- 1 cup of water infused with herbs. I used Slippery Elm, Coltsfoot, Cinnamon, Elderberry and Horehound
- 1.5 cups of honey
- A candy thermometer
- a medium size sauce pan
- Silicon candy molds (optional but helpful)
- Horehound flavoring (optional)
- Boil 2 cups of water and infuse with desired herbs. I used about ¼ cup of each herb for a really potent cough drop, but as little as 1 tablespoon of each herb is effective. To infuse: Pour boiling water over herbs. I put herbs in a muslin bag to make straining easier. Let steep for 20 minutes to 1 hour and strain out herbs (or remove bag).
- Pour 1 cup of the herb infused water and 1.5 cups of honey into a medium saucepan and turn on medium high heat. (save the extra liquid and mix with equal parts raw honey for a simple cough syrup)
- Stir the honey/herb mixture over medium high heat until it reaches 300 degrees*. At this point, it is vital to remove it from the heat quickly so it does not burn. This would also be the time to add the Horehound flavoring if desired. The Horehound flavoring will provide that very strong “medicinal cough drop taste” that people will associate with cough drops to further enhance the cough drops effect with the mind.
- Pour into candy molds, or pour into a large baking sheet that has been greased with coconut oil or that has a silicon baking mat on it.
- Let cool until it can be touched and molded and immediately and quickly form into lozenges with your hands (you might need help to do this quickly enough).
- Put finished cough drops/lozenges on a silicon mat or piece of parchment paper to cool.
- When completely cool, I toss in a mixture of powdered slippery elm and stevia to keep from getting sticky in humidity.
- Use as needed for coughing, congestion or sore throat.
* Adding a small piece of butter to the boiling mixture will help reduce the foaming.
You can tailor your cough drop ingredients to be more effective for certain aspects of a cold or sore throat by adding herbs that have those properties.
Additional Herbs to add:
- Astragalus: an adaptogen, excellent at restoring energy; helps you cope with illness or other stressors
- Bee Balm (Monarda): good for sore throat, congested coughs
- Catnip: helps insomnia and stomach distress
- Chamomile: soothes & relaxes; helps stomach aches
- Cranberry: antibacterial; anti-asthmatic
- Dandelion: flower, leaf or root – detoxes; potential anti-cancer activity; kidney/liver support
- Echinacea: boosts your immune system
- Elderberry: excellent against viruses, especially influenza
- Forsythia Fruit: antiviral
- Ginger: powdered, dried or fresh – great for stomach aches/nausea; reduces inflammation; increases circulation
- Hawthorn: for heart health
- Horehound: expectorant and vasodilatory effects
- Lemon Balm: calming; relaxing; anti-viral; soothes stomach aches
- Marshmallow Root: soothes inflamed tissue; wonderful for sore throats
- Olive Leaf: antimicrobial
- Roses: petals or leaves; anti-inflammatory
- Schisandra: another wonderful adaptogen; helps your body cope with stress and illness
- Slippery Elm bark: demulcent action (soothing to mucous membranes
- Thyme: for upper respiratory conditions, coughs & bronchitis; antiviral; antibacterial
- Valerian Root: helps you sleep, promotes relaxation
- Violet Leaf: soothing; potential anti-cancer benefits
- Yarrow: lowers fever, helpful for colds & indigestion