Homemade Herbal Cough Drops

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Recipe for Homemade Herbal Cough Drops or Lozenges with Herbs and Honey
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Remedies » Homemade Herbal Cough Drops

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.

Herbal Cough Drops Recipe

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!

Recipe for Homemade Herbal Cough Drops or Lozenges with Herbs and Honey
4.32 from 22 votes

Herbal Cough Drops Recipe

These homemade herbal cough drops have a mixture of honey herbs to help alleviate symptoms and boost immune function for quick recovery.
Prep Time1 hour
Author: Katie Wells


Ingredients for herb infused water:

Ingredients for cough drops:

  • 1 cup herb infused water
  • cups honey


To make herb infused water:

  • In a medium size saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  • Place between 1 tablespoon and ¼ cup (for a really potent cough drop) of each herb into a medium size bowl. I put the herbs in a muslin bag to make straining easier.
  • Pour the boiling water over herbs and let steep for 20 minutes.
  • Strain out the herbs and use half of the infused water for the next part of the recipe. Refrigerate and save the rest for another batch or mix with equal parts raw honey for a simple cough syrup.

To make the cough drops:

  • Pour 1 cup of the herb infused water into a medium saucepan.
  • Add the honey and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 300°F. 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 into ice water to see if it immediately hardens. It should harden to the point that the drop breaks if dropped on the counter. You can also tell because the mixture will start to foam and separate. At this point, it is important to remove it from the heat quickly so it does not burn.
  • Pour the mixture into candy molds, or pour onto a large baking sheet that has been greased with coconut oil or that has a silicon baking mat on it.
  • If you are not using molds, you will need to form the mixture into cough drops by hand. Let it cool until it is cool enough to touch without being burned and immediately and quickly form it into lozenges with your hands (you might need help to do this quickly enough).
  • Put the finished cough drops/lozenges on a silicon mat or piece of parchment paper to cool.
  • When completely cool, I toss the cough drops in a mixture of powdered slippery elm and stevia to prevent them from getting sticky in humidity.
  • Use as needed for coughing, congestion or sore throat.


Any herbs can be used. I picked the combination above to help sooth coughing, congestion and sore throat while boosting the immune system. 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.

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

What natural remedies do you make at home? Has the flu hit your house this year? Share below!
These homemade herbal cough drops have a mixture of honey herbs to help alleviate symptoms and boost immune function for quick recovery.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


125 responses to “Homemade Herbal Cough Drops”

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      The slippery elm is demulcent and helps soothe sore mucus membranes in the throat. You could use marshmallow root instead if you have some. Fresh violet leaf would also work but it’s not as strong of a demulcent as the marshmallow or slippery elm.

  1. TimS Avatar

    If you’re trying to stay away from sugar, then why would you use honey? There’s not much difference between sugar and honey. In fact honey still triggers micro-comas in diabetics because it’s still a sugar. I’m sorry 2 search engines sent me here, but I typed in “DIY sugar free lozenges” and got a listing of cough drop recipes all containing honey. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Oh well, a substitute hunting I will go, hunting I will go, Hi-Ho the merry-o, a hunting I will go.

  2. Aida Kling Avatar
    Aida Kling

    Could I just use your elderberry syrup recipe to make these? I once got elderberry cough drops and have not found a recipe for them.

  3. Angela Avatar

    HI there,
    I made these today and spent over an hour cooking it. I had reached 300 degrees but wasn’t setting in the iced water for that long. They are not setting though. They are more like a thick syrup. Any idea what I did wrong? I followed the recipe. I even have them sitting in a room with a dehumidifier on.

  4. Anjali Avatar

    Why use raw honey if it’s going to be heated to such a high temp? Won’t it lose all it’s beneficial properties? Plus, according to Ayurveda, heated honey is actually toxic – it’s a shame no one is the West is aware of this…

  5. Keri Avatar

    I am so excited about this recipe, Thank You for sharing. Quick question, I have read that honey loses some of its antibacterial properties when treated with high heat like in this recipe. What are your thoughts on honey versus sugar use in this recipe? Thank you

  6. Kate Avatar

    I made these today. Use a way bigger pot than you think you’ll need, it foamed/boiled a huge amount. I actually had to switch to a bigger one.
    I got to about 260-275 degrees Fahrenheit then poured on a Silicon mat. Let it cool, then shaped into balls and pushed into silicone molds with my hands.
    I don’t have herbs so I brewed some strong tea. The lozenges really just taste like honey. But, they relieve my cough!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Amber Avatar

    Hello! Is there any good premade option to buy that you would suggest? I’ve wasted time and money that I don’t have making nothing but a big mess again and again. I so want these to work, but I must not be cut out to make candy. My elderberry gummies were a big flop too. All user errors, I’m certain, but I welcome any and all premade suggestions!

  8. Monica Avatar

    Is there any way to do this recipe with just raw sugar instead of honey? I don’t like heating honey, according to Ayurveda it shouldn’t be heated over a person’s body temperature, but I would still like to do this recipe.

  9. Kristin Avatar

    Hi. This looks great but am wondering if I do not want diy, is there possibly any you could recommend buying?

  10. Melissa Avatar

    Are you using the powder form of each of these herbs? Or are you using the chamomile flower for one example? I’m looking to make this and I’m going to order through that company but want to make sure I’m clear with the recipe

  11. Ana Avatar

    I was reading on coltsfoot and it states that its not to be used internally. Any sugestions on what to use instead?
    Thank you.

  12. Rebecca Heidenreich Avatar
    Rebecca Heidenreich

    mine have burned twice now – and the last time didn’t even go about 260. what am I doing wrong? I have wasted a lot of expensive honey!

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