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How to Make a Simple Honey Onion Syrup
By Meagan - February 01, 2018

How to Make a Simple Honey Onion Syrup

Years ago I took an herbal course from Rosemary Gladstar (one of my favorite herbalists) and she showed us her recipe for honey onion syrup so I decided to try making a batch on my own. It's quick and easy, and you can make as much or as little as needed and as often as you like, because you don't have many ingredients and you don't have to wait long for it to infuse.

How to Make a Simple Honey Onion Syrup:

  1. Take 1 large organic onion. Slice the onion in half and slice each half into rings.
  2. Layer onion slices in the bottom of a small pot and pour in just enough raw organic honey to cover the onions. Heat honey and onions on a very low temperature for about 30 minutes until your honey is nice and warm and your onions begin to soften.*
  3. Pour warm syrup (onions and all) into a jar, seal, and label.**
  4. Refrigerate for best results. Honey onion syrup will keep for about 6 months.

How to Make it Even Better:

There are many other beneficial foods that you could also add to the honey onion syrup. Ginger, garlic, and lemon are wonderful additions if you are looking to nourish your immune system. Not only do they soothe throats and calm coughs they also flavor the syrup even more, which makes a big difference if you're giving this to smaller children. I'd suggest using fresh ingredients, but if you're in a pinch dried ingredients still have beneficial properties.

Why it works:

The raw honey in this recipe acts as a solvent that is extracting the beneficial properties from the onions (and ginger, garlic, and lemon). When used internally, onions are said to help thin mucous inside the airways of the lungs and makes it easier to cough up excess mucous.


  *You want the onions to infuse the honey but you want to avoid overheating both the honey and the onions, which destroys the "rawness" of the honey and breaks down the onions. You want to keep the mixture below 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

**Important details to note on your label:

  • Amount of onion used
  • Amount of honey
  • Date
  • Dosage
NOTE: Do not feed honey to children under the age of one.  

DISCLAIMER: 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.

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20 Comments

  1. Maryetta
    What is the doses and how often?
    1. See my reply to Jennifer, Maryetta. Thanks!
  2. Olga Runov
    Question. Is there a certain temperature that it should not be heated above for the honey to keep its properties?
    1. Great question Olga. You need to keep your stove on low. You're just barely warming the honey so that the onion infuses into it. You only do it for an hour. The onion will become soft and your kitchen will smell of honey and onions. Don't worry... it doesn't taste bad at all. I typically do not use raw honey or other expensive honeys that have their own medicinal properties as honey doesn't do too well with heat. My main goal is to use an all--natural honey that I can slightly warm so that it pulls the properties of the onion into it. Hope that answers your question!!
  3. Jennifer
    What is dosage recommendation for adults and for a 1 yo?
    1. It's onion and honey Jennifer so as much or as little as you want. There's no real dosage. Obviously you don't want to drink the stuff since honey is sugar so what I do is give 1-2 teaspoons when I or the kids start coughing a lot during the day. That seems to work for us. Hope that helps you.
  4. Jessica Greene
    After this is put in a Jar, do I need to keep it in the fridge, and how long will it last if I were to say make too much... yes, I made too much...
    1. LOL Jessica! I leave mine out just like I do my regular honey, but you could put it in your fridge if you wanted to. I'm not sure what the "rule" is on honey, but I don't think you have to refrigerate it. Besides... depending upon how onion-tasting yours is... you could always use it when you're sweetening certain foods with honey where onion wouldn't be noticed.
  5. Stacy
    Should I throw out any remaining syrup after a week? Longer?
    1. Meagan
      I don't Stacy as honey is antibacterial in itself and typically doesn't go bad. Now when you infuse herbs into it, it "can" make it go bad quicker than normal so I either keep mine in the refrigerator or leave it out and keep an eye on how it looks, smells, and tastes. Hope that answers your question.
  6. Kostas
    Very interesting and informative, I’ll try this and give feedback :)
  7. kostastrovas
    My variation: I have used the onion and honey in their raw form, no syrup making. Just adding a bit of honey on a few slices of onion, mixing and after 15 minutes eat the whole thing. The onion produced a syrup by releasing their liquid, which was very tasty!

    Results: My strong cough has reduced dramatically in a couple of days! In less than a week I’m back to normal. Very effective, highly recommended! Note: the stronger the onion, the faster the cold/cough will go away. Thank you very much for the article.
    1. Meagan
      Thanks so much for sharing... I'm glad it's helping!
  8. may
    Hi, what can be substitute for honey for the baby about 10 months old? Thanks for your help!
    1. Meagan
      Personally, if my kiddo couldn't have honey yet, I'd try an herbal cough tea or tincture like our Cough Tea blend, but if you wanted to make this then maple syrup or vegetable glycerin work well too.
      1. may
        Thank you so much!
  9. Laurie Rimon
    I had never heard of cooking it before - just let the honey and diced onon sit together and the onion lets its "juice" out. I also thought it was just for sore throats - am trying it now for about 12 days of runny nose and congestion.
    1. Meagan
      I don't think you HAVE to cook it. I think that the heat helps the properties of the onion extract into the honey faster. If you have time, waiting is perfectly okay.
  10. Bonnie
    Would this be safe for a new nursing mother to take? The baby is a newborn. Would the mother ingesting honey affect the baby?
    1. Meagan
      Yes, a nursing mama can eat raw honey and it won't affect her baby in a negative way. The problem with raw honey comes from a bacteria that can sometimes be found in it. Adult guts can overcome the bacteria and it's no problem for them, but an infant's gut can't and the bacteria release a toxin that can be fatal. A quick google search on "botulism" will help you understand more about it.