In the early 80s, my wife and our two children moved to Austria. Almost immediately, we began to experience some of the foreign strains of flus and viruses in our new surroundings. This is when we discovered that the Austrians had a very different view of medications than what we were accustomed to in the US.

old time natural homemade cough syrupNo medications were available at the time “over-the-counter.” Our children had developed quite a cough, so we asked our Austrian neighbor what she gave her boys when they had a cough. Here are the instructions she gave us for natural homemade cough syrup:

  1. Go to the grocer and buy a black radish. (I’d never heard of a black radish, but they do exist. We bought one about the size of a small apple.)
  2. Cut the black radish in half and dig out a small cavity in the center of both halves.
  3. Place a raw sugar cube in this cavity and put the two halves of the black radish back together.
  4. Put the black radish in cheese cloth and bind it tightly to ensure the two halves remain together.
  5. Now boil the black radish in the cheese cloth for about an hour.
  6. After an hour, remove the black radish from the cheese cloth and separate the two halves. Be careful not to lose any of the syrup that has developed in the center cavity. Scoop out that syrup from both halves of the black radish and voila—you’ve got homemade cough syrup!

This process yielded enough “cough syrup” for one dose per child. I honestly can’t remember how helpful this cough syrup was, but it was a very effective method for keeping the parents occupied for a couple hours!

Fortunately, not all natural home remedies are this involved or bazaar. Following are four powerful home remedies to tackle various ailments:

1. Bone broth

Hippocrates is credited with saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This is certainly the case with a good ol’ fashioned bone broth. We’re not talking about a store-bought version, but a slow-cooked, homemade broth made from chicken, turkey, duck, goose, beef, lamb, or fish.

Beef or chicken stock contains all kinds of minerals and important amino acids that the body can easily absorb. Bone broth:

  • Promotes healthy digestion
  • Reduces joint pain and inflammation
  • Helps build strong bones
  • Inhibits infections, flus and colds
  • Fights inflammation
  • Promotes healthy hair and nails[1]

Chicken soup really is one of the best remedies for a cold after all.

benefits of bone brothRecipe for chicken broth: (This recipe also stretches your dollar.) After eating a roast chicken, put the carcass, bones, skin and scraps of meat into a stock pot and cover with cold water. Place over medium heat and let the broth come to a simmer. Simmer for 24 hours adding water from time to time as needed. (If you prefer not to have the pot simmering while you’re asleep or away, just turn it off and cover it, leaving it on the burner. Then restart it in the morning.)

Variations: you can add a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at the start of the process to help draw out the minerals. You can also cut up an onion, garlic and celery to add flavor and nutrients to the broth.

When the broth has simmered for at least 24 hours, strain everything out of the broth and it’s ready to use:

  • Drink as a hot beverage.
  • Make soup, or use as stock in your favorite recipe. At this point, you’ll probably want to add salt, pepper and any other herbs.

2. Raw, organic honey

Honey has long been revered for its healing properties as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.[2] One dose of honey has been shown to be as effective as a dose of dextromethorphan as a cough suppressant.[3] Honey can also provide healing to wounds and burns.[4]

Natural home remedy for sore throat: Add a drop of lemon juice to a teaspoon of honey. Other variations include adding cayenne pepper, and garlic.

Important warning: pediatricians warn never to give honey to infants under one year old as their immune systems are not yet fully developed.[5]

3. Lemon balm

4 effective natural remedies with lemon balmThis relative of the mint family is an easy-to-grow herb that is rich in antioxidants and boasts powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties.[6] The leaves from this plant can be used for many ailments:

  • Treat insect bites
  • Calm restless children
  • Boost the immune system
  • Lemon balm tea can help treat insomnia, nervousness and anxiety[7]

Recipe for lemon balm tea: Simply pick 10 to 12 leaves, wash them and brew in a teapot for at least 10 minutes. You can sweeten tea with a little honey. This is how our daughter-in-law calms her four children when they are too riled up to go to bed!

4. Ginger

The part of the plant that we’re most interested in is the bulbous rhizome that grows underground. You can buy raw ginger in many grocery stores in the fresh food and vegetable sections. Ginger packs a long list of health benefits including its function as an antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic.[8]

One of its most common and effective applications is that ginger works wonders to combat indigestion, nausea and motion sickness.[9] You can make your own fresh ginger tea for this purposes.

Recipe for ginger tea: Simply cut a few slices off a ginger root and steep them in hot water for at least ten minutes.

Drink the ginger tea or chew on a candied ginger to relieve stomach indigestion, nausea or motion sickness.

These four natural home remedies, broth, honey, lemony and ginger, represent a few of the great options available to us right from the pantry or garden. The list of home remedies is nearly endless!

Here at Barton Publishing, we specialize in providing natural healing remedies that empower people to experience vibrant and amazing health. Check out our wide assortment of specialized reports here. Perhaps you’ll find just what you were looking for!

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Rob_FischerRob Fischer has been writing professionally for over 35 years. His experience includes writing curricula, study guides, articles, blogs, newsletters, manuals, workbooks, training courses, workshops, and books. Rob has written for numerous churches, for Burlington Northern Railroad, Kaiser Aluminum, and Barton Publishing. He has also trained managers in effective business writing. Rob holds two Master’s degrees, both focused heavily on writing. Rob has published eleven books and serves as an editor and ghostwriter for other authors.


[1] Dr. Mercola, “Bone Broth—One of Your Most Healing Diet Staples,” December 16, 2013,
[2] Julie Edgar, “Medicinal Uses of Honey,” WebMD, December 20, 2011,
[3] Diana Herrington, “10 Health Benefits of Honey,” August 22, 2012, Care2,
[4] Diana Herrington.
[5] Julie Edgar.
[6] Dr. David Jockers, “The Powerful Health Benefits of Lemon Balm,” Natural News, November 17, 2013,
[7] Dr. David Jockers.
[8] Dr. Mercola, “Ginger’s Many Evidence-Based Health Benefits Revealed,” June 30, 2014,
[9] Dr. Mercola, “Ginger’s Many Evidence-Based Health Benefits Revealed.”