With the coughing and congestion that accompanies the common cold, the first thing you usually want to reach for is a package of cough drops to soothe your flu season illnesses. But when you’re at the local drug store, you may notice that among the massive selection of cough drops available many contain a variety of ingredients, artificial sweeteners and problematic additives that can cause more health problems in the long run.
The great news is if you have the patience and a little time, you can make your own organic cough drops at home with herbs that are specifically used to help relieve many of these flu ailments. But before we get started, let’s look at a couple of herbs that have been used for centuries to target the ailments that have you out of commission.
Herbs for Different Cold Ailments
Most of the cough drops that you find at your local drug store contain certain unnatural ingredients that provide relief for cold symptoms, but the following herbs are all organic and have been specifically used to target ailments like a cough and sore throat.
Herbs for Coughs
- Cypress: Helps soothe coughs, clear congestion and loosen phlegm
- Eucalyptus: Helps open the nasal passages
- Frankincense: Effective for a congested cough
- Oregano: Proven to help fight upper respiratory infections
- Peppermint: Helps calm coughs
Herbs for Sore Throats
If you have a sore throat accompanied by any respiratory infections, try including these herbs:
- Cayenne powder
- Marshmallow root
- Slippery elm bark
Now that you know all of the different herbs that are used to help combat your most stubborn cold symptoms, get ready to mix them together to make your own homemade cough drops.
Homemade Cough Drops
For this recipe, you can either use an herbal tea for cold symptoms that you can find at your local grocery store or you can make your own by adding a variety of dried herbs together. This is what you will need.
- 1 cup of pure honey
- 1 cup of strong herbal tea or make your own herbal tea using cypress, peppermint and marshmallow root
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
- Slippery elm bark
- Steep the cypress, peppermint, marshmallow root, cinnamon and turmeric in boiling water for 20 minutes.
- Strain the water and pour it into a small saucepan.
- Next, add the honey and heat over medium until your mixture begins to boil.
- Clip a candy thermometer to the side of your pan.
- Continue boiling until the mixture’s temperature rises to 300 degrees. Watch carefully to prevent your mixture from burning.
- After it reaches 300 degrees, let your mixture cool for about 5 to 10 minutes until it turns into a syrup-like consistency.
- If you’d like you can add a few drops of any food grade antibacterial essential oils like lemon or rosemary.
- Drop small spoonfuls of your mixture onto parchment paper and let it cool off.
- Dust your cough drops with slippery elm bark to absorb condensation and to prevent them from sticking together when you put them in a jar.
- Place your cough drops in an airtight jar.
There you have it, your own homemade cough drops you can use any time you feel a little itch in your throat, cough or have any hint of congestion.
Recipe inspired by Frugal Farmwife and Dr. Axe.