Mother Earth Living’s horehound cough drops and Learning Herbs’ herbal cough drops are two recipes to make homemade cough drops, according to the Mother Earth Living and Learning Herbs websites. The first uses fresh horehound, a natural cough suppressant and expectorant, while the latter uses a mix of dried herbs.
To make Mother Earth Living’s recipe, bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of fresh horehound leaves to a boil, and then reduce the heat, and simmer the leaves for 20 minutes. Cool the mixture, squeeze the liquid from the leaves, and remove them from the pan. Add 2 cups of sugar and 2 tablespoons of honey to the pan, return the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Boil the mixture to the hard-crack stage at 330 F, using a cup of cold water to test for hardness. Pour the hot mixture into a buttered candy mold or onto a baking sheet, scoring the candy to make it easier to break. Once the cough drops are firm, break into pieces, and powder them with sugar to prevent them from sticking to one another.
Prepare Learning Herbs’ recipe by making a strong-brewed tea with 1 tablespoon each of dried sage leaves, dried hyssop leaves and dried thyme leaves. Allow the tea to steep for 15 minutes, covered, and then combine 1/2 cup of the herbal tea with 2 cups of organic sugar and 3/4 cup of organic black-strap molasses. Using a candy thermometer, bring the mixture to 300 F, and then pour the hot mixture into a greased candy mold or on a baking sheet. Score the candy into individual drops, and once the mixture is firm, break into pieces, and coat with a powdered herb, such as rose petal powder.