Homemade Honey Cough Drops

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Coughs, sore throats and colds are no fun and leave many of us seeking ways to feel better while we wait for them to leave. Using honey in natural remedies is nothing new, and has seen a resurgence in popularity. Do you share a concern about the use of synthetic medicines? If so, this recipe for homemade cough drops with honey is just what you need.

Finished honey cough drops and ingredients on a blue plate image.

DIY Cough Drops

Honey has been used in health regimes dating back to the middle ages. Even our modern medical establishments have recognized the value of honey.

In recent times, it is documented to aid in relief for coughs or sore throats. While not a cure, any relief is welcomed when you are feeling bad.

Sure you can purchase cough drops and some of them work very well. However, what is really in them? Can you read all the ingredients on the label? Do you know what it means?

By making your own homemade honey cough drops, you know what is in them. There is no guess work or hard to pronounce ingredients.


  • honey
  • lemon juice
  • ground cinnamon
  • ginger


Honey is made by honey bees using nectar gathered from blooming flowers. Ripe honey doesn’t spoil and stores in the hive for a long time.

Honey also keeps well for us -when properly stored. It does not go bad and never requires refrigeration. And we can use honey for so many wonderful things with it!

What is the best honey for making throat lozenges ? I honestly don’t think it matters which variety you use for home remedies.

In general, good honey is just that. Nutritionally, there is very little difference among the different varieties. Sourwood, Clover, Wildflower are all basically the same.

However, it is believed that darker colored honey has slightly more minerals. I chose to use my regular dark honey when making cough drops.

When shopping, buy from a local small scale beekeeper, if possible. This is the best way to ensure you are getting raw honey.

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It retains more pollen and nutritious goodies. These are often filtered out in commercial packaging.


In a pinch bottled lemon juice will work just fine for making homemade cough drops. However, if you have the option – choose to squeeze some fresh juice of your own.


Ground cinnamon is available in an local market. Regular is fine but I think that ceylon cinnamon is a little more potent.

Ginger Root:

Find a nice plump ginger root at your local market or grocery. You only need a small amount and it is not very costly.


Primary steps to make cough drops at honey cooking ingredients and cooling.

1. Mix together ingredients in a large sauce pan. The mixture will boil up so give your self plenty of room or you will be cleaning the stove top.

2. Heat and stir constantly until the mixture reaches the hard-crack candy stage on a candy thermometer.

3. Remove from heat and let the mixture begin to cool. When you see that it is beginning to thicken, it is time to form the cough drops.

You can use a mold but dropping them by the small spoonful on a silicone mat works very well too.

4. Optional, once the honey cough drops are completely cool – a light sprinkling of powder sugar is a good idea. It helps to reduce the problem of them becoming sticky.

These natural drops are sticker than some commercial brands. Use a little powdered sugar, you will be glad you did. Store in air-tight container.

Silicone Molds for Making Cough Drops

Now seriously, you don’t need a mold to make your own cough drops – but it can help maintain a consistent shape. There are many types of silicone candy molds that work well.

Keep in mind that these throat drops will go in your mouth. Don’t make them too big so that they become a choking risk. If you choose to not use a mold – dropping the hot mixture on a silicone mat will work.

Expert Tips

  • process is similar to making candy – may work better when it is not humid
  • be sure to cook the recipe to the required temperature to ensure setting
  • store finished honey cough drops in tight sealing container
  • to ensure no sticking – wrap each one individually with wax paper

Soothing Relief With Honey Lozenges

While there is no cure for the common cold, honey has been recognized as an aid for relief. When used, it reduced the amount of nighttime coughing and that helps improve the quality of sleep.

Starting with this basic recipe, it’s your turn to experiment. Try adjusting the flavor by adding a few drops of a food safe essential oil or flavoring oil.

Or for your cough drops, if you want them stronger – add a bit more ginger or even less – whatever fits your needs and taste buds. Have fun creating a perfect recipe for honey cough drops for your family to enjoy.

And, they are many other ways to seek relief through using honey. Perhaps you like to sip hot tea – try this Honey, Lemon Ginger tea. If you are a coffee lover, perhaps a hot Honey Bee Latte will give some relief.

To aid with that stuffy feeling of congestion, a common herbal remedy is to use a DIY Vapor Rub on your chest at night. The soothing vapors of essential oils offer some relief.

Finished honey cough drops and ingredients on a blue plate image.

Homemade Cough Drops

Charlotte Anderson @ Carolina Honeybees, LLC
Making your own honey cough drops with this easy recipe. Honey lozenges are a great item to keep on hand. With a few simple ingredients and just a bit of patience, you will have a supply of natural cough drops ready to use.
4.46 from 33 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Snacks
Cuisine American
Servings 20 drops
Calories 28 kcal


  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar/cinnamon optional


  • Mix together the honey, ground cinnamon, lemon juice and ginger in a deep saucepan.
    Heat this mixture to a slow boil – stirring frequently. Use a wide flat spoon to stir well and prevent burning on the bottom.
  • As with making hard candy, we want the mix to reach the hard-crack stage. A candy thermometer is helpful to determine when the 300F/150C temperature is reached.
    If you do not have a thermometer, drop a bit of the heated mixture into a bowl of cool water. When it hardens instantly — you are ready.
  • Remove from heat and let the mixture begin to cool. Once it begins to thicken, you are ready to pour.
    Pour or spoon your honey cough drop mix into a mold of your choice. I often chose the hexagon shapes because I’m a beekeeper.
    If you don’t have a mold, use a spoon to drop small amounts onto a piece of foil paper or a silicone mat. Keep your drops small – mine were a bit larger than I liked. But they worked out fine.
  • Leave the honey cough drops to cool while you clean your utensils.
  • Once completely cool to the touch, sprinkle them drops with a mixture of powdered sugar and cinnamon.
    Use your fingers to coat the surface of the cough drops and shake off any excess. This helps prevent them sticking together.
  • Store in an air tight container and use when needed.


*This mixture will foam and expand during boiling. Choose a pan that is deeper than you may think necessary. As the foam builds up, remove the pan off the burner for a few seconds to allow the foam to settle down.
*Don’t try this on a rainy day. Dry low humidity days are the best for candy making
*These honey cough drops are not extremely sweet because of the lemon juice, ginger and cinnamon.


Serving: 1gCalories: 28kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 7mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
Keyword diy cough drops, Homemade Honey Cough Drops with Lemon, honey lozenges
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