It can be argued that the value of cough drops may have as much to do with the act of sucking on the lozenge as with what it contains. Sucking on a cough drop promotes the flow of saliva in the mouth, lubricating and soothing the throat and helping with the flow of the mucus. That said, some of the benefits of a cough drop can be achieved with a piece of hard candy. In fact, cough drops are made pretty much the same way hard candy is made, but with a few additions to further alleviate symptoms.
Ginger root is loaded with antioxidants and other virus-fighters and its “heat” helps sooth cold symptoms (as well as migraines and upset stomach). The flavor of ginger is strong, but is tamed by other ingredients used in this cough-busting recipe.
Honey has antimicrobials and antibacterials long used to soothe coughs and other cold symptoms.
Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral elements and has been used for centuries to help speed recovery from colds.
Lemon provides vitamin C and has other antiviral properties helpful in combating coughs and colds.
These soothing drops have no dose limits, no “may cause drowsiness” and use familiar ingredients that may already be in your kitchen. Like any cough drop or hard candy, a choking hazard means they are not recommended for small children. These natural cough drops do a great job of soothing a scratchy throat and calming a cough.
Once sugar has dissolved, stop stirring and keep an eye on the pot as temperatures rise. As the temperature rises, the boil will be volatile, but will calm as the sugar approaches the 300 degrees F necessary for the candy to harden when it cools (this is known as the “hard crack” stage).
Once cooled completely (at least an hour), remove from molds and place in a lidded container with 1/2 – 1 cup of superfine sugar to keep the lozenges from sticking together when they are stored. Shake to coat.
Powdered sugar can be used, but tends to clump. Superfine sugar can be made from regular sugar by placing in a food processor for a minute or two to reduce the size of the crystals.