Make Your Own Horehound Cough Drops

The cold and flu season is here and we have had a cold running its course through our home lately.  A few of us were coughing and congested so this morning I decided to make up a batch of horehound cough drops.  I took pictures along the way.... 

To make these cough drops you will need the bulk herb, horehound, honey and a little cream of tartar. I bought my horehound from Mountain Rose Herbs .  You can find my recipe on this page:

Begin by making a strong tea out of the herbs and water. Use ¾ to 1 cup of dried horehound for each cup of water. In the batch you see here I used 4 cups of dried herbs and 4 cups of water.

Put the herbs and water in a stock pot ..



Bring to a boil and let boil for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for about ½ hour.

Now it is time to strain the herbs. I use a juice pitcher, cheese cloth and clothes pins.


I pin the cheese cloth onto the juice pitcher leaving space to catch the herbs and the tea drains into the pitcher.

When I was done I had a little over 2 cups of tea.

I put this into my pan

Along with 3 cups of honey. You will need to 1 ½ cups of honey for each cup of tea.

Add ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter for each cup of tea…

Bring this to a boil. You will need a candy thermometer and let the mixture boil until it reaches 300 degrees.

While this is boiling spray a large pan with sides on it like a jelly roll pan, with non stick spray or you can use butter too.

When your tea/honey mixture has reached 300 degrees (this may take a few minutes to get there), pour into prepared pan…

Spread out and let cool slightly

As soon as it has cooled but is not hard yet you can score it with a knife. This will make it easier to break into pieces.

When it has completely cooled, break into pieces.

Use when you have a tickly throat, sore throat, congestion, cough and related symptoms of the cold and flu season.


  1. oh, so cool! thank you!

  2. Oh, thanks so much for the recipe and links! I will definitely be preparing these by the end of cold season :)

  3. for this recipe. I grow horehound in my herb garden, but hadn't yet found a recipe for lozenges. I look forward to making these.


  4. Too bad you can't enter an outside url when you try to register. I guess I'll pass!

  5. gingerbreadstars.blogspot.comDecember 7, 2008 at 6:50 AM

    You amaze me with all you great ideas!!! I am sooo going to make these. My mom loves horehound drops and so this will make a great gift for her in the winter. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this! I just love your blog and website with all your tips and recipes! God bless and Merry Christmas!


  7. Crystal, these are awesome! I am definitely going to make these. Mountain Rose Herbs is one of my favorites too!

  8. Ooo I've made these and they are sooo good. I swear by them. A great tip is to use a bit of powdered sugar to shake on them and it keeps them from sticking together if you package it up.

  9. What a great idea, I bet these are amazing.

    I just made your homemade laundry soap for the first time last week, and we love it. Thanks for sharing all your amazing ideas.

  10. Wasn't very successful mixing slippery elm with the horehound -- I think you might have to add that to the tea after it's strained and just have cloudy candies. It wouldn't squeeze through the sack very easily...

    But they came out great!

    When they were cool enough to handle, but not yet stiff, I pulled bits off and rolled them in my palms to make actual drops. Probably managed to get about 2/3 of the syrup into drops before it got too stiff to work -- the rest will be crack.

    I put a little oil on my hands to keep them from sticking, and set the drops on wax paper when they were made into drops.

  11. I wanted to be sure of the proportions. 2 cups of tea plus 3 cups of honey and an ADDITIONAL 1.5 cups of honey for each cup of tea. That's a total of 6 cups of honey, correct?


  12. You would need 3 cups of honey.
    This comment, if it had a comma and not a period, would mean 3 additional cups.

    Along with 3 cups of honey. You will need to 1 ½ cups of honey for each cup of tea.

  13. Actually it is supposed read.. 1 1/2 cups of honey per cup of tea (3 cups total) .. Sorry for the confusion..

  14. Thanks for the clarification on the recipe. I'm afraid my horehound didn't flourish as anticipated and I didn't get to make this from my own homegrown plants but I suspect my food co-op might have it in bulk.

    thanks again!

  15. This is a great recipe! I wonder if it would work with corn syrup instead of honey?

    1. Anon.. I've never used corn syrup to make this.. from a health perspective I could not recommend it.. and not having done it, I can't say if it would work or not.


  16. Can I make these and then freeze them or will they keep in an airtight container for a few months?

  17. Mine taste burnt. They barely made it to 300*F, but are burnt none the less. How do I keep this from happening?

    1. I usually add a tablespoon of butter right when I smell the first whiff of scorching.

      Here's my own herbal cough drop recipe - I had to do a few batches before I figured out the butter trick. :)

      Homemade Cough Drops

  18. I will be trying this for sure.nthanks so much for sharing it.


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