Garlic Ginger Cough Syrup

When I came across a recipe for garlic and ginger syrup in one of the lessons that are part of a herbalism correspondence course I’m enrolled in with Rosemary Gladstar, I couldn’t wait to try it. Liquid garlic and ginger! My taste buds activated right away imagining the flavor, and then the best part:: Rosemary recommends burying it for seventeen days before use. This really got me going. But then the hitch: the garlic and ginger had to be juiced and a juicer does not feature in my kitchen. Hmm. I considered blending it but the feedback that thought gave me was, “you’re not going to get a taste for this syrup with a modification of that sort . . . do you really want to make a fermented garlic and ginger smoothie??” Naah.

So I asked around to see if any of my friends had a juicer that I could borrow, and one did.  I promptly drove down to pick it up and came home with it ready to get juicing.  The finished batch tasted pretty good, but I dug a hole inbetween a patch of tulsi, skullcap, echinacea, and mint, and buried it swaddled in a towel and a worn-out-favorite-skirt.  I counted down the seventeen days until finally the seventeenth day arrived.  Woke up super excited and skipped down eagerly to the garden, dug out the jar then came back and tried it.  Wow!  The change in flavor was quite noticeable, even tastier than before.  It reminds me slightly of the flavor in salad dressings that come at Japanese restaurants.  Ever so slightly.  So I made another bigger batch that I dug out a few days ago, and before I return the juicer to my friend I’m going to make some more to gift her, as well as try a combination once fresh turmeric comes in at the farmers market with turmeric, ginger, garlic, and onion. 

Rosemary learned this tonic recipe from Hari Das Baba many years ago as a remedy for hay fever, respiratory infections, sinus congestion, and circulatory issues.  Her suggested dose is 1 teaspoon, three times a day for chronic conditions, and 1/4 teaspoon every hour for acute conditions.  I have permission to share the makings of this delicious tonic, so have included a folk method recipe below.  If you make and use it, please inform yourself of how garlic and ginger interact with any conditions you have or medications you use before hand! 

It’s quite simple.

All you need is fresh ginger and fresh garlic, cayenne, honey, a juicer, and a jar.

You want to juice enough garlic and ginger to get equal quantities of each.  So if you get one cup of garlic juice then you’ll want one cup of ginger juice. 

Warm the juices together on the stove, just warm enough to mix in the honey; don’t boil or make it too hot!

To each cup of combined juice, use 1/4 – 1/2cup honey.

Add a pinch of cayenne, my ‘pinch’ the first time I made it with 2 cups of juice was about 1/8 of a teaspoon.

Stir it up and taste it.  You can use it right away, but I’ll say, burying it for seventeen days is well worth the digging should you be so inclined.

All you do is wrap the jar in a towel or blanket, something kind of padded and warmish.  Then either wrap it in burlap, a sheet, or if you like the idea of putting a well loved piece of clothing that’s hit raggedy stage to rest, then use that instead . . . or put the wrapped jar in the hole and cover it with said latter fabrics.  Cover the hole up with the displaced dirt and wait seventeen days.  Dig out.  Use the fabrics as mulch in the garden or leave in the hole and re-cover with dirt (worms love this!).  Then give the jar as shake and try it.

I keep mine in the fridge and have yet to discover how long it’ll stay good for as my first batch is already down to a shot glass worth, and the second batch will probably go by winter.  Based on how long most syrups last, I’d guesstimate a refrigerated life of 3 months to a year depending on how often your fridge gets opened and closed every day.

If you do make this, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you 😊

11 thoughts on “Garlic Ginger Cough Syrup

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  1. Wonderful to fall upon your post today Rose.. and see that smile… And I guess burying it in the ground also is adding Mother Earths healing energy to the elixir in the jar…. Many thanks for sharing… Loved the images too 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I felt that way while burying it, the absorption of other energies, even from nearby roots to plants neighbouring the jars. Hope you’re keeping well over the pond 🥰


  2. That is interesting you bury it for 17 days. It sounds good. You look happy with it. What are you putting it on? Or are you sipping it. I love ginger and garlic, but U don’t often have the two together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve put it on salad, soba noodles with scallions, dukkah, and sliced apples or cucumbers, and added it to miso style soup with scallions in it as well; it’s too good to just have by the teaspoon in my opinion 😉


    2. I’ll say, I grew up with spicy food as an everyday course of meal, so don’t find it particularly strong as far as ‘hot’ on the tongue goes, but my kids and husband find it gives them a good kick in the pants 😂


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