Have you ever heard of a lozenge? It may be a strange word but I guarantee almost everyone has had one while they were sick. They are available over the counter or can be made at home and are commonly called cough drops.
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Lozenges have been around for quite some time but can be used for more than calming a cough. They are used to slowly administer a medication or an herb through the mouth. Common drugs that may be administered this way include analgesics, anesthetics, antiseptics, antimicrobials, antitussives, anti-nauseants, and decongestants. They are usually solid and hard and traditionally many lozenges contained phenol, sodium phenolate, benzocaine, cetylpyridinium chloride, and even chloroform!
Over the counter, cough drops are available but finding herbal based lozenges can sometimes be difficult. Honey is a very common ingredient in cough drops and there’s a great reason why. Below are some herbs that are great to look for in a coughdrop or to add to a homemade cough drops/lozenges.
Honey– antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory
Licorice Root– anti-inflammatory, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, laxative, pectoral, soothing
Marshmallow Root– antidiarrhoeal, antitussive, demulcent, diuretic, laxative
Ginger– anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-viral, circulation-stimulating, detoxifying, diaphoretic, digestive
Slippery Elm– demulcent, diuretic, expectorant
Elderberry– antioxidant, diaphoretic, diuretic, laxative, immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory
Cinnamon– anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-infective, anti-oxidant, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, astringent, stomachic, diaphoretic
Horehound– antidiarrhoeal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic,
digestive, diuretic, expectorant
I love to combination of honey, elderberries, ginger, and licorice root. This combination helps boost your immune system, soothe your throat, helps with coughing, and is tasty! Any of these herbs and more are great to add to a homemade herbal lozenge or to have in tea.
Always double check the herbs you are using and that they are safe for you and won’t interact with any medications. Some herbs are not safe to have while pregnant, breastfeeding, or with some health conditions. Always talk to your doctor before making any life changes.
What’s your favorite herb to use in a homemade cough drop?