Make Your Own Sore-Throat Lozenges

Herbs and honey on a wooden table

Marina Shanti

This DIY recipe for throat-soothing pastilles requires only 4 ingredients and is as lovely as it is effective.

There are a lot of great natural remedies to tame an aching throat, but for someone either stuck in bed or on the go, gargling with salt water or making a cup of hot lemon tea may not be the most convenient trick. These are the times to use a throat lozenge, but alas, have you read the ingredients in the most common commercial throat and cough drops? Many of them include all kinds of artificial colors and flavors, and sugar, and other active and inactive ingredients that you may be hoping to avoid. So here's an idea, make your own!

This recipe in inspired by one form the book "Homemade: How to make hundreds of everyday products fast, fresh, and more naturally and could hardly be more simple." It calls for dried rose and violet petals, and if you don't have a stash in your pantry (a girl can dream), culinary-grade dried flowers are abundant and affordable on Etsy. And the magic ingredient here is marshmallow root, a demulcent herb that has been used for ages in treating sore throats, among other things. It can be purchased online or at most health food stores.

• 1/4 cup dried petals from untreated violets
• 1/4 cup dried petals from untreated roses
• Honey or maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon dried marshmallow root

With a mortar and pestle or food processor crush petals until they become a fine powder. Stir in honey or syrup until the mix is thick enough to form into balls and then add in marshmallow root. If the mixture is too wet, add more petals.

Form into small balls (from pea-side to garbanzo-size) and place them on a greased cookie sheet; allow to dry for 24 to 48 hours (until they are hard). Wrap in wax paper and store in a cool, dry place. Use as needed, get better soon!