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Have you been sick this winter? Cold and flu season has hit my little family hard this year. In fact, I actually spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day sick in bed for the most part. Thankfully, I knew a few home remedies for the flu that shortened my downtime, but it still put a damper on our holiday celebrations to put it mildly. While I was sick, I went through countless amounts of essential oils, my homemade vapor shower melts and these homemade cough drops. The combo all helped to ease some of the symptoms that I was having and made being sick at least mildly bearable.
These homemade cough drops are made with two types of herbal teas – ginger tea and peppermint tea – and raw honey. All three are fantastic for soothing sore throats and keeping coughs at bay. They come together in just a few minutes and store well as long as they are kept in an airtight food storage container at room temperature. You can also chill them if you’d like. Having them cold can often provide a bit more relief for sore throats. You’ll want to make sure that your teas and raw honey are organic so that you know there isn’t anything hinky going into your homemade cough drops.
How to Make Homemade Cough Drops
You’ll also want to make sure that your honey is raw and unfiltered. Honey has long been used for its healing properties, but when honey is processed with heat, it loses those properties making it nothing more than a sweetener. When you use raw honey that is unprocessed and unfiltered, you’re essentially getting it right out of the hive so it still has all of the healing properties that your body needs to heal. This is my favorite brand of raw honey, but you can use any brand that you prefer as long as it is raw and unfiltered.
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If you’re looking to save money on the ingredients for your homemade cough drops, I highly recommend Thrive Market. It is where I shop to save on organic and all natural products. Plus, when you shop Thrive Market through this link, you’ll save 20% on your first 3 orders. It makes going organic and making homemade products, so much cheaper! I know that these use peppermint tea, but I’ve also been known to add a drop or two of peppermint essential oil to them as well since I am not fond of the taste of ginger. Adding the essential oil still lets me get the healing benefits of the ginger but covers the taste so I can stomach the homemade cough drops.
You Will Need:
- 1 cup water
- 1 lemon ginger tea bag
- 1 peppermint tea bag
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 1 t. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 t. ginger
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
In a heavy bottom dutch oven, heat the water until it is hot, but not boiling and steep the tea bags for ten minutes. After 10 minutes, you should have a fairly strong tea brewed.
Separate 1/2 cup of tea into a medium saucepan and either drink the rest or set it aside for another batch of homemade cough drops. Add the honey, lemon juice, cinnamon and ginger to the saucepan and mix it until the spices and honey are dissolved.
Clip on a candy thermometer and bring the saucepan to a boil over medium heat. Once it’s boiling, be careful that it doesn’t boil over. If that happens, turn the heat back a bit to knock it down a bit. You’re aiming for 300° F, however, do not wait until it reaches 300° to remove it from the heat. It will scorch if you do. Once the temperature on the thermometer reaches 250° F, begin slowly turning the heat back and sliding the pot off of the burner a little bit at a time. This will keep it from scorching and yes, the temperature will continue to rise even if it is partially off the heat and even if the burner is turned down a bit.
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Once the temperature reaches 300° F, make sure it is completely removed from the heat and allow the mixture to sit and cool for a few minutes just long enough for the mixture to start to thicken. Once it is thick, spoon the homemade cough drops onto wax paper. I used 1/3 tsp for each drop, but if you feel that makes your homemade cough drops too large, feel free to use a smaller measure.
Also, make sure you’re using wax paper and not parchment. I use this brand since it is unbleached and recycled. If you’re a Prime member, it ships totally free. Parchment paper will stick to the cough drops as they harden though so make sure that you’re using actual wax paper.
Allow the homemade cough drops to harden completely. Once they’re hardened, you can dip them in powdered sugar as a coating and to sweeten the mixture a bit if you would like. This step is not necessary though so feel free to skip it if you would like.