How to Make Mullein & Honey Cough Syrup

mullein cough syrup

Mullein is a beautiful large plant that thrives in disturbed areas. Mullein is also full of medicinal and beneficial components like mucilage, flavonoids, iridoids, sterols, and sugars.

Mullein as a Medicine Ad-Blog-Herbal

Medicinally, Mullein is traditionally used for lung and bronchial ailments such as coughs, asthma, congestion, and colds. Additionally, it is thought that Mullein has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. This is a great plant to have on hand during the cold season!

During one of Wolf College’s Herbal overnight camps, the campers had the opportunity to use their new herbal knowledge to treat a lingering wet cough. To make a soothing cough syrup, we harvested some Mullein leaves and flower, as well as some blue Elderflowers (Sambucus cerulea). The cough syrup had a gentle floral flavor and the addition of honey made it a great-tasting natural medicine.

Ingredients for Mullein & Honey Cough Syrup:

  • Mullein leaves and flowers **Note: because Mullein loves to live in disturbed areas, we have to be careful to check for pollution or other contaminants before harvesting
  • Elderflowers from blue Elderberry, de-stemmed and rinsed
  • Organic honey


First, make sure that the plant materials are clean and dry. The Elderflowers should be de-stemmed.

Next, we need to make a hot infusion. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil and steep the Mullein flowers, Elderberry flowers, and the Mullein leaves for 10 minutes.

Alternatively, you can make a cold infusion: 1 oz of leaves and flowers in 1 quart of water for 4 hours.

When ready, strain the infusion through a strainer bag, and place the infusion back on the stove.

On a low simmer, stir in honey until dissolved. The affected person can also stand over the infusion and breathe in the steam for help with congestion and croupy cough.

Let cool before consuming. Don’t forget to label with the name, date, and ingredients!

Store in the fridge.

Dosage: take like a ‘regular’ cough syrup – 1 teaspoon every 3 or 4 hours

For more information on herbal medicine, be sure to check out these posts:

Learn how to confidently identify plants using their unique family patterns in this in-depth video by author of Botany in a Day, Thomas Elpel!

*** For educational purposes only.  This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  We recommend that you consult with a qualified health care practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing or on any medications. ***

*** Please read our Honorable Harvesting Guidelines before harvesting any plant material.  The final guideline is of utmost importance:  “Never put anything in your mouth unless you are 100% sure it is safe to ingest.” ***

Hannah-Staff-Photo-300x225Hannah began her apprenticeship at Wolf Camp in 2013 and graduated as a lead herbal instructor in 2014.  Join Hannah and other Wolf College wild chefs during our annual Wild Cooking & Ethnobotany Expedition: The Herbal Foray the second week of July on Lake Sammamish near Seattle.

Hannah graduated from the University of Oregon in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Languages. She has her own blog, where she writes about her love for crafts, animals, plants, cooking, and the outdoors:


  1. Avatar

    How much honey do you use to make the mullein cough syrup? Is it the base of the syrup or used as an additive or sweetener?

    Thank you!


    1. Avatar

      Hi Julie. I’ll forward your question to Hannah to see if she can give you her recommended portions, but honey is a natural preservative so although it works as a sweetener “to help the medicine go down” it’s really to keep it from going bad. Thanks, – Chris


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