Lemon, Honey, and Ginger Soother for Colds and Sore Throats

by Lana Stuart on January 31, 2013 · 54 comments

Lemon, Honey and Ginger Soother for Colds and Sore Throats from @NevrEnoughThyme

I’m doing a little bonus post this week! Yes, I normally post on Tuesdays and Fridays, but just for this week I’m throwing in one extra. Because who couldn’t use a little help like this during cold and flu season. And, besides…this mixture just tastes good!

I’ve known about this little sore throat soother and cough remedy for years. I think my Mama even gave us something similar when we were children. You can keep a jar of this in your pantry or refrigerator and use it any time you start to feel that little tickle in your throat. You know that little tickle? The one that says “Get ready. I’m a nasty cold and here I come?” Yuck.

I know people who swear that taking a spoonful of this mixture every day will keep colds away. I don’t know about that, but some of them are pretty adamant about it.

Now, I am NOT giving anyone medical advice here. As Paula Deen famously said, “I’m your cook, not your doctor.” I’m just sharing a little something that might make you feel better if you’re under the weather. And, by the way…don’t give this to infants. Honey is not safe for them.

Guess what else? If you completely forget that this is in your pantry, after a while it turns into the most delicious marmalade! Yep.

Assembling a jar of lemon, honey, and ginger cold and cough soother

All you do is take a clean pint jar and cut up a couple of lemons and pack them into the jar. I take out the seeds, but whatever. About halfway through filling the jar with lemons, grate in about a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger. Finish filling with the lemons. Now, slowly pour the honey in giving it a little time to settle between all the lemon pieces. Put the cap on and let it sit for about 24 hours before you start using it. If you can get some local honey all the better.

Most people stir a spoonful of the mixture into a cup of boiling water, let it steep a few minutes, then strain it and sip it. I actually prefer it in hot tea. And, if you’re really feeling under the weather, adding a little spoonful of whiskey won’t hurt a thing.

Enjoy and feel better!

Lemon, Honey, and Ginger Soother for Colds and Sore Throats
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A lemon, honey, and ginger soother for colds and sore throats.
  • 2-3 lemons
  • 1" piece fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 to 1 cup honey
  1. Wash the lemon and cut into slices or wedges. Pack the wedges in a clean, dry jar.
  2. Grate the ginger root into the jar with the lemon wedges.
  3. Fill the jar with honey.
  4. Close the jar and let stand for at least 24 hours before using.
  5. Store in refrigerator or dark, cool pantry.
Note: honey is not safe for infants. This recipe is not be construed in any way as medical advice.

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Miss P January 31, 2013 at 6:58 pm

If I feel really really really yucky, I use rum instead of whiskey. There is less taste, but you get the same sleep factor.


Miss P


2 Lana January 31, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Good idea! I’m going to try that.


3 Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles February 1, 2013 at 9:28 am

This actually sounds GOOD! :)


4 Lana February 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm

It is good, Brenda! Sometimes I eat a spoonful of it for no good reason at all :-)


5 Marie February 6, 2013 at 9:56 am

Oh excellent, thank you :)


6 Garrett February 20, 2013 at 9:24 pm

I’m touring with a children’s musical that requires me to wake up early every Monday-Friday for the next few months. Usually waking up at 6:00 am makes my voice stage a protest, and I kept finding myself with a sore voice when the weekend rolled around. I’ve been sipping this stuff with hot water on a pretty much daily basis, and I haven’t had a problem since. I’m pretty sure this will be a permanent addition to my fridge. Thanks!


7 Jenn Brown October 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I am just wondering if you need to refrigerate this wonderful concoction?


8 Lana Stuart October 14, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Jenn – refrigeration is not strictly necessary as honey and lemon are both natural preservatives. That said, however….I do keep mine in the fridge.


9 Jenn Brown October 14, 2013 at 6:58 pm



10 Tiffiney December 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I have never ever used ginger so with that said do i peel it or just use it as is?


11 Lana Stuart December 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Tiffiney, the ginger is, of course, optional, but if you choose to include it you’d peel it and grate it into the mixture.


12 Tim December 14, 2013 at 10:18 pm

We just made 12 jars today to give as Christmas presents to friends.


13 Lana Stuart December 15, 2013 at 8:34 am

What a good idea, Tim. I’ve never thought of giving it as gifts, but it would be so nice to receive a jar!


14 Tim December 15, 2013 at 9:20 pm

We originally saw this recipe on Facebook. I googled and it led me to you. On the Facebook posting it said to refrigerate it. You talk of keeping it in the pantry. Does it keep well on a shelf unsealed? What would you say the “shelf life” is?
Thanks, Tim


15 Lana Stuart December 15, 2013 at 9:39 pm


You can keep it either way. Most people choose to refrigerate it. Even though honey is one of the world’s best preservatives (they’ve found it still edible in tombs in the pyramids), there could be some kind of contaminants on the lemon skin and refrigeration slows down bacterial growth. For that reason, most people would refrigerate it.

Shelf life? I can’t say exactly but it’s a very long time.


16 Gisele DeAngelis December 22, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Made some today and it tastes wonderful – also made some for gifts – can’t wait to give it too – Merry Christmas


17 Paula G December 31, 2013 at 4:13 pm

OMG. . . this sounds wonderful. I am going to make some for myself and it will definitely be in my Christmas goody baskets next year.


18 Lana Stuart December 31, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I keep a jar on hand all the time, Paula. It just gets better and better with time.


19 Rocquie January 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

I saw this when you originally posted it. Today I need it. Thanks for the great idea and the re-post!
Happy New Year,


20 Lana Stuart January 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm

I’m sorry that you need this today, Rocquie! Hope it makes you feel a bit better :-)


21 MPW January 6, 2014 at 11:51 am

Did I miss something? How do you use it, by the tablespoon? Add whiskey? Help! My husband need this.


22 Lana Stuart January 6, 2014 at 11:59 am

Yes MPW – as I said in the post, you can stir it into hot water, hot tea, add some whisky…or just eat it out of the spoon. Whatever suits you!


23 MPW January 6, 2014 at 11:55 am

Just received the whole article, so now I know how to use it. Thanks so much.


24 Jenny February 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm

I have always made a “tea” with these ingredients, one cup at a time. Now, to think I’ll have it on hand all the time?? Fantastic, thank you!


25 Tereze July 31, 2014 at 7:31 am

I read somewhere that you are not suppose to mix honey with hot water or any liquid for that matter as the heat destroys all the goodness in the honey. Can anyone here confirm that to be a fact?


26 Lana Stuart July 31, 2014 at 7:32 am

Never heard that, Tereze.


27 Tessa September 24, 2014 at 7:02 pm

I made this last night but it has not turned to a jelly consistency. Did I do something wrong?


28 Lana Stuart September 24, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Tessa, this is not jelly. Please read the entire post carefully to understand the uses of this mixture.


29 C. Thompson September 25, 2014 at 11:59 am

I just put a jar together yesterday. Is it supposed to be liquidy? Also, should I stir it all together before using it or just take out a spoonful? Thanks. :)


30 Lana Stuart September 25, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Depending on how juicy your lemons are, it could be fairly thin. It doesn’t really make any difference to the taste or effectiveness. You don’t have to stir it.


31 Kristen September 26, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Curious if I could replace the honey with agave? As a vegan I don’t consume honey. Thanks :)


32 Lana Stuart September 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm

I’ve never tried it with agave.


33 Michelle December 30, 2014 at 8:41 pm

If I didn’t use honey, I would try pure maple syrup in it.


34 Lana Stuart December 30, 2014 at 8:47 pm

I don’t believe maple syrup would have the high viscosity of honey so it wouldn’t coat the throat as well. Honey also has antibacterial properties and has been used for medicinal purposes for ages.


35 Trish October 3, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Okay I’m gonna ask it. Do you the lemons and too with the rind on it?


36 Trish October 3, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Sorry…. Do you eat the lemons with the rind on it too?


37 Lana Stuart October 3, 2014 at 8:01 pm

You can if you want to. Usually, you just stir the honey into your tea or water…whatever. The lemon juice infuses into the honey and the honey into the lemons.


38 Angela October 26, 2014 at 5:46 pm

So, my ginger went bad because I left it in a sealed plastic bag on the counter…..oops. I was wondering if ground ginger would be recommended to substitute. If so, how much would you suggest? Thanks


39 Lana Stuart October 26, 2014 at 7:19 pm

You can just leave the ginger out. It will still work fine and will taste just as good.


40 Angela October 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm

I could leave the ginger out but want to add it later. Do you think adding it to the honey/lemon mixture in weeks time would be alright?


41 Angela October 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm

…..need to pick up more fresh ginger next shopping trip.


42 Noelle December 10, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Can this work with ground ginger instead of fresh ginger?


43 Lana Stuart December 10, 2014 at 4:03 pm

If you don’t have fresh ginger, I’d just leave it out. I often make it with just lemons and honey. The ginger is just for a different taste.


44 Katrina Phillips December 18, 2014 at 11:43 pm

Made this the on Tuesday, and I used ginger in it. I was wondering how long do you leave the lemon in it or do you strain it and keep it like that?


45 Lana Stuart December 19, 2014 at 8:23 am

You can leave the lemon in it indefinitely. You store it with the lemon in it.


46 mary December 20, 2014 at 7:54 pm

hello I Love this omg I was wondering what does the ginger do?


47 Lana Stuart December 20, 2014 at 8:55 pm

The ginger is just for taste. You can leave it out if you’d like.


48 Michelle December 30, 2014 at 8:44 pm

The ginger is really good for upset stomach. I added my mixture to some club soda and it was fantastic!


49 Maria January 9, 2015 at 4:11 pm

Can I add garlic?


50 Lana Stuart January 9, 2015 at 4:54 pm

I guess you could, but I don’t think it would taste very good. Especially when mixed with hot tea.


51 shelly scott January 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Would this be good to flavor Tea?


52 Lana Stuart January 16, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Yes, it’s very good in tea.


53 charity March 26, 2015 at 10:25 am

helo it is posible to cook them all together ginger,lemon and after boiled pour honey


54 Lana Stuart March 26, 2015 at 11:54 am

I’m sorry, but I’m unsure what it is that you’re asking.


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