Need Recipe for Home Made Cough Syrup

Updated on December 25, 2007
S.C. asks from Norwood, PA
4 answers

a few years ago my pedi gave me a recipe for cough syrup you can make at home. i know the ingredients are water, caro syrup, and lemon juice but how much of each is what i dont remember. thanks.

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So What Happened?

i just read all your responses ans started to freak out. but then i decided to look it up and here's what i found...but i'm going to call the pedi again on wednesday just to be sure. because why would they tell me to give it to my first son and he's perfectly healthy and now all of a sudden it's poisonous? thanks for all your responses!!

Karo Syrup
In a 2000 article, you stated that 1 tsp of light Karo syrup mixed with 4 oz of water would assist your infant in having a softer bowel movement. Well I did that and I gave my infant some. Now I just read that corn syrup should not be given to an infant because it may contain spores of bacteria that cause botulism that can be fatal. Now I am very nervous for my baby's health. Is there a danger for my baby?

You can relax. In the past, Karo syrup did contain botulism spores, but hasn't for years now. They changed to a new manufacturing process because of just those concerns -- even though no botulism cases were ever proven to come from the spores in Karo syrup (unlike honey, which should not be used in babies). A lot of people heard the alerts about *Karo syrup in the 90's, but never heard the quieter, less flashy, changed recommendations that followed, so the warnings will still circulate around the net for years to come.

I applaud your reading a variety of sources and comparing to find the truth, and am sorry for the worry this caused. All the best to you and to your baby.

*Note: Children under age 1 should not eat honey because of the risk of infant botulism. Today, corn syrups are manufactured under sanitary conditions to prevent this, but the manufacturers do not make any guarantees. Of course, neither can I. The 2006 AAP Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases states, "Manufacturers of of light and dark corn syrups cannot ensure that any given product will be free of boutlism spores, but no case of infant botulism has proved to be be attributable to contaminated corn syrup".

Alan Greene MD FAAP"

More Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

From what I understand, Karo syrup (corn syrup) carries the same risk of botulism as honey does and should not be given to children under the age of 1. I think you're stuck with the humidifier and maybe elevating the head of his crib.



answers from Reading on

My ped told me under NO CIRCUMSTANCES were I to give my babies caro syrup because it is NOT safe for children under the age of one. It can cause your child to get a very serious case of food poisoning that can lead to death. No, I am NOT exaggerating. It's the same reason you are not to give honey to a baby under the age of one.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't know anything about homemade cough syrup BUT vicks vapo rub on the bottom of their feet then covered with socks helps. Also a friend just told me about a homeopathic remedy for cough/croup but I didn't get the name. She said that you can pick it up at any health store that sells homeopathic stuff.
When your kid is coughing their head off at'll try just about anything!!!



answers from Philadelphia on

I would be really afraid to give anything like that to a 3 month old. My son who is now 8.5 months has a cough again this month and the pediatricians say all we can do is run the cool mist humidifier and do saline drops in his nose and try to suck it out with a nasal aspirator. We were also told to raise the head of his crib up some to elevate his head from his body to help with the breathing.

I know Karo Syrup can also cause loose bowels.

Next question: Cough Medicine OK for 2+ Yr Olds?