Onion Syrup Cough & Cold Remedy

Total Time
12hrs 5mins
Prep 5 mins
Cook 12 hrs

While busy choking, gasping and wheezing with a bad cold, a friend asked, "Have you tried onion syrup?" I had never heard of it, so she sent me some internet links and lo and behold, "everyone" has heard of it but me!! Here is my simplified version. Cook time is "setting" time for the syrup, but you should be able to get a spoonful in about 2 hours if needed.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Use a clean 1 quart glass jar for making syrup and storing.
  2. Layer small handful of chopped onions and about 1/8 cup sugar. Keep layering until jar is full. You can use more sugar if needed. The recipe-meister wanted a definite amount so I guesstimated at 1/2 cup for the whole thing. You just need to be sure that the individual bits of onion are well coated with sugar.
  3. When finished layering, just close up the jar, shake it up a bit so the onion is all coated and leave it on the kitchen counter. In about 2 hours the onions will have reduced by about half because the sugar pulled the water and the beneficial therapeutic compounds out of them.
  4. In 12 hours its done! You can begin using the syrup at this point. It will still be giving off syrup for two or three days, so that is when I remove the spent onion bits (they gave it all they've got! LOL) and put the jar of syrup away for when needed.
  5. Serve by the teaspoonful when needed for coughs and colds.
Most Helpful

My mom used to give this to us as children and I've made it for myself as an adult. This recipe is just slightly different than hers. She always used 1 medium yellow onion, diced and enough sugar to coat the pieces. She would put it in a tea cup inverted on a saucer. We take 2 tsp as soon as it's ready(about 2 hours) then 1 tsp every hour after until it was gone. Mind you this was always a last resort but it definately kicked the congestion and soothed the cough.

EatThisandThat August 14, 2012

I really WANTED to like this recipe. A cold & cough remedy that I could make in my own kitchen with just just two ingredients is just too good to be true...and it is. The taste wasn't so bad. It did not taste good but as far as 'medicines' go my kids didn't fight me too much (with the appropriate bribe;-)!! I had some myself and definitely needed a chaser but still tolerable. The problem is it's 3 days later and we are all still coughing. I will probably try this again because I REALLY want this to work but for now I'm hanging on to my over-the-counter stuff.

nykat2004 September 24, 2009