I’ve been seriously enjoying making my own home remedies. It’s amazing how much you can do with a few simple ingredients, and after I made my first batch of homemade cough syrup, I knew that I had to follow it up with homemade cough drops. I’m a huge believer in the power of cough drops on those nights when I can’t sleep for coughing so much. Bleh.
Probably the biggest drawback with making home remedies however, is that it can get expensive really fast.
I tend to fight that tendency by using the most common ingredients I can.
Would it be better to use coltsfoot and elderberry flowers? Theoretically, yes. But most of us don’t have those things sitting around in our pantries, nor can we pick them up at a local grocery store. And ordering specialty herbs gets expensive fast.
Here’s the herbs I’ve included, and why:
Aside from the fact that peppermint tea tastes awesome, it’s a common cold and flu remedy. Studies have shown that it kills bacteria and viruses. It also has a numbing effect. It also dulls the pain of an aching body. The menthol in peppermint effectively thins mucus and breaks up phlegm. It provides relief from coughs and congestion. You will find menthol as a common ingredient in decongestants. (source)
Chamomile contains immune boosting, and antibacterial properties. (source)
Cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.
Ginger has been shown to be a powerful natural pain killer, and contains anit-inflammatory properties. (source)
Did you notice anything about that list? All of those herbs have powerful healing properties, and every single one of them is available at almost any grocery store, and are inexpensive to boot. Who says high quality herbal remedies have to be expensive?
How To Not Make A Mess
One common way is to let the syrup cool until it’s just barely cool enough to handle, and then roll them into lozenges with your hands.
I found doing that to be awfully sticky though, and decided to do things the easy way and drop the hot syrup onto parchment paper.
Maybe they’re not as pretty, but I ended up with zero mess, and yes, the cough drops pop right off the parchment paper. Nothing sticks to that stuff. 🙂
Homemade cough drops
- 1 Tablespoon (or one teabag) peppermint tea leaves
- 1 Tablespoon/teabag chamomile tea
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¾ cup boiling water
- ¾ cup honey
- Optional: Essential Oils such as peppermint, or Thieves (Great for boosting the immune system!)
- Steep peppermint, chamomile, cinnamon, and ginger in boiling water for 10 minutes or more.
- Strain off water, and pour into a small saucepan.
- Add honey.
- Heat over medium heat until mixture begins to boil.
- Clip candy thermometer to the side of your pan.
- Continue boiling until mixture reaches 300º.
- Watch carefully, it is really easy to burn when it gets this hot!
- Let mixture cool for 5-10 minutes, until it starts to get syrupy.
- At this point you can add a few drops of healing/antibacterial essential oils (this is totally optional!)
- Drop by small spoonfuls onto parchment paper and let cool.
- Dust with slippery elm bark, or at the very least, cornstarch, potato starch, or tapioca starch to absorb condensation and prevent them from sticking together in storage.
- Store in an airtight container.
Use as needed to sooth sore, itchy throats, and coughing.