Homemade Garlic Salve for Coughs & Colds.

Homemade Garlic Salve for Coughs & Colds. | The Elliott Homestead (.com)

You know those moms that can lift up a car if their child is pinned beneath it?

I’m totally one of those moms.

Well, I think I am anyway.

My children, praise God, have never been pinned under a car to test the theory – but I know that blood boiling feeling I get about protecting them and loving them.

So, assuming they were pinned under a car, I am positive I could absolutely dig deep into the very core of my being and inch by inch, lift it off. Ain’t nothin’ standing in the way of this Mama Bear and her cubs.

And thus, when the hobbit came down with a cough and cold last week, it instantly brought out that gladiator inside of me.

Baby Owen

Sure, it was just a small cough and cold. But still, seeing that sweet pitiful look on his face, and hearing that sweet little cough, and feeling his warm little cheeks on mine – it just broke my heart.

I pulled out my guns and prepared for battle.

I choose to save Doctor’s visits for very, very important matters and I knew that due to the nature of the cough, I would try my hand with home remedies to start. So after a little research in a home-remedies handbook I picked up in a second-hand-bookstore a few years back, I decided to rely on old faithful: garlic.

Raw garlic has incredible health-boosting properties, but obviously we can’t request our infants eat a clove of garlic. Heck, the hobbit doesn’t even have teeth! Hence the salve. Isn’t it cool? The health-boosting properties of raw garlic can be absorbed through the skin!

Sweet, sweet, garlic.

Actually, stinky, stinky, garlic.

But regardless of its pungent nature, I cannot stress how wonderfully this treatment worked. After only a few hours, the coughing had lessened. After 24 hours, the cough was all but gone, as was the fever and pitiful baby. And after that 24 hours, Owen was completely normal – perky, bubbly, smiling, and frickin’ cute.

Why am I continually amazed at the incredibly power of natural medicine? I should know by now – it works wonderfully! We’ve even used to cure ear infections! And pink eye!

But back to the treatment at hand.

Homemade Garlic Salve for Coughs & Colds. | The Elliott Homestead (.com)

Homemade Garlic Salve for Coughs and Colds
You will need:
– 8 cloves garlic, peeled
– 1/3 cup coconut oil
– 10 drops lavender oil

Combine the ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Blend for about 3 minutes, or until it is a perfectly smooth whipped butter of sorts. You may need to scrap down the sides of the food processor to get all the garlic completely worked into a paste.

When it is finished, you will have a nice, smelly, salve.

Homemade garlic salve and baby

Put into a small mason jar or other container and refrigerate (you can use it right away, but refrigerating helps it to set up and keep long-term).

How to use:

– Rub onto the soles of baby’s feet. Apply generously. Put socks on to help hold the salve in place.
– Rub on baby’s chest.
– Repeat every 2-3 hours until condition improves.

baby's feet in booties

I only used the treatment about 7-10 times total – Owen is now sleeping for 12 hours and I didn’t want to wake him to reapply the salve, so I left him alone through the night. But the next morning, though he still had a slight cough, it greatly improved further after a few more morning treatments. And by the next night, he was almost completely clear of all symptoms.

After he was feeling better, I stopped rubbing it on his chest (and yes, he totally smelt like a roast Italian chicken dinner for a few days) and only put it onto his feet.

That sweet, little stinky hobbit. What would I do without him!

Shaye kissing baby Owen

It’s a difficult thing as a mother, to watch your little one be ill. But I’m very thankful I now have a batch of this salve made up in the fridge to start using immediately when I suspect a bug coming on.

Garlic is incredibly powerful gun for the home-remedier (how do you like that word?) to have in their holster.

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  1. says

    My mom has started using a variety of essential oils for all-natural remedies. I’m going to have to share this with her, and try it myself next time I get a cold! :)

  2. says

    Your little man is downright smoochable, I have to admit I was a little sidetracked by his cuteness. :) The same thing happens with my little Leah…she is a great distracter. Looks like your rubbin’ off on me with our unique word-making ability. Thanks for the salve recipe, I’ll definitely be using this the next time the cold bug hits our house.

  3. Melanie says

    Can you please share the name of the home remedy book? Thanks! And your little “roast chicken” is adorable!

  4. Emily says

    I tried making this in a food processor and the garlic didn’t seem to chop up well and then tried it in the vitamix and same result. Is the garlic supposed to be kind of chunky? Or at least do you think it will still work if it is? LOL (Or maybe its because im not making enough?)

  5. Clarissa says

    My baby had been running a fever for a day and a half, I made this and his fever broke 30 minutes later. My husband and I were shocked. I was so happy I came across this. He did smell like a roasted chicken, but it was worth it. Thanks for sharing. I love this blog.

  6. says

    Your little hobbit is adorable.

    Isn’t is wonderful how God has given us an amazing medicine cabinet growing out of the dirt?! :) I’ll have to try this on my husband if he starts to get another episode of bronchitis. (I actually LOVE the smell of garlic. :) )

    I’ll be sharing this on FB this week. THANKS!

  7. Adelina says

    Awesome recipe and a very very cute baby! Thanks so much for sharing. I’ll try it on my children. I myself add some fried garlic into my own food during cough and cold and it seemed to work wonderfully. Thanks to God’s gift to us.

  8. Vieve says

    Baby is a sweetheart! Glad this worked so well. First I’ve heard of it as a salve. I’ve used it successfully around the ear for ear aches, with olive oil and massage. Is the Lavedner Oil essential to the effectiveness? I don’t have any. We don’t need it at the moment, but if the lavender oil is not essential and just to cover up the “sweet, stinky” smell, then may I skip it? Love garlic!

  9. Deanna says

    The picture of you and little hobbit man totally made my morning! My kids are almost grown now so I have to get my baby fix by proxy. :)

  10. Lynn says

    Thank you so much! You have inspired me and given me confidence about taking care of my babies naturally on many different occasions. I would like to know how long it last also. Hubby is sick and would like to have some in hand just in case the kiddos get it too. Thanks!

  11. Vieve says

    Okay. Writing back again. A cold has struck, like I thought it might. I made this up, minus the lavender on Sunday. By Tuesday it stunk like crazy. Can’t explain. Not garlic. It was on the counter over night, then in the fridge, but it was too hard to apply, then back on the counter. It didn’t smell rancid, just some nondescript awful. I use Tropical Traditions Expeller Pressed Organic Coconut oil and organic garlic. How long is this supposed to keep? I assumed it would be good for at least a week.

  12. says

    I tried making it yesterday. Minced the garlic, maybe i added too much of the lavender oil.

    It never turned into a salve, was much runnier than that at room temperature. I wanted to use it for myself last night as I have had a bad cold and cough for the last three weeks.

    It stank to high heaven (or chicken heaven) and it was overwhelming for me to be breathing it all night long. Reapplied it twice during the night, but it was more like applying baby oil than vicks vaporub.

    Definitely going to have to wash my sheets and duvet cover as the garlic smell got into everything!

    I like the idea of the salve, but not sure why it is so runny….
    Any ideas?

    • says

      Sounds like the coconut oil was too warm. Maybe try refrigerating it next time so that the coconut oil with solidify and then just using a small amount of the hardened salve that way?

  13. says

    I was hoping you might be able to point me in another direction – my daughter is allergic to milk, soy, nuts, coconut and whole wheat – is there ANYTHING we can safely substitute for the coconut oil?

  14. Endia says

    Thank you soooo much made this last night/early this am and my 8 month old breathing is completely clear!!! No.antibiotics!!!!! Will continue to use tomorrow just incase!

  15. Tammy says

    How vital is the lavender oil? DH is allergic/sensitive to it-it triggers asthma attacks in him. Will it work as well with out it?

  16. says

    Thank you so much Shaye for posting this recipe! My 2 1/2 year old son got a nasty cough/cold and could not stop coughing yesterday to the point that he was throwing up and could not sleep. I made this garlic salve, and 24 hours later, he is resting and barely coughing. After a doctor’s visit today, they said there is nothing they can do for him, just a nasty cold. Thank God for nature! Thanks again Shaye and blessings to you and your family!

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  18. Kristina says

    Do you recommend this for a 3 week old as well?? My little one has a cough and very congested. I hate seeing him like this :(

  19. Susan E says

    I think I remember this post.I put crushed garlic on my 10 yr old socks two days ago, dried eucalyptus on his shelf, and bought a new plug-in diffuser w/ essential oil in it because I was desperate to rid of his cough naturally. This is of course w/ bath, honey/lemon, lots of water, tea, and bone-broths. He is on the mend now and what makes me happy is that even at his age, he doesn’t mind that I try those remedies even if his room smells like an Italian Restaurant at the moment. :-) Great post and love your ideas for so many Mom’s that may try this and be thankful for it.

  20. kim says

    Hi Shaye, I was wondering if you have heard of ‘ Hot and Cold compresses” for chest congestion? This is another good healer, remember to protect delicate baby skin. Love your remedies, and, the fact that you share these wonders with us.

  21. Mija says

    In your post you mentioned pink-eye as well. For the life of me, I can’t imagine how you treat that with garlic?!? Am I crazy or is that not what you meant? :-) But seriously, I have one that looks like he’s coming down with it on the back of a nasty cold…any helpful info would be greatly appreciated!

  22. says

    Goodness does my Josephine stink or what? Stink something good because my family loves garlic. Daughter came down with a cold and rough cough yesterday…up all night with her. My mom showed me your website and I just applied her first dose. Hope it works…

  23. Lauren says

    My son has had a cough for a few days and now his eyes are getting crusty and I’m worried pink eye is developing. I have been applying the salve on his chest and feet for the cough, but where do I apply it to stop the pink eye from developing? Or will it work just because the garlic is running throughout his system? Thanks!

  24. Esther says

    My 10monts old baby down with flu, cough and FEVER, can i still apply the garlic oil on her sore and chest despite with fever?

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