Ginger & Lemon Balm Honey Syrup for Colds & Flu

Learn how to make a yummy ginger and lemon balm honey syrup to help fight cold and flu bugs.

fresh lemons, ginger root, and lemon balm leaves

Herbal syrups are one of the easiest (and tastiest) things you can make for your natural medicine cabinet.

Basically, they’re composed of a strong herbal tea, mixed with at least an equal measure of raw honey. (The high amount of honey helps preserve it longer than a normal herbal tea would last.)

Because they’re so delicious, patient compliance with taking herbal syrups is high, especially when it comes to trying to treat kids and loved ones!

Mountain Rose Herbs

Ingredients and Benefits

Some of the benefits of ginger include:

  • fights nausea and queasiness
  • helps with indigestion
  • is warming, so especially useful in winter or when you have chills

Studies & traditional herbalism have shown that lemon balm:

Lemon balm is one of my favorite go-to herbs that I continually use year ’round – good thing it’s so prolific in my garden!

Fresh lemon juice was added to the recipe for its vitamins and bioflavonoids, but also because it makes the syrup extra yummy.

Raw honey is a germ fighting powerhouse and also soothes and coats inflamed throats and tummies.

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If you’re pregnant or nursing, or if you have thyroid problems, check with a qualified health care professional before using lemon balm.

a jar of lemon balm syrup

Ginger & Lemon Balm Honey Syrup for Colds & Flu

  • around 1/4 cup chopped, fresh lemon balm leaves (or 1/8 cup dried lemon balm)
  • a 2 inch (5 cm) section of fresh ginger root, peeled & chopped
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) simmering hot water
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) raw honey, or more to taste

If you don’t have a source of fresh lemon balm leaves, you can buy some high quality dried at Mountain Rose Herbs.

stainless steel strainer with chopped fresh ginger root and lemon balm leaves

Directions to Make

Step 1:

Place the chopped lemon balm leaves and ginger root into a heatproof 8 oz (half-pint) canning jar. Pour the simmering hot water over the herbs, cover with a saucer and let steep for around an hour. Strain the resulting tea.

Step 2:

Pour the 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice into a 1/4 measuring cup and then fill it the rest of the way with strained lemon balm/ginger tea. (If you’re allergic or can’t use lemon juice, just omit it and use more tea in its place.)

Step 3:

Combine the tea & lemon juice combination with 1/4 cup of raw honey and stir well. Don’t heat the honey or it will lose some of its beneficial properties, so just keep stirring until it all combines.

Step 4:

Cap, label and store the finished honey in your refrigerator for around 2 weeks. Stir before each use.

raw honey and ginger and lemon balm

Dosing & Use

Take by the spoonful, as needed, for relief of minor symptoms of cold or flu. If you have chronic medical problems, are pregnant or nursing, have worsening symptoms or you feel concerned about your illness, check with your doctor or health care provider for their professional and personalized advice.




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This article was first published November, 2015 and updated in January, 2020.

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  1. This recipe looks like one i could make, except I don’t have the ginger root….I have some powder ginger though..would that work, and how much would i have to use?

    1. Hi Sherry! Yes, you could definitely use some powdered ginger – I’ve done that before too. I would try around 1/4 tsp powdered ginger for a recipe this size. You might need to adjust a little bit for taste, but that should be a good starting point.

  2. Thank you for that quick response. I have one other cough syrup recipe I use too. I have a lemon balm plant and haven’t done much with it but to make some tea from it’s leaves….

  3. Just made my go to cough syrup. Fresh squeezed lemon juice, grated fresh ginger, garlic, apple cider vinegar w/mother, fresh ground black pepper, cayenne pepper & honey. It is amazing and works soooo fast!

      1. Hi Beth! I like the idea & you could give it a try, though it might be more effective if you wait and make some later in the season. Lemon balm will be around at least until fall frost & I’m not sure how long it would be effective for when frozen, so the fresher the better might apply in that case.

  4. I’ve already made this recipe once and imaking it again today. I was really happy with the results. Everyone liked it and so far…no colds! Today I’m putting into little spray bottles to use as a sore throat spray. Thanks so much for all the great ideas. I find your blog so useful and fun!

  5. Do you think instead of making a tea, that if I just added the ginger, lemon balm, and a cut up lemon to the honey and let it infuse, I would get the same results? I’ve done it with garlic to make a fermented garlic honey (which tastes terrible lol, but was useful in cooking). I thought this would definitely be a tastier option. And then it could also be added to a fresh cup of hot tea.

  6. Hi! I am steeping the lemon balm leaves as I type this. Does this have to cure for 2 weeks in the fridge or is that the shelf life? Thanks!

  7. I have made the ginger lemon balm syrup. Do I take it stray from bottle or do I mix it in with a tea ? Thank you. My first time doing this..

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