Just A Spoonful Of Basil Helps The Coughing Go Down

What would summer be without some pesto? Basil is well known for being pared with pasta and Italian dishes but let’s not stop there with his uses!

Medicinally, Basil is antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, carminative, a circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, nervine and sedative. Given all these qualities, I’d say it’s a pretty good plant to have growing in your garden and not just for food.

Tulsi or Holy Basil has stronger medicinal properties and is better suited for bringing back vitality and renewing energy as an adaptogenic. Tulsi is also analgesic, antidepressant, anti-microbial, antioxidant, aromatic, cardiovascular tonic, digestive, expectorant, immunomodulator, nervine, neuroprotective and radioprotective.

Basil is considered to be warming and drying energetically with a pungent and bitter taste. He has vitamins A, C and K as well as folate, choline, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, copper and manganese.

Basil is one of those fun crossover herbs that can be used as both food and medicine, allowing you to follow Hipocrates’ advice: “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” Adding Basil to your meal helps with your immune system, keeps the digestion running smoothly, calms you down and much more. This makes taking your medicine easy and delicious to do!
One of my favorite ways for using Basil is to make Basil Syrup. This syrup is yummy and so fun to use on a variety of foods:  fresh in season fruits such as blueberries and peaches, ice cream, peach or blackberry crisps and a great way to enjoy the flavor of Basil while getting a dose of healthy! For more acute situations such as a sore throat or cough that needs help calming, taking a spoonful of the syrup directly is a soothing and delicious way of relieving ailments. For a stronger syrup, you can mix this with half Sweet Basil and half Holy Basil or go all out and make a potent Holy Basil version for when you don’t want to mess around! I love having this syrup on hand for soothing our coughs and sore throats and you will too.
Basil Syrup
1/2 cup fresh or 1/4 cup dried Basil*
1 cup water
1 cup raw sugar
You will also need:
A saucepan
A spoon or spatula
A strainer Measuring cup Funnel
A bottle with a label
Begin by placing the Basil into the saucepan and adding the water. Bring the water to a boil and turn off the heat. Let the liquid steep for 10 minutes.

Strain off the liquid, compost the Basil and return the Basil tea to the saucepan.

Add the sugar and bring to a boil again.

Stir often while it is boiling and let it boil down until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes.

Let cool then, using the spatula and funnel, pour into the bottle and label.

It’s best to store in the fridge and will last 1 – 2 months…if you don’t eat it all up first!

*Don’t have any Basil to spare? Only have Sweet Basil and want to give Holy Basil a try? My favorite place to purchase dried herbs is from Mountain Rose Herbs! They sell wildcrafted and organically grown herbs that are fresh and wonderful.

Want to learn more about Basil? You can grab this month’s issue for $7.99 in our shop.


Have fun making medicine you can enjoy taking!

14 Responses to “Just A Spoonful Of Basil Helps The Coughing Go Down”

  1. 1

    Wish I had some Basil! The kids and I have a nasty cough that won’t leave! I have bunches of Purple Basil, do you think Purple Basil would work?

  2. 2


    I have never tried using any of the purple Basils for medicinal use but it wouldn’t hurt anything to try it out. My thoughts are that it would have medicinal qualities but may not be as strong but it’s definitely worth a try!

  3. 3

    So happy to learn about more ways to use basil. My basil is flourishing now and this will be a good way to use it.

  4. 4
    Steve Parker

    Hi there
    It is winter in New Zealand but we recently made a nice honey syrup with wildcrafted thyme,yarrow,horehound and garden sage. We ground the herbs up then covered them in NZ native bush honey and put in the slow cooker (croc pot) on warm, so it did not go over 50 degrees for about 6-7 hours. We strained it through a cheesecloth and it tastes sooo good and seems to work really well as an expectorant and soother. The girls love it, beautiful colour and really fresh herb taste, the bitter of the horehound and yarrow and the antiseptic of thyme and sage seem to work together really well…so many combinations of herbs to try!!!

  5. 5

    Hi Steve, thanks for sharing your experience making herbal herbal honey. They are one of my favorite methods of infusing herbs. I love to eat the ‘spent’ herbs after they have soaked in the honey, they are delicious on bagels! I agree, there are so many combinations to try, we could spend a lifetime experimenting with the herbal honey goodness.

  6. 6

    Thank you for your wisdom shared. I have all kinds of basil in the garden. Now I have ways to keep myself and others healthy.

  7. 7


  8. 8


    Have you ever made basil wine? I thought that might really kick a cough in the winter. I found a recipe online but I am going to add a lot more basil, kinda combine your syrup recipe and the wine recipe. Steeping the basil as I type.

  9. 9

    I think I really messed up on the recipe! I used cane sugar and dried sweet basil and it turned out really hard. I followed the instructions exactly with the exception that I put the hot syrup into a glass jar and put straight away into the fridge. After a while when I came to get it out of the fridge it was hard. so I microwaved it and in the process of making a mess a smell was given off that this remedy made from the start. then once it started to cool it started to harden! Please till me what went wrong. I am a newbie and so far all the things I made didn’t have the best outcome…

  10. 10


    It sounds like maybe it cooked too long and went to one of the candy stages. Cooking with sugar can be tricky! Next time you try it, turn off the heat sooner. Don’t give up, sometimes it’s all about trial and error! I’ve had many a recipe go wrong. You’ll get the hang of it as you experiment more and be able to start watching and knowing when it is at the perfect stage.

  11. 11
    Judy H

    YUM! I just made my first batch of this, and immediately began making a second batch! I LOVE basil, and this syrup won’t last long! Thank you!!

  12. 12

    thank you!

  13. 13

    What color is the ‘tea’ supposed to be? Mine had barely any color.

  14. 14

    Hi Evonne,

    It won’t be extremely dark but it should be a nice pale brown color. Try tasting the tea. If it tastes strongly of Basil, it’s good to use. If not, try adding some new Basil to the mix and re-steep it.

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