Homemade Cough Drops, Plus 2 More DIY Cold Remedies

Last Update: March 19, 2024

Want to find some quick cough relief with all-natural ingredients? Easy. Try these three DIY remedies next time you come down with a pesky cold and make your own homemade cough drops.

Do DIY Cough drops work? Each recipe helps soothe your throat without any chemical additives, so say goodbye to store-bought cough syrup, cough drops, and chest rub.

Honey-Lemon Cough Syrup

No more yucky artificially-flavored syrup—this DIY homemade cough drops version has just three ingredients and a clean, yummy taste. You will see that it is one of the best cough drops you’ve ever tried. Raw honey is like nature’s medicine—according to a Penn State College of Medicine study, it may work just as well as dextromethorphan (DM), the active cough suppressant in many over-the-counter cold medications.

Yield: 1 jar
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


1 cup raw honey
¼ to ½ cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh sage


Simmer honey, lemon juice, and sage over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain through a sieve into a small jar with a lid. Let cool and store in refrigerator up to one month. Drink 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to relieve cough, as symptoms persist—since the concoction consists of whole ingredients, you can generally have as much as you want without risk of overmedicating.

Coconut Oil Cough Drops

It’s pretty easy to whip up your own cough drops with just a few ingredients. Raw honey and lemon make an appearance once again, alongside cinnamon, and refined or unrefined coconut oil make the best cough drop alternative.

Yield: 20 to 25 cough drops
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


½ cup coconut oil, room temperature
½ cup raw honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)


Whip coconut oil with a hand or stand mixer, 5 minutes. Add honey, lemon, and cinnamon, then continue whipping for 5 more minutes or until well combined for this recipe for cough drop alternatives. This is more than just a recipe for homemade cough drops, this receipt is a fantastic natural remedy.

Divide mixture into sections of an ice cube tray, filling each only ¼ to ½ full, depending on the size of the sections. Freeze for about 20 minutes. Pop the cough drops out of the tray and store in a jar in the refrigerator. Dissolve one on the tongue to relieve a scratchy throat, as many times a day as needed.

Essential Oil Chest Rub

Ditch the noxious VapoRub for this DIY recipe courtesy of Wellness Mama. Free of petrolatum, parabens, and chemicals, this version harnesses the benefits of essential oils. Eucalyptus may reduce congestion and peppermint can help open up nasal passages.

Essential oils are so strong, in fact, that you’ve got to be careful when it comes to creating a formula for babies and children—you should use as little as possible, and avoid certain kinds altogether, as indicated below and here. Consult your pediatrician before use.

Yield: 1 container
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes


2 tablespoons beeswax pastilles
½ cup olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil
20 drops eucalyptus oil (use only 4 drops for use on babies and young children)
20 drops peppermint oil (substitute 4 drops fir essential oil for use on babies and small children)
10 drops rosemary oil (skip for use on babies and small children)


Melt beeswax with oil of choice in a double boiler. Add essential oils and stir until mixed well. Pour into a short, wide jar or tin with a lid for easy access. Let cool and store at room temperature. Massage into chest as needed to help reduce coughing and relieve congestion. They also work great as a cough drop alternative.

Photo credit: Alicia Cho

This article is related to:

Coconut Oil Recipes, DIY, Health, Tips

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Dana Poblete

Dana's love for all creatures under the sun (bugs, too) drives her in her advocacy for ethical eating, environmental sustainability, and cruelty-free living. A natural born islander, she surfs when she can, and writes, always.

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