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During the colder months I sometimes need a natural way to soothe a sore throat.


Tea with honey is my favorite remedy, but when I want a quicker solution grabbing a throat lozenge from my purse or cupboard is hard to beat.

Home Remedies for Sore Throat

The last time I shopped for throat drops I was disgusted with the ingredients - things like artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. Those things certainly don’t sound helpful for a sore throat, cough, or any other condition.

Making a simple, soothing lozenge

There are many herbs that can be used to make your own throat lozenges. I chose the following for their soothing properties and mild taste. The herbal flavor of these lozenges will not be sugary sweet like store-bought varieties you may be accustomed to. But if we’re being practical, things we take to heal the body really shouldn’t have a candy-like flavor or appearance, right? I always wanted a lozenge that would do its job without unnecessary ingredients. These homemade throat drops will soothe a scratchy, sore throat and help control a dry cough.

Marshmallow root: Useful for its mucilaginous properties and ability to soothe a sore throat. The polysaccharides in this herb will coat irritated surfaces and have a soothing effect on inflamed tissues. It has a very mild flavor. I used the powdered form because I had it on hand. (I actually had capsules that I opened up and emptied.) It may even work better to use dried Marshmallow root, preparing a cold infusion with the herb to use for the liquid part of this recipe. (Learn how to make a cold infusion here.) Marshmallow root or bulk Marshmallow root powder can usually be found at your local health food store or online here.


Slippery Elm Bark: This herb is soothing for an irritated throat and is helpful in reducing inflamed membranes. It is excellent for a dry cough. You will need powdered Slippery Elm Bark for this recipe. (Find Slippery Elm Bark powder here.)

Honey: Honey has been used for centuries for its many healing properties. Not only is honey a natural choice to sweeten these drops, but it also has powerful anti-microbial properties that can help soothe an inflamed throat. Use raw, unfiltered honey…and local honey is always best if available. (Find raw, unfiltered honey here.)

Homemade Throat Lozenges

Homemade Herbal Lozenges

(makes approximately 20 drops)

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Dissolve ½ tsp. Marshmallow root powder in ¼ cup hot water. Stir to combine. (Prepare cold infusion during this step if using dried Marshmallow root.)
  2. Put 2 Tbsp. honey into a glass measuring cup, and add Marshmallow root solution (or Marshmallow root cold infusion) to measuring cup until you have a total of ¼ cup liquid. Discard remaining Marshmallow root solution.
  3. Measure ½ cup Slippery Elm Bark powder into a mixing bowl, creating a well in the middle of the powder with your fingers. Pour honey/Marshmallow root solution over the Slippery Elm Bark powder.
  4. With clean hands, mix ingredients together until you can form a smooth ball of dough. Break small chunks off dough ball and form them into small lozenge-shaped drops. (I prefer oblong drops that are the size of a grape, but yours can be any shape/size.)
  5. Roll finished lozenges in a bit of Slippery Elm Bark powder so they are not sticky. Place on a plate or parchment paper and allow to dry completely (about 24 hours).
  6. Wrap each lozenge in a small piece of parchment paper or waxed paper. Store in a cool, dark, dry place. They will keep for a few months.

To Use:

Allow lozenge to slowly dissolve in your mouth. Repeat as needed.

 A few notes

While these throat lozenges are great, I do not recommend using them to treat illness. They might be beneficial for a pesky, dry cough and a sore throat, but I recommend consulting your health care provider if you have a persistent sore throat or cough, or a “chesty” cough that is accompanied by large amounts of phlegm.

If you make your own throat lozenges or cough drops share your experience with the community!


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Comments

  1. Jill says

    Love this idea–so simple too! Will definitely try it. I wonder how it would work using raw apple cider vinegar instead of distilled water? I use a mixture of ACV and honey to take by the spoonful for cough and sore throats when we have colds. This might be a way to make it “last” longer on the throat.

    • Betsy Jabs says

      We love ACV and honey for sore throats too! We usually add it to tea. I haven’t tried ACV in place of water, but please return and let us know how it works if you try it!

  2. says

    I am pretty sure this is the exact recipe I prepared last winter and LOVED it! Not only was it wonderful as a lozenge, but it dissolved beautifully into hot water for a quick tea. I highly recommend these!

  3. Nancy says

    I agree that it’s hard to find a good Lozenges. I love everything all natural if possible. Thanks for your advice, I really appreciate it.

  4. says

    I am so stoked (did I mention stoked) about this recipe! I have been looking for a recipe like this to replace my menthol cough drops. They work but they have too much sugar and I’m sure they have all sorts of junk in them. Every other recipe I had looked at was a little more complicated than what I was willing to do. Only thing I wish this recipe had was licorice root! Hey, I may just add it anyway. Thank you so much! Love the website and ya’ll rock!

    • Betsy Jabs says

      So glad you’ll be trying this recipe! Definitely go ahead and use licorice root! I decided to leave it out because people with high blood pressure shouldn’t use it and I actually can’t stand the flavor. :) You can actually leave out the Marshmallow root and just make a tea from licorice root to use for the liquid part of the recipe. Boil 1/2 cup water, add licorice root, simmer for about 10 minutes, strain, and add this licorice “tea” to the honey. Have fun!

  5. Jenn says

    I love your blog! In the last year, I have stopped using store-bought shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, acne treatment, deodorant, scrubs, and lotions. Thank you for taking the time to help everyone make better lifestyle choices.
    I tried the throat lozenge recipe tonight. I have to say….doughy slippery elm looks an awful lot like dog poo! I was hesitant to try it based on looks alone, but I put my big girl undies on and gave it a shot. I was surprised how pleasant it tasted. Kind of like honey bran.
    Thanks for another great recipe!

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Kudos to you Jenn! Those are some BIG changes to make all in one year!
      I’m so glad you liked the throat lozenge recipe! Your comment made me laugh. As I was snapping pictures for this article I kept thinking the finished lozenges looked like rabbit pellets. I wasn’t sure if I should incorporate them in the article or not…due to their lack of visual appeal. Hahaha! Good thing you had some big girl undies to put on for this project. ;)

  6. Dawn says

    Thanks, Betsy, for sharing another great idea!
    A word to the wise: it is not easy to make powder out of slippery elm bark, which was all I found. Even with a quality blender & spice grinder, I had powdered floss. Next time, I’ll look harder to find the powder. :-)