How to Make Homemade Cough Drops

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Making your own homemade cough drops is not always a money saver compared to buying a big box store’s generic version of some brand name cough drops.

But there are plenty of other reasons you might want to do it: to make use of herbs you grow yourself, to avoid the “what the heck is that” ingredients found in most commercial ones, to get a flavor you can’t find in stores, or just for fun.

Homemade Cough Drop Recipes

All of these recipes don’t use corn syrup. While none of them have added sugar, they are not sugar-free because they use natural sweeteners like honey.

Homemade cough drops in bowl

Elderberry Cough Drops

It’s easy to make your own Elderberry Cough Drops at home. They are honey based with no artificial ingredients. They have a unique and wonderful flavor, they will definitely soothe your throat, and some studies indicate elderberry can help your body fights colds.

Super Simple Honey and Herb Recipe

These cough drops from Frugal Farm Wife are made of honey and herbs and… well, water. Seriously, that’s about it. And for the herbs, she chose things you’re likely to already have in the kitchen.

I like that approach because most of us don’t live near a shop that sells specialty herbs in bulk. You don’t even need to buy a candy mold because you can just drop them on parchment paper and let them cool.

Honey Lemon Cough Drops with Ginger

ThankYourBody has a recipe for cough drops I’d eat as candy. It’s honey, lemon, and ginger root, and you can optionally dust it with some sugar if you like.


Homemaking Homesteader has a great recipe for horehound cough drops. Now, if you like her process but not the flavor of horehound, you can change out the herbs.

  • Horehound: helps break up congestion.
  • Mullein: good for “chesty” coughs. Helps loosen the congestion.
  • Eucalyptus: expectorant and infection preventer
  • Marshmallow: soothing, reduces inflammation, has a nice flavor
  • Licorice: ditto marshmallow, except it also has a cough-suppressing effect, and is not recommended for people with high blood pressure
  • Thyme: a natural expectorant believed to have some antibiotic qualities
  • Slippery Elm: my personal favorite. Coats and soothes irritated membranes. Excellent for dry coughs.
  • Elecampane: expectorant and cough suppressor
  • Coltsfoot: a natural expectorant.
  • Echinacea: boosts the immune system for coughs that are cold or flu related.

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Last Updated:

October 27, 2023