It is that time of year again. I'm on my second official cold of the season, and that, combined with dry indoor air, is just killing my throat. I generally buy a bag of cough drops when I feel a sore throat coming on, for those times I can't be at home with a cup of hot tea with lemon and honey. But have you looked at the ingredients in most commercial cough drops? High fructose corn syrup. Artificial colors and flavors. And several chemicals I can't pronounce.

So I was really happy when I ran across this article in The Herb Companion about making your own herbal cough drops. It's a pretty simple recipe that requires a little time and few ingredients.

The basic recipe for herbal cough drops is a tea made with powdered herbs of your choosing (ginger and thyme are two good ones) mixed with honey and water and cooked until the mixture crystallizes. Once it's begun to crystallize, let it cook a few minutes longer, then drop the mixture by the teaspoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Let them cool, then roll them in powdered sugar for easy handling, and wrap in waxed paper.

It's a really easy process, and you could definitely change up the recipe to suit your tastes. I can see adding finely grated lemon zest to the herb mixture so that you have a honey-lemon-ginger cough drop. I have the distinct feeling that the real thing works a lot better than high fructose corn syrup pretending to be honey.

Check out the whole article and recipe by Ariel Tilson at The Herb Companion's website.

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