Whether it be the dead of winter or the high life of summer, colds and allergies seem to pop up out of nowhere and catch us completely off guard.
Hand-in-hand with these seasonal problems arrives the dreaded cough. So annoying! While cough syrup can be taken to remedy these coughing spells, it should only be taken in moderation to avoid any unwanted side effects such as drowsiness. Homemade cough drops can really help soothe a scratchy, tickly throat. And it’s really easy to make them.
½ cup water
1 cup evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ to ½ teaspoon, or more, ground ginger
⅛ to ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
powdered sugar for coating
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper, or greasing very well. A marble slab comes in handy and helps the drops cool quickly.
Combine the ingredients, except for powdered sugar or cornstarch, in a heavy-bottomed pot or saucepan. Cook to hard crack stage, about 300°F. This may take between 15-20 minutes, or longer depending on the pan and stove. Test by dropping a little from a spoon into a bowl of ice water. If it cracks, it’s ready. If it’s chewy, cook for a few more minutes. Remove from the heat. Be careful not to let it burn – the temperature rises quickly at the end.
Let the mixture cool slightly. Drop onto baking sheet into rounds. Allow to cool completely. Dust with the powdered sugar or cornstarch. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from any moisture. (Moisture will cause them to stick together.) Alternatively, they can be dusted and wrapped individually in small pieces of waxed or parchment paper.
Note: These only take about 25-30 minutes to make, but need extra time for cooling.
All of the ingredients are extremely health beneficial when it comes to relieving persistent coughs. The honey is soothing and works as a natural cough suppressant. Lemon adds vitamin C. Ginger has anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as helping keep the immune system strong. So add as much or as little as you can handle! The oil in cloves helps fight germs and also helps to loosen phlegm.