It seems that the flu has hit many people pretty hard this year! So far, we’ve gotten by with only minor sniffles, but I’ve got some natural remedies on hand just in case!
One recipe I’ve finally perfected and am happy with is this one for homemade herbal cough drops! Most cough drops contain sugar and preservatives, and some even contain artificial colors, flavors or chemicals! Since we have one child still on the GAPS protocol, these aren’t even an option, and I wanted to find a homemade recipe anyway.
After much, much experimentation and many batches of gooey messes that got thrown away (or were eaten by the kids as taffy…), I finally found a recipe I am happy with and can duplicate. I’ll also be posting recipes for herbal cough syrup and herbal tincture for cough, but these pack a powerful herbal punch and my kids love them!
- Boil 2 cups of water and infuse with desired herbs. I used about ¼ cup of each herb for a really potent cough drop, but as little as 1 tablespoon of each herb is effective. To infuse: Pour boiling water over herbs. I put herbs in a muslin bag to make straining easier. Let steep for 20 minutes and strain out herbs (or remove bag).
- Pour 1 cup of the herb infused water and 1.5 cups of honey into a medium saucepan and turn on medium high heat. (save the extra liquid and mix with equal parts raw honey for a simple cough syrup)
- Stir the honey/herb mixture over medium high heat until it reaches 300 degrees. If you don't have a candy thermometer, this usually takes about 30 minutes and can be tested by dropping a drop of the mixture in to ice water to see if it immediately hardens. It should harden to the point that it breaks if dropped on the counter. You can also tell because the mixture will start to foam and separate. At this point, it is vital to remove it from the heat quickly so it does not burn.
- Pour into candy molds, or pour into a large baking sheet that has been greased with coconut oil or that has a silicon baking mat on it.
- Let cool until it can be touched and molded and immediately and quickly form into lozenges with your hands (you might need help to do this quickly enough).
- Put finished cough drops/lozenges on a silicon mat or piece of parchment paper to cool.
- When completely cool, I toss in a mixture of powdered slippery elm and stevia to keep from getting sticky in humidity.
- Use as needed for coughing, congestion or sore throat.
I've only had these last about a week in my house because my kids eat them that quickly, so I don't know their shelf life past a week.