KICK-ASS SORE THROAT SYRUP + Winter Immune Boost Tonic

Kick-Ass Throat Syrup / HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Kick-ass Sore Throat Syrup + Winter Immune Boost Tonic

In addition to the 4 basic ingredients I have added a list of optional additions in the ingredient list below - obviously they won't all work together taste whys - although you are welcome to try! Pick and choose what is most relevant to your circumstances/ symptoms / pantry / garden / availability. *Because this syrup contains raw honey it is not recommended for children under 12 months. And if you are pregnant or breastfeeding check with your health professional to make sure it is OK for you.


  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder or 1 tbsp grated fresh turmeric root
  • 1/2 cup manuka honey or other raw local honey

Optional Additions [see footer notes]:

  • handful of sage leaves
  • 1 chopped small chilli or 1/4 tsp cayenne powder [not child friendly]
  • 3 cm fresh ginger root grated
  • 10 whole cloves roughly crushed - have a gentle numbing effect on a sore throat
  • > add 1 - 2 drops peppermint pure essential oil to the finished syrup - particularly helpful when stuffed up
  • > 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil melt gently then stir into the finished syrup until combined


  • To make the syrup: combine the onion, garlic, turmeric and honey in a jar. Mix well, it will be sticky, and leave overnight or all day - a good 12 hours at least but as long as 24 hours. Over this time the syrup will brew and draw out the awesomeness found in the onion and garlic, and combining with the goodness of the turmeric and manuka honey. Once brewed the mixture will be a lot more liquidy. Strain through a fine sieve into jar and use the back of a spoon to squash out as much liquid as possible. Store in the fridge for up to a month in a sealed jar. Note: the syrup may separate a little in the fridge [esp. if using coconut oil], simply stir gently to combine.
  • When a sore throat comes a knocking I take: 1 teaspoon syrup 3 x a day. I also add 1 tsp to hot water and lemon to make a boosted lemon & honey drink. Winter Immune Boost Tonic: combine 1 tsp Kick-ass Syrup with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, and 1/4 cup warm water. Sip before breakfast. Super Boost: add 1/2 tsp echinacea tincture to the above immune tonic and you will be bouncing off the walls!


+ Onion & garlic - anti-bacterial/ viral and immune boosting
+ Turmeric - anti-inflammatory to reduce the soreness of the throat
+ Manuka honey - anti-bacterial and immune boosting properties
+ Sage Leaves - antiseptic and decongestant [Thanks Natalie for sharing below] - not recommended while breastfeeding
+ Chilli - anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory + great circulation booster to get things moving
+ Ginger - anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and circulation boost
+ Whole cloves - natural pain killer for a gentle numbing effect on a sore throat
+ Peppermint essential oil - great for clearing sinuses [not recommended during pregnancy]
+ Virgin Coconut Oil - anti-viral and helps to thicken the syrup if desired

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
Hippocrates couldn’t have been more bang on with his famous quote, and this sums up perfectly my approach to feeding my family. First and foremost the food I predominantly prepare for my family is as wholesome and nutrient rich as possible. I say predominately, as I we don’t completely avoid some of the less healthy foods out there (fish & chips on the beach in the middle of summer is a kiwi institution right?!), however these make up a very small part of our diet.
And when one / all of us get sick I turn to food first to boost and support the immune system during times of un-wellness. It is amazing what you can find in your pantry and fridge to support the healing from a cold / flu / stomach upset. I make lemon & honey drinks for colds; Chinese rice congee – rice cooked with chicken or vegetable stock into a thin soup – when recovering from a tummie upset. And my Nana’s Nourishing Chicken Soup has a permanent spot on the stove top when a flu comes knocking.
So the other morning when I woke up with a tickle in my throat the first thing I did was make this simple syrup. I call it my ‘Kick-Ass’ Throat Syrup because it is loaded with natures finest immune boosters. Even if it doesn’t stop the cold developing – sorry I am not labeling this a cure-all syrup – it will give the immune system an awesome Kick alright (and your breath for that matter, but it’s all in the name of good health, right!?). It is simple to make and keeps well in the fridge for a month or so, and can also be made into a ‘winter immune boost tonic’ as outlined below. Beyond food as nourishment during times of illness, rest and plenty of hydration is still the best medicine. I know full well how difficult this can be when running after children all day, so I make an effort to get an early night and reduce computer time – on that note I will leave you with the recipe…

Kick-Ass Throat Syrup / HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Kick-Ass Throat Syrup / HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Syrup2 Collage



Join the Conversation

  1. Natalie Dick says:

    Thanks Nicola will brew this up tonight for my sick girl, although she is already feeling better after your immune-boosting chicken soup for supper last night and lunch today! I thought I might add some chopped sage leaves to this mix to steep as well, as they are known to be antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and have decongestant properties. Fingers crossed and thanks for posting recipe so quickly 🙂

    1. What a great idea of-course sage is amazing for colds. I will add this as in optional addition above. Great to hear your daughter is on the mend, best soup ever at this time of year!

  2. I will be making this, got all the things in it I know are so good for our immune system. I soak garlic and ginger in boiling water for 10mins, stain and add lemon, honey too if you like. I drink at least one a day. great when a sore throat threatens.

    1. Hi Margaret, ginger is also a great cold boost. I haven’t added it hear because I find it too ‘spicy’ flavoured for the children. Its enough getting the garlic into them! I will add it as an optional addition. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This sounds great, never tried a remedy with turmeric, should do. 🙂

    1. Hi Alessandra, turmeric is my favourite spice for adding to immune tonics because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Thanks for visiting 🙂

      1. No problem, please visit too sometimes.

  4. I much prefer to reach for home remedies such as this when we are unwell. As a child my parents would make a cough syrup from chopped onion and brown sugar, giving us the steeped liquid to soothe our chests/throat and I’ve adapted it over the years for our five in times of need.
    Just thought I’d mention that golden milk (coconut milk, tumeric, ginger and raw honey) works wonders at getting ginger into our children, the milk seems to take the heat off of the ginger 🙂

    1. Hi Tammi, lovely to hear from you separate from Instagram! The golden milk sounds lovely, I can imagine the coconut milk softens the ginger as it does in a curry. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. I’m going to make this tonight. I have tried liking through your archives but I can’t find your immune boosting chicken soup recipe. Is it only in your book?

    1. Hi Vicky, the recipe is only in my book, however, I have had many requests to share it here so will do next month.

  6. Hi Nicola, can’t wait to try this out on the family. I am 16 weeks pregnant so was just wondering if this would all be safe for me to take as well.

    1. Hi Kris, if you have been eating honey, onion, garlic and turmeric in your diet it will be fine. Some of the optional additions are not recommended during pregnancy so please check these first with your health professional. Enjoy!

  7. I have my jar brewing currently and am looking forward to trying it as a tonic over the coming busy months. Thanks for such a simple idea, Nicola! Amy

    1. Thanks for your message Amy, I love to hear that others are making my recipes/ potions. It makes the time I put into this space all the more worth it 🙂

  8. Just made this tonight to fight of man flu which is threatening to take my man down!! wish me luck

    1. I hope this worked! Sometimes the body just needs to go through the motions of sickness but at least this syrup will give the immune system a boost!

  9. Victoria Goode says:

    Definitely slept better and less congested …he is singing your praises! thank you.

    1. Wahoo! So glad to hear it worked for him! And I am sure you slept better too 😉

  10. Hi Nicola, one thing to add make sure the onions are thrown away after use. Eating onions after storage can give a tummybug.
    Also I often ‘use’ onions in our rooms (kids and our own bedroom) so the viruses will be attracted to the onion. It has been proven to work. E.g. Spanish flu epedemic early1920 and more…(not for eating)

    1. Thanks Ingrid, I gave our onion leftovers to the chooks, I hope they didn’t a tummy ache!

  11. Oh I need to make this as I have had a sore throat all day.

  12. This is soooo tasty! As vegetarians we make a lot of Indian food from scratch and this has all the starting components of a good curry – just add lentils (and perhaps cut down on the honey a bit!) I made this a couple of days ago, adding ginger, chilli and cloves to the basic recipe. Effective results after two doses. Marvellous. But it’s so hard not to pinch a bit every time I go to the fridge!!!!!! I’ve passed on your recipe to my friends. Thank you very much.

    1. It is such a simple and easy recipe to put together. And seems to sort out that tickle in the throat or even just as a winter tonic!

  13. Do you have a recipe like this that doesn’t use garlic and onion?

    1. The garlic and onion are what make this recipe so potent. If you can’t eat these then a lemon, ginger and honey drink will help with a sore throat too.

  14. Quick question, when you let it brew overnight, do you cover it, leave it, o close the lid of the jar? Thank you!

    1. Hi Ross, I either cover the jar with a cheesecloth secured with a rubber band, or a loosely closed lid so it can breathe a little.
      Enjoy 😉

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