Prepare For Fall With DIY Herbal Cough Drops |

May 10, 2022 2:32:28 PM | herbal teas Prepare For Fall With DIY Herbal Cough Drops |

Integrative Health and Wellness Professor Jerry Cronin shares his recipe for herbal cough drops.


Image from Updated from the original version of this article on the ACHS Health and Wellness Blog here:

As summer ends and we start to approach cold season, we want to reshare a helpful herbal cough drop recipe by Professor Jerry Cronin. Have you ever tried to make your own cough drops? They are actually very easy to make, and can be healthier than some store bought versions because you get to choose the ingredients yourself.

You might already be using herbal teas for your throat, so it’s only natural to take the next step and turn that tea blend into lozenges that soothe and offer medicinal properties.

Pick your herbs by therapeutic action: Slippery elm bark (Ulmus rubra) is a good herb that acts as the mucilage in the recipe. This also helps, just as licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) does in relieving the pain of the inflamed throat. Flavor counts too - peppermint (Mentha piperita) is a good choice!

Easy Herbal Cough Drop Recipe

Seven Simple Steps to Make Herbal Cough Drops:

  1. Make a strong tea mixture (double the usual measurements) using the herb(s) of your choice (see here for more info).
  2. Add sugar to the tea and heat over med-high. Add 1 cup of sweetener for each cup of liquids. (Pure cane sugar, agave nectar blend, brown sugar, or local honey also can be used).
  3. Bring to a boil and DO NOT STIR AGAIN.
  4. Wipe away any crystals from the side of your pan with a damp brush or cloth.
  5. Once the mixture reaches 300 degrees fahrenheit (150 degrees celsius), remove from heat.
  6. The lozenges will take on the color of the herbs. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) added gives a beautiful purple color.
  7. Slowly pour into molds. Candy molds can be used, or you can make your own molds. To make your own molds, simply place a ½ to 1-inch layer of cornstarch or powdered sugar into a pan. Smooth this powder out, and then make small impressions into it with your thumb or with a small jar. These impressions form the molds. Once the mixture is poured into these cool, simply mix the drops into the powder and sift these out. The drops will last for more than two months in a sealed container.

What herbs should I use?

Some great herbs (and their uses) for lozenges are:

  • Camphor: relieves congestion
  • Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia): best before full onset of cold, anti-bacterial, blood cleanser
  • Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus): relieves congestion
  • Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum): expectorant
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale): pain relieving, antiseptic and antioxidant
  • Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): antiseptic and immune stimulant
  • Horehound (Marrubium vulgare): pain reliever, stimulates digestion
  • Juniper (Juniperus communis): relieves congestion
  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): anti-viral, chest and throat soother
  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita): expectorant, decongestant and mild pain reliever
  • Sage (Salvia officinalis): good for sore throats
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): expectorant
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): reduces fevers and inflammation

We hope you enjoy this recipe! If you try it out, let us know which herbs you chose.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine. 

This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

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Written By: American College of Healthcare Sciences

ACHS's mission is to lead the advancement of evidence-based, integrative health and wellness education through experiential online learning and sustainable practices. This includes sharing helpful, informative, holistic healthcare articles on the ACHS Health and Wellness Blog.