I have to say that when your throat is on fire, a good cough drop can save the moment!
There is the issue of sugar when making these for we know too much sugar can suppress the immune system. We cannot live without glucose and our brains will actually seize up and die fast without it. I had to get okay with some quality sugary sweet products, seek quality sugars, and realize that it’s like water and the sun, too much will kill us. We still need them all, right? Sweetness is part of the chemistry of preserving the medicines we make and it just improves flavor for some situations.
Here’s an easy recipe for honoring what White Pine can offer us when we have fiery throats, lots of mucus, and coughing from ailing lungs. Honey does not have the chemistry for this to work. I tried with poor results and hate cooking honey most of the time. I do have an old canning book that uses honey exclusively for making jams and they are delicious! Yes, you loose some of the benefits of raw honey but you never sacrifice flavor or health benefits.
So let's visit White Pine for a moment. Many forget to tun to this tree when we have colds and flus. White pine is usually right outside or near, depending on where you live, and you can simply pinch the tips with much gratitude for her greenery in the winter! This tree has a strong mothering kind of energy when we are sick and needing help. Making tea for drinking or pouring into the bath are ancient practices available to us for addressing infections and flus deep in our respiratory system and for keeping mucus fluid and flowing outward. This is the body's way of healing itself. Decongestants dry us out and will only compound the problem of making mucus too thick to move and then the bacteria have a perfect world to thrive in and secondary infections begin, such as bronchitis, sinus, or ear infections. Think rest and fluid, rest and fluid.
I added Thyme to this for I had so much from the summer abundance! Thyme is a fantastic immune supportive herb, is a potent bronchodilator, meaning opens airway passages for better air movement, and has much to offer for antimicrobial strength too. Why do you think it made it into our food so long ago? It was for these very reasons when we were without refrigeration and still learning about germs, right?
These are a hit in my house and they're pretty easy to make and delicious too. Bringing the outside in and remembering that winter does end, so enjoy the now, is good medicine this time of year. White Pine in the belly works for me!
Mama White Pine, Lemon & Thyme Cough Drops
ElderMoon School of Herbal Medicine and Earth Awareness
Jennifer Costa, Herbalist-RN, Teacher, BS, EM-CST, and Founder of ElderMoon School of Herbs & Earth Medicine