Natural, Immune-Boosting Homemade Cough Drops

Natural, Immune-Boosting Homemade Cough Drops
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Homemade cough drops are great because you can make them your favorite flavor and even add immune-boosting herbs during cold and flu season.

When cough lingers at the end of an illness, it’s no fun. But there are ways to help soothe your throat naturally. These homemade cough drops are a great solution!

Best Herbs for Homemade Cough Drops

There are several herbs that you can use to make your base for the cough drops. Once you have that base, you can add the other ingredients. What you’ll be doing is making a strong tea and then making the cough drops from that. Here are some herbs that can help soothe your sore throat and give it a chance to start healing.

You’ll need about half a cup of tea (4 ounces) for these homemade cough drops. I take the herbs I want and place them in a strainer, steep the tea and then pull the strainer out. You could also use cheesecloth or a coffee filter to strain the herbs. When I make cough drops, I’ll make a full cup of tea with horehound, lemon peel, marshmallow root, and sage. I’ll boil it down a bit before adding the rest of the ingredients so that it ends up being 4 ounces once the liquid is


Homemade Cough Drop Recipe

Homemade cough drops are great because you can make them your favorite flavor and even add immune-boosting herbs during cold and flu season.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 20 ounces
Author Debra Maslowski
Cost $2



  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup tea (from above)
  • 1 Tbsp honey


  • Measure the water, honey, and sugar into a pan and bring to a boil.
  • Bring temperature to about 280°F, the soft-to-hard crack stage of making candy.
  • Drop a bit into some cold water to see if it will form a ball. When you get to that point, you can take it off of the heat and allow it to cool just a bit.
  • Using either a spoon or a small scoop, drip drops of the cough drop mixture into the molds (or the cookie sheet). If doing the latter, they may flatten or they may stay in a ball, depending on how hot you got the mix to when you boiled it. Make sure the pieces you make can fit into your mouth easily. I made mine much too big the first time and ended up with a bunch of pieces that looked like broken glass. Not bad, but not the drops that I was looking for.
  • You can also cover them in sugar for a sanded look. This will keep them from sticking together as well.
  • Allow it to cool completely. Place into a container, sealing well. Use when you have a cough.


It does call for sugar which is the basis for hard homemade cough drops. You can substitute about  25% of an alternative sweetener, but you’ll need the sugar to form the drop. I use raw sugar or make my own, to make it healthier than refined sugar.

Honey is a humectant that can help attract moisture to a dry throat. If you have a wet cough with mucus, you might want to skip the honey. Molasses makes a good substitute.

Immune Boosting Additions

If you want to add some immune-boosting properties to the drops, you can add elderberries, echinacea, or maybe even some yellowroot. Be aware though that these things can change the flavor profile and could make the drops more bitter.

Have you tried making homemade cough drops? Let us know your favorite tips!


Natural, Immune-Boosting Homemade Cough Drops was written by Debra Maslowski.

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