Raising Elves

As wild as nature. Myself, parenting and natural remedies blog.

Loosen and expunge catarrh and phlegm naturally with this old Irish remedy (suitable for children)


I am sure we are not the only ones to have had an awful dose the last few weeks.

Nothing deadly serious but the catarrh has had the children up during the night and Robotman and I can be found hockeying disgusting pools of phlegm all over the Wicklow mountains.

So in comes the natural remedy.

I have been trialling this well known olde Irish concoction for the last few months and am delighted to bring it the blog as a tried and tested formula.

My Dad lives on Exputex as one of his medications causes alot of phlegm. Not anymore though.

I gave Dad his first bottle a few months ago and he requested another. So I gave him a batch in freezer bags so he could defrost them as needed. He swears by it. He no longer needs the Exputex as this extremely nutritious formula keeps the phlegm at bay. That’s one less chemical and E number laden medication for him to take.

The main active ingredients in this medicine is Carrigeen Moss and home grown Thyme.


Carrigeen Moss is the splendid Irish sea vegetable from the Atlantic coast. It is high in Vitamin B12, magnesium, iodine and iron.


Thyme is a herb well known for it’s phlegm expulsion properties and an all round lung tonic.

The first time I used it on Elf I was extra cautious. As it had worked so well for myself I knew that it was powerful stuff so I didn’t want to over do it on herself. I simply put 1tsp in a bottle of apple juice first thing in the morning. She was ill at the time so she didn’t drink it all but sipped away throughout the day and I took it off her at about 3pm. This is because I didn’t want the medicine to start working in the middle of the night. You want them to cough it up before bedtime, which is why I gave it to her so early. By about 6pm Elf had started coughing looser phlegm. Before bed she actually coughed up a load and then had a little puke and about 1/4 cupful of phlegm came out. The next day I saw a huge difference and by that evening it had cleared.

For myself I found speedy results too. So you don’t need a whole lot of the stuff to see results. It is completely safe to take regularly, like my Dad, if you suffer on a regular basis. It’s food. Healing food.

Of all the natural remedies I have taken this is the most powerful.

So below you will find my recipe:

  • Carrigeen Moss (found in a healthfood store or online)
  • Thyme sprigs (about a handful will do)
  • Lemon
  • Honey, if desired
  • Lemon essence, if desired
  • Pre-sterilised medicinal bottles. I put finished bottles of children’s paracetamol and neurofen into the dishwasher a few times. You could also use a sterilised jam jar.

Pick the thyme in the sunshine, if you can. If you don’t have thyme at home it’s OK to use a shop bought plant. If all you have is shop bought sprigs then use them- they won’t be as potent as fresh thyme but still relatively active.

Pull the sprigs off. Little hands love this job. A handful will do.


Simmer the thyme in about 100mls of water for about 10/15 minutes until there is about 30/40mls left. Pour it through a sieve and squeeze out the excess fluid from the bunched up leaves. Set it aside.


While the thyme is simmering get another pot and put about 1.5 cups of water to a handful of Carrigeen Moss. I add in half a chopped up lemon with the skin on and then set aside the other half. Bring to the boil. When the moss is softened (it will be a gel-like texture) pour some boiled water in until it reaches a syrup-like consistency and let it simmer. I prefer to soften the moss in a little water first as then you can decide the consistency yourself by adding more water at your own pace. It takes about 8 minutes for the moss to soften and then another 10 minutes of simmering should do it. Sieve the mixture and then squeeze in the 1/2 lemon at the end.


After sieving, pour in the thyme syrup and stir. I use about 1tsp of lemon essence if I am not using honey. Pour it in to the sterilised bottle or jar.

This recipes makes a big batch so I usually freeze cupfuls in freezer bags so it means I have some on hand at all times. Also, I gift it to family or friends. If you are not freezing it, it will keep in the fridge in this state for a couple of weeks but I usually add a few drops of citricidal which acts as a preservative and as it’s anti-microbial it keeps it fresher for longer. You need to gauge this one for yourself as I am sure climate and season will determine how long it lasts.

Anyway, let me know if you try it. Believe me, if you have a suffering child it is worth it and I must say, I get a huge sense of pleasure when I see people reaping the benefits from something so simple and natural. Don’t forget to pass it on.

****Important information: Carrigeen contains iodine. I do not recommend using this without consulting your doctor if you are taking medication for an under or over active thyroid. You could use the thyme syrup on it’s own though.****


11 thoughts on “Loosen and expunge catarrh and phlegm naturally with this old Irish remedy (suitable for children)

  1. Pingback: Irish Parenting Bloggers | Loosen and expunge catarrh and phlegm naturally with this old Irish remedy (suitable for children)

  2. I’ve made carrageen and lemon jelly many times (for other people, not that I would ever remember to make it for myself…) I will DEFINITELY be trying this: would have come in very handy this past week. Thank you!!!

    • I’ve made my first batch of jelly but not sure how well it’s turned out yet. I’ll keep you posted. If you can remember the recipe I’d love it.

  3. This looks fantastic,will definitely be trying it out.Thanks for sharing!

  4. My dad used to make this! We all thought he was mad but it does work. Thank you for the reminder 🙂

  5. Wish I had the patience to make this but I get overwhelmed and think I’m doing it wrong! Will pay you top dollar for a bottle for the next time we are all sick and need it 😉

  6. I’ll definitely try this, thanks Laura

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