homemade natural cold and cough remedies for kids


I mentioned the other day that little Birdie woke up feeling unwell. Yesterday the first words she sobbed upon waking were: MUMMY! MY NOSE FEELS TEWWIBLE! 

Through the sharing of mummy wisdom, lots of reading, along with help from my naturopath sister (how lucky am I to have one sister who is a midwife, and another a naturopath?!) and consultations with my own naturopath I realised that my cough and cold repertoire has expanded a little since this post almost two years ago.

My cough and cold remedies as of today…

// Rest, rest, rest!

// Water, water, water! (Preferably warm, I use cooled boiled water)

// Chesty cough remedy tea and cough syrup with manuka honey and apple cider vinegar as previously mentioned.

// Olive leaf extract. Its antibacterial properties help to combat yucky germs. From the end of a silver spoon they lap it up. Yum.

// Vitamin C. Good quality. Powder form. Say no more. (We use this.)

// Depending on the nature of the cold/cough, we use a vapouriser with eucalyptus oil.

// I also often mix together some sweet almond oil (or other base) along with a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to rub on little chests and backs before bed.

// Warm baths with a few drops of essential oils, with the bathroom door closed to trap the steam.

// We always eat lots of kiwi fruit and strawberries when we are unwell for the vitamin c content.

// Garlic, ginger, tumeric, etc – get it into the kids in any way possible! Try using it in stir fries, soups, muffins, teas…

// I also love, love this immune boosting chicken soup by Teresa Cutter – whether you are ill or not, it is delicious!

// Lastly, for those times when home remedies just don’t cut it and you need to move onto store bought medicines, I am a huge fan of the Brauer range which, in Australia, you can buy at the chemist. They are homeopathic remedies and are always our first port of call before moving onto panadol (yes, we use panadol, not on a whim or without consideration, but when it is needed). My only suggestion regarding the Brauer products I have used is that you must follow the dosage to a TEE otherwise the results will not been as successful – in our experience. (NB of course you always follow dosage instructions when giving medication, I mean more specifically following the timeline of doses: don’t miss any. You will understand when you read the instructions.)

We obviously don’t use all these remedies at once, but I pick and choose depending on the type of cold, the season and so on.

I’m sure there are so many more, what do you do at your place?

*Please note, I am not a medical professional nor claiming to be qualified in anything but mothering. If you choose to use any of the above remedies, make sure you research them yourself so that you are aware of the pros and cons, if any, and can decide for yourself which suit your child and family best. Don’t just take my word for it… this is the internet, afterall. (For example, babies under 12 months old should not consume honey… etc, etc.)*


chesty cough remedies

It’s that time of year. Baby has been very brave this week, pushing on through a nasty cold. Yesterday it moved into her chest and as I type this I can hear her coughing a deep rasp every now and then in her sleep. Poor little poppet.

I’ve been looking around for some herbal remedies that I can give to her to help ease the discomfort and work through the cough. She is still a chirpy little thing but I can tell she’s tired. She is crying at the drop of a hat and waking in the night. Last night she slept with us from around midnight and woke up this morning all clammy and sweaty.

From what I understand of a chesty cough, the phlegm or mucus needs to be broken up so the body can get rid of it. When Baby is sick we use a vapouriser in her room with eucalyptus oil while she sleeps. I also usually make up a cough/cold syrup for her (actually for all three of us) based on a friend’s recipe (who will soon have a blog that I can link to – S.A.?) but this morning I decided this particular cough needs something a bit more than my usual mix.

I found a few recipes online, and combined some ideas to make this super simple tea for Baby this morning…

Chesty Cough Remedy

:: freshly squeezed juice from 2 lemons (I only used 1 as I only have 2!)

:: 1/4 cup of manuka honey

:: the recipe didn’t call for water, but I added some… you can imagine drinking straight honey and lemon would not be the best. I also didn’t want my low-sugar eating kid to be bouncing off the ceiling after one sip. Not ideal.

:: I added some chamomile flowers too as Baby and I are both loving these at the moment. You could possibly add whatever type of loose leaf tea you enjoy, that would compliment the honey and lemon.


Bring to a boil in a saucepan and set aside to cool slightly.

Yeah… not 100% sure!

But she did go back for more! She didn’t drink the whole thing, probably about a quarter of that little mug. I think it is easier to get her to take smaller amounts of ‘medicine’ rather than a whole cup of tea. But the warmth and goodness tea can provide is excellent, so I’m going to persevere!

Here is the cough syrup mix I usually make. I would give her little medicine cups of this throughout the day, maybe 5-10mL.

Cough Syrup

:: 1 tbs apple cider vinegar

:: 2 tbs manuka honey

:: water to taste if needed


Combine with a spoon and drink. Can be made in larger quantities and used throughout the day if needed.

*For us grown ups around here I would often also add some crushed garlic, ginger, tumeric, cayenne pepper – or whatever combination of this you can handle. Yah. Grimace. Not the best tasting but it works!

What do you give your little ones on days like these?