Last week I had a slightly sore throat, an irritating dry cough, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Luckily, it didn’t last too long. For that, I give thanks to the loads of homemade fire cider, vitamin c, sage & calendula tea, raw honey, and the black cumin seed oil I consumed regularly. However, for those couple days of throat discomfort, I was happy to have these herbal honey candies to help me out.
I won’t sugar coat these (literally!), if you’re looking for a cooling mentholated or medicated drop to suppress coughs, you may want to hit the convenient store – like my husband did. But these honey sweetened, herb infused drops are incredibly soothing. They help coat an irritated throat and may safely assist with an unproductive dry cough.
The thyme and rosemary plants I grew this summer were still outside patiently waiting to be used and loved. I harvested the last bits before snowfall and boiled their essence along with lemon and slippery elm, into a soothing and healing honey candy.
Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) & Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Thyme and Rosemary are antispasmodic herbs, meaning they can help relax the dry persistent coughs that aid in irritation of your throat. Thyme is an expectorant and can help clear mucus from the head and lungs. They’re both warming and uplifting herbs, high in essential oils, that contain antibacterial and antiseptic properties. These properties enhance the immune system by warding off and fighting bacteria and infection.
Slippery Elm (Ulmus Rubra)
Slippery Elm is a sweeter tasting demulcent herb. It contains mucilage that will noticeably coat and soothe your irritated or dry throat. It moistens all mucous membranes to some degree, in this case, it can help calm dry and itchy lungs, thereby reducing that incessant cough.
Please Note: These lozenges are hard, but do soften as you suck on them and will stick to your teeth if you attempt to chew it. I recommend keeping these drops small enough to fit comfortably in your mouth. Adding granulated sugar in place of honey would help create a hard-crack candy, but sugar is not something I resonate with, while fighting a cold, knowing its reputation with the immune system.
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups of honey
- 1 1/4 cups water
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 Tbls Fresh Thyme
- 2 Tbls Fresh Rosemary
- 2 Tbls Slippery Elm Bark
- Candy thermometer
- Prepare the rosemary & thyme by chopping it up. Zest and juice your lemon. Measure out your water and honey, separately.
- Add your herbs and lemon zest to the water and bring to a boil. I felt inclined to add the lemon juice after steeping the herbs rather than before, although I’m not sure it really matters. Turn off the heat, cover, and let steep for 30 mins.
- Strain your herbs, using a spatula to push the mucilage through the strainer into you tea mixture.
- Add your lemon juice and honey and bring to a boil, stirring regularly until it reaches 300 degrees, which is considered a hard-crack stage.
- Remove from heat and pour into designated molds OR pour into a baking dish and cut before completely cooled.
- After they have cooled, coat the lozenges in slippery elm powder to prevent them from sticking to each other. The slippery elm adds additional mucilage to your lozenge.
- You can store your lozenges together if they are kept in the refrigerator. You may want to keep them separated, if stored at room temperature, to prevent them from melting into each other.