Liquorice and linseed cough medicine recipes

liquorice and linseed ingredients for traditional cough medicine remedy
Nicholas Culpeper, 17th century herbalist
Nicholas Culpeper, 17th century herbalist

Traditional liquorice and linseed  cough medicine

Linseed as a natural remedy for coughs goes way back in time. It was already a standard remedy when Nicolas Culpeper wrote his herbal in 1653 and is still a component of commercially produced cough medicines. We still get testimonials from people using linseed to cure their coughs.

The properties of liquorice root has also been used in cough  preparations for many centuries.

The blend of linseed with liquorice root is a very traditional remedy for the treatment of chest complaints including bronchitis,  consumption, tickly coughs, sore throats and laryngitis. It is taken as an infusion, a linctus and as cough candies.

Little Men: Linseed Tea Cough Remedy

Cough remedy

Customer email:

Kate, one of our customers, kindly sent us this information in an email.  Way back the the reliance on linseed tea at that time as a treatment for coughs and seemingly a commonplace remedy. How good is that?


Linseed Tea

Ingredients 1 tablespoon whole linseeds (flaxseeds) per pint/500 ml of water. Bring to boil, simmer for an hour and strain through sieve. Dilute the “tea” until thin enough to drink, drink a cup three or more times a day or  as needed.  It’s worth making a couple of litres so you have plenty for a few days.  It lasts about four days in the fridge.

Infusion of linseed and liquorice

This is a an easy to make remedy requiring only two ingredients plus water and makes a sugar-free cough medicine.


1 ounce (25 g) bruised liquorice root

1 tablespoon whole linseed

2 pint (500 ml) water


Place all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and gently simmer for up to 1 hour. Strain though a sieve, store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Drink a cup of the infusion 3 times per day.

Old linseed linctus and balsam bottles
Old linseed linctus and balsam bottles

Traditional linseed & liquorice cough linctus remedy recipe


1 heaped tablespoon whole linseeds

25 g (1 ounce) Spanish liquorice root

100 g (3.5 ounces) raisins

2 pints (litre) water

115 g (4 ounces) brown sugar

Place linseed, liquorice, raisins and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer over a medium heat for 30 minutes.

Then strain though a sieve, return to pan and boil uncovered to reduce by half to 1 pint/500 ml.  Then add  the brown sugar and 1 tbs of freshly squeezed lemon juice or white wine vinegar.

Drink a 2 dessertspoons in a cup of hot water when going to bed and take a little when needed for a troublesome cough.

Liquorice can raise the blood pressure, if you already have high blood pressure do not exceed dose and check with your doctor if concerned.


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