Popping a cough drop or throat lozenge when you suffer from a sore throat is one of the most effective ways to deal with a sore throat.
The history of honey-based candies made to soothe sore throats dates back to 1000 BC in Egypt. These candies were usually flavored with medicinal herbs or spices and citrus. It wasn’t until about the 19th century that modern medicine started shaping the formulation of these throat lozenges.
Today, throat lozenges come in a variety of formulations that use different approaches to bring relief. More often than not, we are unfamiliar with the constituents of these throat lozenges, which usually contain additives, artificial colors, and preservatives – just check ingredients labels, and you may have a surprise.
Women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding are often advised not to take commercial throat lozenges. Also, many are high in sugar content, which is not good for people with diabetes.
In contrast, making your own from natural ingredients allows you to include honey as a healthier alternative to sugar, and ginger which is an anti-inflammatory herbal medicine that is beneficial for diabetes.
So, if you like to know exactly what you and your family members consume, homemade throat lozenges are best for a sore throat.
Making lozenges at home may take a little time, but it gives you a break from the unwanted additives in the commercial alternatives.
- Steps to Make Homemade Throat Lozenges
- Step 1. Peel and crush a ginger root
- Step 2. Combine ginger and water in a pan
- Step 3. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer
- Step 4. Strain the water
- Step 5. Combine ginger extract and honey in a pan
- Step 6. Bring the mixture to a boil
- Step 7. Add lemon zest and let it simmer
- Step 8. When the syrup thickens, cast lozenges in powdered sugar
- Step 9. Dust with sugar and refrigerate overnight
- Tips to keep in mind
Steps to Make Homemade Throat Lozenges
Things you’ll need:
- Ginger root, raw– 2 to 3 inches
- Water – 1 cup
- Honey – 1 cup
- Lemon zest – 1 tablespoon
- Powdered sugar, for casting lozenges. If you want to avoid sugar, you can use alternatives like stevia or palmyra jaggery, etc.
Step 1. Peel and crush a ginger root
- Peel 2 to 3 inches of raw ginger root.
You may use a vegetable peeler or a paring knife for the job. Crush the peeled ginger completely with a mortar and pestle. Crushing makes it easier to extract the anti-inflammatory juice from the ginger.
Ginger has long been used in the medicinal systems of different cultures as an effective remedy for a sore throat. It inhibits inflammation in the throat, thus bringing relief. It is also effective against the viruses and bacteria which are usually the root cause of a sore throat. (1)
Step 2. Combine ginger and water in a pan
Pour 1 cup of water into a pan and add the crushed ginger to it.
Step 3. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer
Turn the heat on, cover the pan and bring the water to a boil. Then, turn the heat to low and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. When you start smelling a strong aroma of ginger from the pan, remove it from the heat.
Step 4. Strain the water
Strain the water through a strainer, collecting the liquid ginger extract in a pitcher or jug. You can discard the pieces of ginger.
Step 5. Combine ginger extract and honey in a pan
- Pour the ginger extract back into the pan and add 1 cup of honey to it.
Honey is another ingredient that is revered across the globe for its many health benefits – one of which is its ability to soothe sore throats and discourage coughs in a flu-ridden body. Honey also has antibacterial and antiviral actions to help kill the germs responsible for your sore throat. (2)
Step 6. Bring the mixture to a boil
Again, bring the liquid in the pan to a boil.
Step 7. Add lemon zest and let it simmer
Add 1 tablespoon of lemon zest to the syrup in the pot and let it simmer slowly for about 3 hours, stirring the pot occasionally. Let the syrup cool down.
Lemon zest contains natural oils that are beneficial in bringing relief to a sore throat. The nutritional concentration in lemon zest is more than within the fruit itself.
Step 8. When the syrup thickens, cast lozenges in powdered sugar
When the syrup cools down and acquires a thick consistency, consider it ready for making the lozenges. Cover a sheet of butter paper with a thick layer of powdered sugar. Make small, similar-sized holes in the sugar with your finger. Use a spoon to pour a little honey-ginger syrup into each of the holes.
Step 9. Dust with sugar and refrigerate overnight
Dust the top of all the syrup dollops with powdered sugar. This will help the lozenges take their shape and set. Pop the lozenges into the refrigerator and allow them to set overnight. The next morning, pick the lozenges out of the sugar and store them in a glass container.
Tips to keep in mind
- If your sore throat persists for more than a week, consult your doctor.
- Lozenges will relieve your sore throat, but try other remedies as well like gargles, warm drinks, and soothing teas for a speedy recovery.
- Instead of plain honey, you can use saffron-infused honey. You can also just put a pinch of saffron threads in the pan along with the honey. While costly, saffron contains essential oils that make it an effective remedy against cold, the flu and coughs.
- Instead of ginger extract, you can use water infused with herbs like cinnamon, chamomile, and cloves to make your homemade lozenges.
2. Ahmed S, Sulaiman SA, Baig AA, et al. Honey as a Potential Natural Antioxidant Medicine: An Insight into Its Molecular Mechanisms of Action. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29492183. Published January 18, 2018.
Summary of How to Make Lozenges for a Sore Throat:
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