We’ve been passing a cough around over here. Now the littlest member has it, poor thing. The curse of the second child, I think. I don’t remember Audrey getting sick as a baby. But then she didn’t have a three year old around to spread the love (and the germs).
So with coughs on the mind, I thought I’d give you a simple, soothing cough recipe to make and keep on hand. Bonus: since it’s sweet you can (probably) even get the preschool set to swallow it.
Horehound has an intensely bitter medicinal flavor. Luckily, this is softened considerably by the honey. It is excellent for thinning mucus and moving it up and out of the lungs and bronchi. It also helps induce diaphoresis (sweating) when there is a fever present but the skin is hot and dry (I like to combine it with Elderflower and yarrow tea for this purpose).
Horehound is also excellent for freeing stuck liver congestion and warming the digestion. Both of which, help the body to expel the virus quicker. It has relaxant qualities and I find it very soothing (especially with the honey) for an over-active cough reflex.
Finally, it grows like a rampant weed and is quite pretty, in a frosty green way. It’s an easy herb to add to the garden. Be prepared to cut it back aggressively when it flowers, though, or you will soon find yourself with a horehound forest. Or look for it in weedy, over-grazed fields. It grows wild throughout the temperate zones.
1-2 handfuls fresh white horehound leaves (Marrubium vulgare)
honey to cover
Note: you can also use dried, in which case you can skip the final steps of evaporating off the extra water
1. Shred or chop leaves and put in a small saucepan
2. Cover leaves with honey, cover pot with lid, and cook on low heat for 40 – 60 minutes
3. Remove from heat and let cool completely
4. Rewarm slightly, just enough to make the honey liquid enough to pour. Strain into a jar.
5. (Optional) I like to evaporate off most of the extra water extracted from the fresh leaves. I find it keeps longer this way. To do this, simply cook the honey on a very low heat. Just enough to see steam but try not to let the honey boil. When the honey has reached a thick consistency, pour into jar.
Take by the spoonful at the first sign of sore throat or cough. You can take this repeatedly throughout the day as needed. It is quite safe for little ones (provided they are old enough to have honey)