Remember when I gave you a peek inside my medicine cabinet?
Nothing's changed… I'm still fighting illness with food!
My most recent addition to our natural arsenal is homemade cough syrup — made with one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, the Instant Pot!
Why Instant Pot Cough Syrup Is A Winner
I've got nothing against plain ol' raw honey as a natural cough remedy. I've given my family many a spoonful of it to ease a cough. It's powerful, and it works!
Yet, for stubborn coughs or coughs that accompany colds, herbs and spices speed healing and bring relief more quickly.
This is where my Instant Pot comes in handy. Using the Sauté feature, I can gently simmer herbs in water with a constant temperature. No more adjusting the stove and babysitting the pot!
Which Herbs & Spices To Use For Instant Pot Cough Syrup?
Fresh thyme is anti-inflammatory and disinfecting. It's the perfect addition to homemade cough syrup, especially when the cough accompanies a cold. And you just can't find its lovely herbaceous flavor in any store-bought syrups.
Similar to thyme, sage is also an anti-inflammatory and expectorant, with a long history of being added to old-fashioned cough syrup recipes! It has medicinal effects and is a powerful herbal remedy.
In this recipe, use either thyme or sage. Both are unnecessary since their properties are very similar. Medicinal use of sage is contraindicated for pregnancy, so please use fresh thyme if you are pregnant.
Ginger works as an expectorant to loosen and break up mucous in the lungs. Because of gingerol, the main bioactive compound in ginger, it possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and immune-boosting properties. Exactly what we need to fight illness and stop persistent coughing!
So if your cough was caused by a bacterial infection, you want ginger in your Instant Pot cough syrup! (Source.)
Cayenne contains a compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin “relieves the pain by suppressing a chemical that carries the pain message from nerves in the affected area to the brain” (source). This is especially relieving if coughing causes or worsens a sore throat.
Cayenne is very spicy, so you may want to leave out or reduce this ingredient if you plan to administer your homemade cough syrup to children or sensitive adults.
Finally, lemon is anti-bacterial, helps boost the immune system, and can open up the sinuses. I've even used it alongside raw garlic to treat strep throat!
Now that you know a little bit about the ingredients, let's make cough syrup in the Instant Pot!
- Put water, thyme, and chopped ginger into the Instant Pot.
- Press the Saute button.
- Simmer the herbs in water until reduced by half.
- Allow to cool until the temperature is warm, not hot, steeping the herbs the entire time.
- Discard or compost the thyme and ginger.
- Return the thyme-ginger tea to the Instant Pot.
- Whisk in honey, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper, if using.
- Transfer to an airtight jar or bottle.
- Syrup will keep in a dark cupboard for 1 week. After that, it should be stored in the refrigerator.
- Administer a tablespoon as often as necessary to soothe a sore throat and calm a cough.
Have you ever thought to make cough syrup in the Instant Pot? Have you ever tried homemade cough syrup?
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You are responsible for your own health and for the use of any remedies, treatments, or medications you use at home.
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