Grapefruit Tea – Home Cough Remedy

by Erin @ Food Doodles on November 12, 2020

This grapefruit tea is a wonderful home cough remedy that is a warm, soothing way to help get rid of your cough! It’s sweetened with honey and flavored with cinnamon and fresh ginger which are known to help get rid of coughs. This immune-boosting tea is also paleo-friendly.

I’m doing something just a little different today – a home remedy. I absolutely hate going to the doctor unless it’s totally necessary. I also don’t like to take medicine – again, unless truly necessary! I’m much more into home remedies.

I haven’t posted over here in a few weeks due to my son or I practically always being sick with colds, childhood diseases or whatever. I figured we’re probably not alone.

So if you have – or are recovering from – a cold and have that annoying, never-ending cough, this grapefruit tea is for you.

If you’re not into tea and just want some delicious grapefruit to eat, try my Ginger and Brown Sugar Broiled Grapefruit.

Grapefruit Tea

The ingredients

All of the ingredients in this tea recipe were chosen because they’re helpful in getting rid of a cough and they all help boost the immune system. If you want to add different spices or flavors, feel free to experiment!

Of course, none of these ingredients can cure a cold or cough. They can just help improve the systems of a cold.


Fresh ginger is one of my favorite ingredients when I’m feeling sick. I really can tell a difference when I use it!

It’s anti-inflammatory and studies suggest that some of those anti-inflammatory compounds can relax membranes in the airways, which can help reduce coughing.

Don’t skip this ingredient unless you really have to, and use as much of it as you can stand. It does add spiciness to the tea, so if you don’t like that, don’t go overboard with the amount you add.



Cinnamon can help improve nasal congestion, coughing, infections, and the common cold.

I highly recommend using Ceylon cinnamon. I use Cassia, which is the normal type you find at the grocery store, for baking.

I buy Ceylon cinnamon in bulk from Amazon. Be warned that it’s quite a bit more expensive than Cassia cinnamon, but when you buy a large bag, it’s not so much more expensive per ounce.

It has a lighter and less bitter taste. Why I use that cinnamon in drinks like this, which call for a lot of cinnamon, is that eating too much of the more common type, Cassia, does have several side effects (you can read more about that here). 

Just 1 teaspoon of Cassia could be enough to put you over the daily limit. The amount depends on your body weight.

Grapefruit Tea Ingredients


This one is well proven to help with coughs. Do not give it to children under 1 year! To get the full benefits, you should make sure to use raw honey and not add your honey to hot liquids. 

In this recipe, you mix together a bit of grapefruit tea concentrate, remove from the heat and add honey. Then you add the concentrate to your cup and add water to that.

If you don’t have time to let your concentrate cool before adding the honey, just add the concentrate to your cup, pour room temperature water on top, and then add in honey to taste.


Grapefruit juice can help relieve sore throats and can also soothe coughs. I really recommend using freshly squeezed grapefruit juice over bottled juice for full benefits.

Grapefruit peel?

Speaking of how this grapefruit tea tastes – you’ve got two ways to make it. With or without grapefruit peel.

I much prefer it without the peel. But as a home remedy, it’s not quite as effective without it.

It’s much tastier without the peel. If you use the grapefruit peel, it’s quite bitter. Some people will enjoy it as is but I’m guessing some will want some extra honey.

Grapefruit Tea

But honey still won’t cut all the bitterness. If you’re interested in why that is, check out my post on walnut butter.

If you want a more delicious tea that you would sip on, just because it’s delicious and the ingredients can help boost your immune system, don’t throw in the grapefruit peel after juicing it. 

If you don’t use the peel, the grapefruit taste isn’t that strong. It’s really more of a cinnamon drink. But really super tasty!

Alternatives to grapefruit

You can always sub a lemon or one and a half lemons for one of the grapefruits as lemon is also very good for a cough. That will hopefully reduce the bitterness just a little bit. 

I’ve also heard that fresh pineapple juice is great for a cough, although I haven’t tried it. You could try using fresh pineapple juice in the mix and that would reduce the bitterness as well.

You can also water this down much more than I recommend and add more honey if need be. When you’re sick, drinking more water is never a bad idea so feel free to add as much or as little of this concentrate to your cup as you like and drink up!

Warning! Warning!

Now, of course, I need to leave a disclaimer. If you are very sick, please see a doctor. Home remedies are great, but sometimes you do need medication.

Grapefruit Tea Process Shots

Please be careful that these ingredients, especially grapefruit, don’t interfere with any medications you’re already taking. Grapefruit interferes with a LOT of different medicines. If you’re on any medication, even if it’s just allergy medicine, please read this list.

That being said, I really hope you’ll give this a try the next time you have a stubborn, nagging cough that won’t go away. Now that I’ve tried this and have experienced first-hand how well it helps cough, I’ll be making this every time we get sick! 

I only drank one batch of this grapefruit tea over two days and a cough that had been bothering me for a month was completely gone. I hope this tea can help you, too! 

Even if you’re not sick, I highly recommend this grapefruit tea, without the grapefruit peel, as a delicious way to boost your immune system. 

If you’re interested, I also have a recipe for Feel Better Green Juice here on the blog which I have to say, helps immensely when you’re feeling sick and need a pick me up. 🙂  Please tell me in the comments below if you have any home remedies that you swear by!

Grapefruit Tea - Home Cough Remedy
Prep Time
2 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
12 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Heidi @ Food Doodles
  • 2 large grapefruits
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large knob of ginger, about 1", thinly sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey + more to serve
  1. Slice grapefruits in half and squeeze out as much juice as you can into a medium-sized pot. If you don't mind quite a bit of bitterness, throw the squeezed out peels into the pot as well. If doing that, add about another cup of water. Add the cinnamon, sliced ginger and water.

  2. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and strain to remove the grapefruit peels, if using, and ginger. Let cool to 95° F (35 °C) or lower and stir in the honey (this is to preserve the benefits from raw honey). You can also just add the concentrate to a mug, add water, which will cool down the tea concentrate, and then add your honey.

  4. Store this concentrate in the fridge and add about a 1/4 of the recipe to a large mug and top with hot water. Add more honey as needed and feel better soon!



Leave a Comment

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kari - Get Inspired Everyday! December 16, 2019 at 08:06

Perfect time of year for this, plus I love anything grapefruit too!


2 Jennifer Fisher December 15, 2019 at 06:40

Sounds like an amazing and tasty way to get rid of a cough! I HATE those “tickle” coughs this time of year (especially at bedtime) that just won’t go away!


3 Zuzana December 15, 2019 at 04:59

i love fruits omg this is so good


4 Stacey Crawford December 14, 2019 at 12:09

I like this idea! My daughter has a grapefruit tree and I can never think of many ideas on what to do with the grapefruits she brings over.


5 ChihYu December 13, 2019 at 16:25

So soothing and delicious! Perfect for the winter months to comfort a scratchy throat!


6 Hope December 13, 2019 at 14:30

This looks so refreshing, perfect for a dry irritated throat! I love homemade remedies, have pinned to keep for later 🙂


7 Raia Todd December 10, 2019 at 12:19

This actually looks really delicious for a remedy! I’m sure I’ll be able to get my kids to drink it the next time they have a cough. Thanks!


8 Jean Choi December 9, 2019 at 19:46

So healthy and soothing! Love the dose of vitamin C you get with this tea.


9 Irena Macri December 9, 2019 at 12:30

I’ve never made this kind of tea before but it sounds delicious. I have all the ingredients, including grapefruit so I’m going to try it.


10 Mayuri January 10, 2019 at 21:38

I usually prefer honey lemon tea with ginger when i get cough but this grapefruit tea sounds helpful too. I will definitely try it. Thank you for sharing!


11 Caitlin February 8, 2018 at 08:56

Excellent use of the peels. We drink this during our cough season, I liked that you added ginger and cinnamon. Thank you for sharing your recipe.


12 Justinas January 10, 2018 at 05:20

Heh what an effective way to loose all thoose nutrients and minerals…by cooking it… just make a ginger tea with cinamon mix it with heated(not more than 70celsius) grapefruit juice and you have it… more taste and all needed vitamins and minerals preserved too… 🙂


13 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 13, 2018 at 08:15

Thanks for your input 🙂


14 March 6, 2017 at 19:18

I loved the smell of this tea but the flavor was underwhelming. It didn’t have as much of a grapefruit flavor as the smell led me to believe.


15 Charlotte Moore February 5, 2016 at 06:35

Pineapple is also anti inflammatory. I am sure that would be good. I am not much for a bitter taste but how nice it works so well.


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