Every once in a while the kids and I come down with a runny nose, sore throat, and other flu symptoms. Elderberry syrup is a staple in our home, but my kids also love these cough drop lollipops. They’re like cough drops but in sucker form.
DIY Cold & Cough Throat Lozenges
I probably don’t have to convince you why most store-bought cough suppressant syrups and cold medicines aren’t on my nice list! It could be the red food dye #40, the added acetaminophen and ibuprofen, or maybe the artificial flavors. I’ve made a lot of natural cold and flu remedies over the years, but organic throat drops are one of my kid’s favorites.
Many years ago I made homemade cough drops for the kids and they couldn’t get enough of them. They feature a variety of herbs that are great for sore throat relief. Throat drops and cough drops aren’t suitable for all kids though, especially little ones who haven’t learned how not to swallow things whole yet.
By putting the cough drop on a stick it makes it a little more fun and more appropriate for little kids. As always though, be sure to supervise little ones with their lollipops to prevent any choking hazards. In general kids cough drop lollipops are recommended for ages 2 and up. Kids who are younger than this could use natural children’s cough syrup instead.
I really like this kid’s propolis cough syrup from Beekeeper’s Naturals!
Want to Buy it?
If DIY honey lollipops aren’t your thing, then there are some good options to buy too.
- Beekeeper’s Naturals has honey and propolis throat-soothing lollipops for kids. They come in a variety pack of different flavors like strawberry, mixed berry with elderberry, and green apple.
- Lolleez is another good brand that uses organic and non-GMO ingredients, including organic elderberry and organic honey. Their lollipops feature throat-soothing pectin and come in different flavors like watermelon and orange mango. Get them here.
Honey Lemon Cough Drop Lollipops
If you do want to tackle making your own throat-soothing lollipops, then read on!
It took a while for me to get this recipe right and there are a few tricks to get it to work. Honey is a little touchier to work with than sugar when it comes to making candy. It may be tempting to crank up the heat to speed up the process, but this quickly results in burnt honey (which smells terrible by the way).
It took me about 40-45 minutes of babysitting the honey mixture on the stove before it got hard enough to pour into the molds. You want to use a low to medium-low heat to slowly heat the honey. Mine never got to the full 300 degrees on the candy thermometer without burning, but I found that about 280 still worked. These will be a little stickier than something like Halls or Ricola brand cough drops.
An easy way to test if the mixture is the right consistency is to drop a few drops into a bowl of ice water. If it hardens and doesn’t bend, then it’s done. I also took the pan off the stove and stirred it every time it started to foam up (about every 30-60 seconds once it really started to cook). If you allow the mixture to foam up high on the heat it’s more likely to burn.
Throat Soothing Ingredients
Honey and lemon juice are great for sore throats on their own, but I’ve also added some beneficial herbs to these cough drop lollipops.
- Echinacea – A really popular cold and flu remedy, echinacea is antibacterial and antiviral. It also helps soothe sore throats and coughs. This herb works best if taken at the very first signs of illness.
- Mullein – Known for its respiratory support benefits, mullein acts as an expectorant, reduces inflammation, and calms coughing spasms. It’s often recommended for dry, unproductive coughs and a variety of respiratory issues, like asthma and bronchitis.
- Elderberry – A flu-fighting powerhouse that lends a berry flavor to these lollipops. It also helps with coughs, congestion, and overall immune support.
- Hibiscus – Really high in vitamin C hibiscus gives this a fruity flavor. It’s traditionally been used for sore throats, colds, and coughs. It also helps move stuck mucus and strengthens the immune system. Plus it cools and soothes irritated mucous membranes.
These tasty cough drop lollipops are naturally gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and a hit with kids!
Homemade Cough Drop Lollipops
These DIY sore throat soothing pops are great for cold & flu season. They’re kid-friendly and feature real honey with soothing herbs.
Homemade Cough Drop Lollipops
Amount Per Serving (1 lollipop)
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 0.001g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.003g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.001g
Vitamin A 12IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
These cough drop lollipops need closely watched and constantly stirred while making. The honey can quickly burn if it overheats.
Storing The Lollipops
Since these are a little stickier thanks to the honey they need individually wrapped in parchment paper. My first batch all stuck together in the container and then broke when I tried to take them apart. Another option is to coat the sucker with some arrowroot powder.
They should last for at least several weeks at room temperature, but they’ve never made it past a week at my house because my kids eat them. Be sure to store them in a cool, dry place.
Have you ever made your own cough drops or suckers before? Any tips? Leave a comment and let us know!