I have a new weapon in my arsenal against the common cold: onion syrup. Basically, layer slices of one large onion with one cup sugar in a glass jar, cover, and leave on the counter 1-2 days until all the juice has been pulled out of the onion. Store the syrup in the fridge (recipe from Seattle PI). It's a mucus thinner- I may be just desperate and crazy, but after I give E a half teaspoon of this stuff I can hear her cough change. It has that "mucus is breaking up" kind of sound to it, where it didn't before. And it's just onion juice and sugar...so what could half a teaspoon hurt? She likes the taste, too. Cold medicine has been banned for small children, and I always felt like it didn't help much to begin with (I want the cold OUT of her body, so stopping her runny nose won't help me.)
This can also be done with garlic or ginger. Enjoy!