Homemade Cough Drops

• 3 inches peeled ginger root, sliced into ½-inch pieces

• 3 cold-and-flu tea bags or other therapeutic tea (optional)

• 4 cups water

• 1 cup raw honey

• 10 drops food-grade peppermint essential oil

• Confectioners’ sugar


Boil ginger, tea (if using) and water together. Reduce to about 1 cup by simmering on low. Strain and reserve liquid.

Heat tea mixture and honey together in a thick-bottomed pot over medium heat. Do not allow to boil over (adjust temperature as needed). Stir constantly until the mixture reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.

Add the peppermint oil. (It may smoke a little.) Stir rapidly to incorporate. Pour immediately into small candy molds or onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Sil-Pat mat and dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

If not using candy molds, let the mixture rest, then cut into 1-inch-by-½-inch rectangles with a well-greased knife. Once cooled completely, dust each drop with confectioners’ sugar, wrap with wax paper, and store in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to three months.

Vapor Rub

•1 cup coconut oil

• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 30 drops peppermint essential oil

• 30 drops eucalyptus essential oil

• 15 drops rosemary or tea tree essential oil

• 15 drops clove or cinnamon essential oil


Melt the coconut and olive oils in a double boiler. Once melted, add in the essential oils and stir. Pour into a heat-safe container and allow to cool. Store at room temperature and use liberally on chest to help clear stuffiness and congestion.

Shower Vapor Tabs

• Baking soda

• Water

• Essential oils (peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree)


In a bowl, combine enough baking soda and water to form a paste the consistency of peanut butter. For every cup of paste, add 90 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Scoop paste into paper-lined muffin tin cups, making each tab about ¾-inch thick. Allow to air-dry overnight. Store in an airtight bag or container until ready to use.

To use, remove one tab from the paper liner and place in the bottom of the shower. As the hot water splashes the tab, it releases vapors and helps relieve congestion.

Albany Times Union