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Homemade Decongestant and Cough Remedy

Cures from the Cupboard for a Fast and Simple DIY Decongestant

Do you sometimes wonder if you should take a nasty chemical cold, cough and flu medicine versus letting your body’s natural healing take effect? If you’re like us, you’d rather always seek natural remedies first and only take pharmaceutical cough syrups and decongestants, as a last resort.

Our first line of defense the moment it feels like something has invaded our system… or even if we’ve just been exposed is to go for a strong dose (double tea bags) of herbal cold care and immunity boosting teas first, plus extra vitamin C. We add 1-2 tablespoons each of Manuka honey and lemon juice.

So we’re always willing to try natural remedies for coughs and congestion long before hitting the bottles of pharmaceutical stuff.1)

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

We make and keep fire cider on hand. But in a pinch, if you feel a bug coming on and you don’t have any back up of the fire cider in the fridge, you can make this recipe in just minutes.

Homemade Natural Spicy Cider Decongestant and Expectorant

By Claire on

Image: Everyday Roots

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

Magic Mixture

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.


  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of powdered ginger
  • 3 tablespoons of all natural organic honey
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar


  1. Bring ¼ cup of lemon juice and ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to a gentle simmer.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in 2-3 tablespoons of raw organic honey and ¼-½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper and powdered ginger each. If you’re hyper sensitive to hot spices, you may need to reduce the ginger and cayenne by half.

Store in a jar in a cool, dark, place indefinitely.

Image: Everyday Roots
Image: Everyday Roots

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.3)

Cough and Cold Home Remedy

via Maureen Fitzgerald of 4)

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.5)

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’s just click on this footnote number.6)

For another recipe on a variation of this remedy that you can make ahead and store for months, check out the Fire Cider recipe7)

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