A recipe for homemade, herbal cough drops using honey, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, a perfect, all natural remedy for sore throats and coughs.
One of the steps on the journey to self-sufficiency and living a handmade and natural lifestyle, is learning to experiment with home remedies for everyday ailments like a cough or cold.
Traditionally in times past, there wasn’t the convenience of being able to pick up a bottle of cough syrup or a bag of cherry flavored cough drops whenever you had a cold. Sometimes what’s convenient isn’t always what’s best though.
If you’ve become more aware recently of what might be in your everyday, commercial medicine and health products, and your interested in trying to heal your body naturally, then this is for you!
There is a whole world of natural remedies and herbal healing out there, but we’ll start with the basics; you can learn right now how to make your own sugar free and all natural, herbal cough drops.
From here you can continue your research and understanding of healing your body naturally and approaching medicine through a different light.
If you’ve ever experienced a serious cough or cold, which you most likely have, then you know how comforting a few cough drops can be throughout the day, and especially at night when you’re trying to sleep.
Most store-bought cough drops are made just like any other candy, using sugar, corn syrup, colors, and flavors, and usually menthol. Menthol can be derived from a form of mint oil, such as peppermint, or it can be synthetically made. The menthol is what triggers the body to create a natural cooling effect, which is why your throat feels more sensitive and cold when you suck on a cough drop (source).
Though menthol can be sourced naturally, the other ingredients in cough drops such as the colors and flavors, may not be natural.
When making your own cough drops, you can control exactly what goes in, use a more natural sweetener such as honey, and experiment with different herbs and infusions to suit your tastes and needs. If you are able to get your hands on it, you can even add naturally derived menthol for that cooling feeling. There are endless combinations out there for different flavors and effects!
In this particular recipe for all natural and homemade cough drops, you’ll use honey, ginger, and cloves. Honey is naturally soothing, while cinnamon, ginger, and cloves each have their own benefits, even be it just for the flavor!
In recent research honey has been shown to relieve the pain associated with a sore throat (source). Honey in a warm cup of tea has been well known for years to soothe a sore throat or minor cold! Honey is a wonderful replacement for the corn syrup or sugar that’s used in most store-bought cough drops to make them pleasant to suck on.Cinnamon contains a number of different antioxidants and has been shown to be anti-inflammatory.
Keep in mind that you can have any kind of brewed water that you like; you can brew your favorite throat soothing tea, a different combination of herbs, add lemon juice, etc. Make it what you want! Try to include flavors that you will like and herbs/brews that are soothing or healing. Just make sure to keep the water to honey ratio the same.
The biggest challenge when making these cough drops is the time. Not only does it take quite a bit of time to get the mixture up to the correct temperature, but once its there you’re very limited on time to pour your drops. It will likely take about 40-45 minutes of watching and stirring your mixture before its ready to be poured.
Make sure you are prepped and ready and have the time set aside for paying attention to it. If you have ever made candy before you will be golden, because the process is very similar to candy making.
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Its important to note that these cough drops will not look or taste exactly like the Hall’s kind you may normally buy. Natural is different, but it doesn’t mean its not just as good! These cough drops are very tasty! They definitely have a flavor punch.
Though they are hard like a normal cough drop at first, they get soft much easier and take on the texture of a hard caramel as you suck on them longer.
You can of course use candy molds to get a perfect shape for each one, or you can choose to go with a more natural, rustic look;) You can also try pouring the entire mixture into one pan, letting it harden just slightly, and then use a knife that has been in cold water to cut it into your desired shapes.
I hope you enjoy your homemade cough drops and you are able to continue your journey towards natural living and self-sufficiency.
Homemade Herbal Cough Drops
1 1/2 cups filtered water
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup honey
tapioca powder, or powdered sugar if its all you have (you may also use cocoa powder if you are okay with a chocolate flavor)
Prep your area by placing out 2-3 cookie sheets or 3-4 9×13 pans, or parchment paper. Grease the bottoms of the cookie sheets or pans (or parchment paper) with coconut oil.
You can also keep the sheets/pans in your freezer until just before you are ready to use them. This will help the syrup to cool and harden much quicker, but its not necessary. Just make sure that the area you are working in is clean and ready for them, as the process will get very time sensitive, and you will need the pans ready right away.
Place cinnamon stick, ginger, and cloves in a medium size bowl. Boil 1 1/2 cups of filtered water, and pour over herbs. Let sit 30 minutes or so, or until water has cooled.
Place one cup of the brewed water into a medium saucepan with high sides, and add the one cup of honey. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat until your candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring constantly. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Once your mixture has reached the hard crack stage (300 degrees) remove from heat. Quickly run your candy thermometer and any other utensils used under hot water so that none of the syrup hardens on it. Using a spoon, drip quarter sized drops onto your pans. Its okay if some of them run together, you can pull them apart later. You can also pour the mixture into candy molds at this point.
You will need to do this very quickly as your syrup will start to harden fast. Once finished, run your pot and anything else used under hot water until the syrup is washed away. Allow all of your drops to harden completely before coating in powder (the powder will keep them from sticking together). Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.
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