Korean Home Remedy for Coughs and Sore Throats

Steamed Asian Pears With Honey

A bowl of steamed pears and honey
Naomi Imatome

If you have ever had a cold, flu, or respiratory infection of any sort, you have likely turned to a variety of remedies to relieve the well-known discomforts associated with a cough or a sore throat. In Korea, many people have relied on a common home remedy to ease their symptoms. So, what's in this remedy? 

The Ingredients Needed

Koreans swear that Asian pears with honey are a simple and effective home remedy to counter the aches and discomfort of coughs and sore throat. Many Korean grandmothers have used this for their children and grandchildren, only to have the next generation use the remedy to treat their kids.

What Makes Asian Pears With Honey Stand out?

Unlike many over-the-counter cough medicines, this Korean home ready is said to actually to help to heal symptoms and not just suppress them. The concoction also stands out because it doesn't have the yucky taste for which commercial cough medicines in the United States are known. So when you're fighting the cold or flu virus or similar infection, you don't have to put yourself through more misery by downing cough syrup that tastes awful. Enjoy this delicious and medicinal snack two to three times a day while you're nursing a cold.

How to Make the Concoction

You can coat the pear with honey and steam it any way you wish, but the two easiest methods have been found to be as follows:

  • Halve and core the Asian pear. By the way, if you can't find Asian pears at your local grocery store, visit a Korean specialty market or even look into ordering them online.
  • After you halve and core the pear, you'll fill the seed hole and coat the cut sides generously with honey.
  • Next, you'll steam the pear and honey for about 15 minutes in a steamer. If you don't have a steamer, steam the mixture in a couple of inches of water.
  • After the mixture has cooled, eat it with a spoon. If you're not sure how warm it is, do a test try first, rather than taking a huge gulp that may be too hot.
  • OR cut the pear into pieces and drizzle generously with honey. Of course, if you have a medical condition such as diabetes that requires you to control your blood sugar, don't go overboard with the honey. Once you've drizzled the pear with honey, steam it in a poaching cup for about ten minutes and then eat. You'll feel better before you know it.

Warning About Honey and Infants

It's important to note that infants under 12 months of age should not be given honey under any circumstances. They may have a dangerous reaction to honey, so don't risk your child's health. This is a remedy that most children and adults will be able to tolerate without incident, but it is not for babies.

Of course, if you continue to have a bad cough and a sore throat that's not alleviated by this remedy or over-the-counter products and you have a fever or other worrying symptoms, make an appointment with your healthcare provider.