it needs to be consumed with an oil to make it bioavailable to your body, so we also add a little oil in remedies using turmeric.

Natural Expectorants

Cayenne pepper, honey, and ginger are all natural expectorants, meaning they help loosen phlegm or mucous from the lungs, making it easier to rid yourself of it and therefore relieving pressure and making you more comfortable.

Cayenne also works as a decongestant, thanks to the natural chemical capsaicin, which helps relieve swelling and inflammation that is narrowing nasal passages. Apple cider vinegar is thought to help thin out mucus being secreted, making it easier to drain the congestion.

Lemon juice is also thought to help with congestion, although the exact scientific reason isn’t known, and makes the whole thing go down a little easier, plus there’s the vitamin C benefit of the tart citrus. For this reason, we do not overheat our DIY decongestant, because heating destroys vitamin C.[2]


  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of powdered ginger
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric (optional; if using turmeric, add 1 tsp. olive, aloe, almond or sesame oil)
  • 3 tablespoons of all natural organic honey
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar


  1. HEAT lemon juice and apple cider vinegar gently to warm. Turning off heat as before it reaches the boiling point.[3]
  2. Remove from heat and stir in:
    • 2-3 Tablespoons of raw organic honey (or manuka honey)
    • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or one fresh hot red pepper)
    • ½ teaspoon powdered ginger (or 1 teaspoon grated or chopped fresh ginger)


Increase or decrease spices to taste, if you like it more or less hot. If you’re hyper sensitive to hot spices, you may need to reduce the ginger and cayenne by half. If using fresh pepper, you may wish to remove it after steeping.

A word about fresh versus powdered spices. Fresh and dried spices and herbs each have their benefits. While we usually prefer fresh, for this decongestant we favor the powdered ginger for the extra “sticking” power of coating the throat as the spoonful goes down.

Store in a jar in a cool, dark place.

Image: Everyday Roots honey-ginger-cayenne decongestant
Image: Everyday Roots

Dosage of Homemade Decongestant

Adults take 1-2 tablespoons daily as needed. Shake well before using, as the powder doesn’t dissolve in the most pristine way. I find it pleasant sometimes to warm the mixture before taking it.

Thanks to Claire for this delicious and effective home remedy to help your cough and cold.[4]

Cough and Cold Home Remedy

NOTE: Maureen peels her ginger, but we recommend leaving it on for the added nutrition, plus it saves time!

via Maureen Fitzgerald of [5]

Sun and Water

Other natural cold and flu remedies include sun and water. It’s really empowering to see just how much we can do to help ourselves naturally, often with products and resources we already have on hand.[6]

We start each morning with a large glass of lemon water. When our Meyer’s Lemons are ready we use those. When we don’t have the fresh lemons we use organic lemon juice.

Activated vitamin D is the single most powerful hormone in the human body.

This is the vitamin D spray we use on days where we’re not able to get 30 minutes of natural sunlight (without sunscreen).

For more from just click on this footnote number.[7]

For another recipe on a variation of this remedy that you can make ahead and store for months, check out the Fire Cider recipe[8]

Wishing you the very best health and wellness!


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The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

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