Recipe: Home Remedy for Cough (Onion, Garlic, Apple)

A mummy friend recommended a home remedy for cough that uses onion, garlic, and apple. I certainly prefer using these natural ingredients for my daughters than medication. No harm trying too! Most importantly, it’s easy to prepare.


I looked up this recipe online and deduced that the key ingredient of this recipe is onion. Adults can drink onion juice to combat flu and cough as well.

Onions are one of the richest sources of flavonoids in the human diet. And flavonoid consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Flavonoids are not only anti-cancer but also are known to be anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory.

Cornell University food scientist (2004)


As for garlic, it’s good to have for added health benefits.

Early uses of garlic were to treat gastric infections, fevers, and diarrhea. Fresh garlic has the most health benefits through the compound allicin. Health benefits of garlic include the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, antioxidant effects, antimicrobial effects, and reduction of cancer risks.

Healthy Uses for Garlic” by Danielle White

Apple / Honey

Apple or honey will sweeten the sweet onion juice even more. Other than that, they would help when you are down with cough and flu too.

According to this article by Pediaclinic, apple juice relaxes the airway and loosens up any phlegm, and honey is the best homemade cough medicine. When my children fall sick, I would give them spoonfuls of manuka honey, along with this home remedy. I also used humidifier in their rooms too.

CAUTION: Do not use honey until your child is 1 year old.

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Home remedy for coughs

Prep and Cook Time (Serves 2)

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes


  • 1 Red Onion (or 2 small red onions)*
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves (Optional)
  • 1 Red Apple / 1 teaspoon of honey (Optional)

* Red onions have a higher content of flavonols compared to yellow onions. Hence I prefer using red onions for this recipe (source).


Prepare and put all the ingredients into a steaming plate. Do NOT add water to the plate.


  • Cut the top and bottom and discard.
  • Peel onion and discard the skin.
  • Cut the onion into smaller pieces.


  • Peel and discard the skin.


  • Remove the core and slice apple into small pieces.


  • Bring a pot of water to boil. If you are using electric steamer, fill it up with water.
  • Place the the plate of ingredients into the pot/electric steamer.
  • When the water starts boiling, lower the heat to a simmer.
  • Steam for 30 mins. If you are using a large onion, then steam for 45 mins to 1 hour.
  • Use a strainer to strain out the juice.
  • If you are not using apple, you can add 1 teaspoon of honey to sweeten.
  • Wait for the juice to cool and drink. But not too long, because it’s best to drink it as hot as possible.

A tip before you go: humidifier helps in dry cough and blocked nose too. Click on the post below to read about the humidifier I have at home. 😉

Does this home remedy for cough work for you? How’s the taste? Let me know in the comments below!

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Home remedy for coughs

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