DIY: Cough & Cold Lozenges |

DIY: Cough & Cold Lozenges

admin August 27, 2012

Written by Kate Tietje

A while back, I had posted my recipe for cough and cold syrup.  That’s some pretty awesome stuff, very effective.  If taken at the onset of cold symptoms, it nearly stopped it and certainly decreased the severity and duration.  I love it.

It does kind of have a weird texture, though (because of the powdered fenugreek).  It does require refrigeration.   And it does only last a month, meaning that if you don’t use it all up, you waste it…and you certainly have to make a few batches through the winter if you want to have it on hand.

I wanted something that could be taken on the go, something that was shelf-stable.  Something that would make taking “medicine” easier.  I came up with this idea.  And it works, and it tastes good (faintly of elderberries and mostly like sugar).  Shelf-stable, too, so they will last all winter, and you could send someone to work with a little baggie of them.  How neat is that?

Cough & Cold Lozenges


  • 3 tbsp. elderberry
  • 1 tbsp. echinacea
  • 1 tbsp. slippery elm
  • 1 tbsp. fenugreek
  • 1 tbsp. wild cherry bark
  • 2 tbsp. rosehips
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cane sugar


Step 1: Prepare to make a strong tea by adding all the herbs into a glass jar.

Step 2: Pour boiling water over the herbs (about 1 cup) and let it steep for several hours (or overnight).

Step 3: After it’s steeped for at least several hours, strain the tea into a pot.  Mash the berries down to get all the juices in them.  You can pour a small amount of filtered water through the strainer.  You want to end up with 1 cup of syrup.  If you mess up and pour too much water while straining, you can simmer it until it’s back down to the final amount needed — 1 cup.

Step 4: Add cane sugar to the tea and stir it in.  Do not use regular white sugar, which is beet sugar; choose organic cane sugar for best results.

Step 5: Bring the herbal tea to a boil.  It will double in volume, so make sure your pot is big enough to contain it.   Allow it to boil, without stirring, for around 10 minutes, possibly a bit longer.  Using a candy thermometer, you want to reach at least 250ºF.

Step 6: Pour into a mold (I used this one) and give them a few minutes to harden.  Alternatively, you could just pour the syrup onto parchment paper and break it up later with a knife.  

Step 7: Once they’re hardened and cooled, transfer them to an airtight container.

Usage:  Take 1 drop as needed if you have a sore throat, cough, or feel a cold coming on.  Paired with lots of electrolytes and herbal throat spray, it can help get rid of colds faster.  You can also drink chicken broth and take cod liver oil for additional healing benefits.

What’s your go-to remedy for coughs and colds?

This is the writings of:

  1. I’m looking at ingredients as I prepare my Frontier order… did you use Echinacea purpurea or Echinacea angustifolia? Excited to try this!


  2. What a wonderful recipe! Thanks so much for sharing. Ill have to make some to get ready for winter soon!


  3. What a great idea! I can’t take the majority of cold and cough products on the market. I don’t believe I’m contraindicated for any of these.


  4. Great idea! I’ll have to get the ingredients and try this winter.


  5. Do you think I could use honey rather than sugar?


  6. […] I have really been digging on this Modern Alternative Mama website – you can learn to make your own homemade cough drops!  I don’t know about her […]


  7. […] Homemade Cold and Cough Lozenges by Modern Alternative Mama […]


  8. You’ve got one of this week’s featured posts on Wildcrafting Wednesday –


    I think I’m going to try these this year.


  9. Could you please explain why cane sugar is required, instead of white/beet sugar? Is it because you prefer to avoid genetically modified sugar beets? Or is there some other reason you recommend cane? Thanks!


  10. […] Cough and Cold Lozenges – Modern Alternative Mama shows you how to make homemade cough and cold lozenges that not only soothe a sore throat, but also help fight off a cold. […]


  11. Echinacea root or leaves? I’m guessing root…


  12. I have tried coating the drops in organic cornstarch, or arrowroot powder. Keeps them from getting so sticky. You can actually put some in a pie tin and then put divots in the powder, then pour the liquid right in and they form very nicely!


  13. […] I like to keep a few lozenges on hand for coughs and sore throats. Try making your own with this simple recipe. […]


  14. Where can I find these ingredients?!!


  15. I am going to try this with a candy mold or two. Also the pie tin with the powder ideal is awesome, Julee.


  16. […] Cold and Cough Lozenges — Keep these around in case you start to feel the dreaded cold coming on. […]


  17. […] Cough & Cold Lozenges by Modern Alternative Mama […]


  18. OK, so I tried this recipe, and there are a few things I needed a little help with. First, I couldn’t get Fenugreek seeds from my local herbalist, and I had everything else, so I went ahead and made this without that ingredient. Second, the only raw organic cane sugar I could get was Turbinado, so I hope that’s ok. Third, I don’t have a candy thermometer, so I just followed your bowl of cold water tip (after boiling for 12 minutes).
    Everything seemed fine until I poured the mixture out onto my silicon sheet to harden. It just won’t harden. It is staying as this gooey, sticky, thick mixture, and not hardening like candy. Which of my ingredient/process issues may have been the problem, and can I still salvage this???


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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