Make Your Own Cough Drops

Remember these?  I used to buy these from the 5 & Dime because they were just as good as candy.  Well now you can make your own - without the Red dye #40.  Great to soothe sore throats or calm that persistent cough.

  • Common Ingredients

    The general ingredients in cough drops are similar to those found in hard candy, with active ingredients added for medicinal purposes. Though commercially made cough drops are generally made with corn syrup, you can substitute honey, brown sugar or sorghum syrup as healthier sweetening options. Lemon juice is often added for extra flavor as well. There are an endless array of herbal ingredients to use for medicinal purposes. White horehound, for instance, has long been used as an expectorant and is found in many European produced cough medications. Other expectorants include fennel seed, licorice root, peppermint, ginger and marshmallow. Slippery-elm bark is another popular herbal option. As a demulcent, it coats and soothes irritated mucus membranes in the throat. For dry coughs, sundew is a popular herbal treatment used throughout Europe. To help strengthen your immune system while soothing your cough, add ginseng, elderberry or echinacea to your recipe.  Adding essential oils is also great - wintergreen, lavender, oregano, and Eucalyptus (2-3 drops)
  • The Process

    Though recipes vary, most require a sauce pan, cookie sheet and candy thermometer. The first step generally requires 20 to 30 minutes of steeping to extract the flavors and healing properties from the herbs. When steeping is complete, squeeze and save the excess tea from the leaves using a cheese cloth. To create the hard candy consistency, add your honey, sugar or syrup to the herbal tea and let boil until adequately thickened. For some recipes, your thickened mixture is then dolloped into drops onto wax paper-covered cookie sheets. Others require you pour the mixture onto cookie sheets, then score into lozenge-size pieces. You can also simply break the candy into pieces after it cools and hardens.

  • Read more: Cough Drop Recipe

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