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How to Make Homemade Cough Drops [with Honey]

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 homemade honey cough drops recipe is just what you need.

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

Homemade 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.

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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.

Best Honey for Making Throat Lozenges

Honey is made by honey bees using nectar gathered from blooming flowers. Ripe honey keeps well without spoiling 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.

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In fact, you can prolong the color and flavor by choosing the best place in your kitchen for storage. I give some great tips in my article: How to Store Honey

Which honey is best for homemade remedies? I honestly don’t think it matters. The flavor and color is determined by the type of plant nectar collected.

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

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.

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

Homemade Cough Drop Recipe – {Honey, Lemon, Cinnamon & Ginger}

Charlotte Anderson @ Carolina Honeybees, LLC
Making your own honey cough drops is easy. These honey and lemon throat 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.
4.39 from 13 votes


  • 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.
    Ingredients in sauce pan for honey cough drops image.
  • 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.
    Heating cough drop recipe in saucepan and testing temperature with thermometer image.
  • 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 candle 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.
    Using spoon to pour hot cough drops on pad image.
  • 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.
Learn more about bees and using products from the hive!Join me on Instagram – @carolina_honeybees

Cooking 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

Soothing Symptom Relief With Honey

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.

If you are a coffee lover, perhaps a Honey Bee Latte will give some relief too.

Starting with this basic recipe, it’s your turn to experiment. 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.

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