When I have a cough, I take lagundi brew. It’s effective, it’s safe and it’s free because what used to be a lagundi shrub in the garden has grown into a tree and we get a constant supply of leaves. The only downside is that lagundi brew is bitter. Sam takes a different approach to cough relief—homemade cough drops. Not only do they relieve itchy throat fast, they’re delicious to boot!
Sam’s homemade cough drops are made with fresh ginger, grated cinnamon, cloves, lemon juice, honey and sugar syrup. She cooked the mixture on the stovetop then dropped teaspoonfuls on the silicone mat (we use Silpat at home) to set. When cooled, the cough drops were tossed in a mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar to prevent them from sticking to each other.
What makes these homemade cough drops effective? Well, think of it this way. Ginger brew has long been known to be effective to relieve itchy throat. With these cough drops, you get the same relief with the added health benefits of cloves which has long been used as an expectorant. Cinnamon has a long history in traditional medicine too although there seems to be doubt as to its effectiveness against specific ailments like diabetes and high blood pressure. Well, these are cough drops, not a cure for diabetes nor high blood pressure. If cinnamon doesn’t live up to its reputation as an effective ingredient in traditional medicine, it does add flavor and warmth that soothes the throat.
- 1 cup sugar - (for diabetics, substitute coco sugar)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ginger paste - (made by grinding fresh ginger)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 to 2 tablespoons honey
- fine salt
- 1 tablespoon corn starch - sifted
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar - sifted
- In a small thick-bottomed pan, stir together the sugar, ginger paste, cloves and cinnamon with half a cup of water.
- Over medium heat, cook the mixture until thick. Ideally, it should reach the "crack stage" which means that when dropped in iced water, the mixture cracks.
- Remove the pan off the heat immediately and cool slightly. Stir in the honey.
- Drop by teaspoonfuls on a non-stick mat or paper. Sprinkle lightly with fine salt. Allow to cool completely and set.
- Whisk together the corn starch and powdered sugar in a bowl.
- Toss the cooled cough drops in the starch mixture.
- Store the cough drops in a jar with a tight lid.
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If you’re interested in the hand-painted jar, visit Azotea.