With winter here, the season not only brings lots of joy with the holidays, but often a number of illnesses like the flu, colds, and coughs. While most people reach for store-bought throat lozenges to ease a cough, those often come with a number of unwanted, and potentially harmful ingredients like artificial colors and preservatives. It’s not a good idea to ingest those toxins at any time, but it’s even worse when you’re sick.
The good news is that it’s easy to make your own cough drops right at home, using just a few ingredients that are 100% safe, allowing you to treat that cough naturally, and in a more satisfying way. While it may seem unlikely, there are proven reasons behind each one of the ingredients that when combined together, make this recipe extremely effective.
Coconut oil not only helps to soothe a sore throat and halt a cough, it helps to strengthen the immune system at the same time. It’s loaded with antioxidants and offers both antibacterial and antiviral properties. It has a high level of lauric acid, a healthy fatty acid, that is known to fight bacteria and even create a hostile environment for viruses, which helps to support the immune system. Coconut is actually comprised of 50 percent lauric acid, which the body converts to monolaurin, an antiviral agent that can fight off all sorts of viruses and pathogens, including HIV, herpes, influenza and harmful protozoa like giardia lamblia.
Because coconut oil boosts the immune system, it may even help reduce the length of an illness too.
Honey offers especially powerful antimicrobial and antiviral properties. In fact, its famous for its ability to naturally cure cold and cough. In fact, scientific studies have found that honey can be just as effective for treating a cough as an over-the-counter cough medicine. Researchers believe that it may be due in part to honey’s thick consistency, which helps to coat the throat, as well as its ability to trigger nerve endings to protect one from an unrelenting cough.
If you have a cough related to allergies, be sure to use raw honey, ideally produced locally, as it can be even more effective. That’s because the pollens that are most common to a particular area are present in honeypurchased locally. When flying from one flower to the next, the bees become covered with pollen spores, and those spores are transferred to the honey they produce. Consuming it then helps one build up immunity to what’s encountered in that environment. A 2010 study showed that those who had been diagnosed with a birch pollen allergy were able to reduce 60 percent of their allergy symptoms as well as decrease days with severe symptoms by 70 percent by consuming the honey during birch pollen season.
The honey in this recipe not only serves as the binding ingredient to hold the cough drops together, it offers a sweet flavor that makes them taste great too.
Cinnamon not only has a wonderful taste and aroma, this powerful spice has been used medicinally across the globe for thousands of years. Those health benefits are derived from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree which contains a number of compounds like cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and cinnamate that are responsible for its health promoting abilities. Cinnamon also offers special phenolic properties, including antioxidants and flavonoids. In fact, researchers have discovered that there are over 40 different protective compounds in this spice – which all come together to help strengthen the immune system. The oils in cinnamon can even protect against a variety of bacteria that can lead to health issues, including a cold or the flu.
Cinnamon also helps allergy sufferers as it lowers inflammation while fighting histamine reactions.
Homemade 3-Ingredient Cough Drops
These three ingredients all come together to help you create your own homemade cough drops in the recipe below.
- ½ cup coconut oil (here are the best brands)
- ½ cup honey (local honey for allergy related coughs, or raw honey – such as this Eco Bee Farms Raw Honey)
- 1 ½ tsp organic cinnamon
- Small ice cube tray
- Container for storing
- Gather all ingredients and the small ice cube tray.
- Measure and place the coconut oil into a small bowl.
- Beat with a hand mixer until whipped.
- Add honey and whip until coconut oil and honey are mixed.
- Add cinnamon and mix well.
- Pour mix into small ice cube tray.
- Freeze for at least 20 minutes or until the are hard.
- Pop the cough drops out of the ice cube tray and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator till needed.