Retro Recipe Card Files: Cough Medicine

Retro Recipe Card Files: Grandma Thelma's Cough Medicine

Yes, I know that cough medicine is not the kind of recipe you come to this blog for. But I could not resist posting this because I love the way my grandmother Thelma Lee wrote it.

There is nothing special in the way she wrote it, as you will find all sorts of styles of recipe writing in recipe card boxes the world over. You find odd abbreviations, weight and measures, sometimes only the ingredients are listed.  Though I must say, I have never seen a sale price used as a measurement.

When my grandmother wrote this home remedy out, she used the price of rock candy and glycerin, instead of an amount. My guess is she bought both items at an old fashioned store that had bulk bins of products. The clerk would dip into the bin and measure the precise amount of what you wanted by weight. So. that 15 cents of rock candy could have been an ounce or a pound. Only my grandmother knew.

Looking at the recipe, it seems like it would be a good home remedy for a cough. Honey, linseed (flaxseed) oil and glycerin would help coat your throat. Whiskey would relax you, helping any muscles that might be tight from too much coughing. And it could help you fall asleep and rest. Or it could make you not care about all the coughing you are doing if you took too much.

I have not made this, so I cannot vouch for whether it works or not, but I think I will whip up a batch when cold and flu season starts.

Retro Recipe Card Files: Cough Medicine
  • 1 pint whiskey
  • 15 cents worth of rock candy, pulverised
  • 3 ounces raw linseed (flaxseed) oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 15 cents worth of glycerin
  1. Mix altogether.
  2. Shake well before taking.
  3. Take teaspoon full.


4 thoughts on “Retro Recipe Card Files: Cough Medicine”

  1. Those ingredients certainly do bring back memories. The crushed rock candy! I’m thinking my grandmother had a similar recipe AND handwriting! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. I love the old time “home cures” Do any of the readers have any to share?
    I have one for colds:
    2 oz. gin
    1 tblsp. honey
    6 oz. boiling water.
    Mix and drink down all of it at once as hot as you can stand it.
    Get under the covers and sweat it out.

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