Well, cough and cold season has begun. My son came home with a cold on the weekend and passed it along to the entire household; that all-too-familiar sore and prickly feeling you get in the back of your throat, along with a dry cough. My daughter asked if I could pick up some cough drops for her, to which I said Sure! A (sometimes annoying) tendency I have developed after obtaining a diploma in Natural Nutrition is I feel I have to read every food product label. Yes! I admit to being one of those product-turners.
I must have picked up about half a dozen different brands of cough drops, attempting to find one that I felt good about giving my family. As I stood there in the drug store, turning over lozenge packages, searching ingredients on my phone, and probably appearing completely insane, I finally decided to attempt to make my own.
I researched several recipes and understood that some form of sugar was needed to create the hard candy structure of a cough drop. I was concerned about not using too much-refined sugar, as it can weaken the immune system and, especially when sick, we need to support our immunity. I decided to go with honey, as it has been historically used for soothing a sore throat. The coconut oil not only helps prevent the mixture from burning but also, coconut brings antimicrobial properties.
I bought a medicinal blended herbal tea which allowed me to add extra soothing ingredients. Lemon, echinacea, ginger and peppermint all have health and immune benefits, so select the one that you like the best. Finally, fresh turmeric: Turmeric has long been used for its immune supporting prosperities. Have a look at the Golden Milk recipe, which contains links to medical journals and studies that discuss its benefits in detail.
Herbal Lemon Turmeric Cough Drops
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 herbal tea bags
- 1 cup organic honey or agave syrup
- 1 lemon Juice of one lemon
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2" piece fresh turmeric, peeled and grated
- Place two tea bags into a large cup and pour over 1 cup of boiling water. Let the tea steep for 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Remove the tea bags and pour the tea into a heavy bottomed pot. Add the remaining ingredients, clip a candy thermometer to the side and turn the burner on high.
- This step is important--do not walk away. This mixture can boil over and burn easily. You need to gently stir continuously with a wooden spoon while it is boiling.
- Continue to boil until the candy thermometer says 300 degrees. Slide the pan off the burner and, working quickly, drop teaspoons of the mixture onto the parchment paper. Remember its crazy hot! So be careful, don't go in for a taste! Moving at a steady pace, place the spoonfuls onto the paper before the mixture hardens.
- Leave for 5-10 minutes on the counter to cool and harden. Once they are ready they lift off easily. Place them in an airtight container to store in the fridge or the freezer for the next time you have a sore throat.