As an editor for Mother Earth News, I’m constantly surrounded by inspiring recipes and DIY projects. It can be a serious challenge to narrow down which ones to try, and which ones to simply accept as fodder for my Pinterest board. One of our natural health recipes, however, caught my attention from the first time I saw it. I craved the day I could throw down my red pen and replace it with a bag of fresh herbs — I simply had to test the Homemade Horehound Cough Drops Recipe before my eyes.
The stars aligned last spring when our Editor-in-Chief, Cheryl, developed a nagging cough. She casually mentioned that the horehound in her garden was doing well, and before I knew it I had volunteered to test the Horehound Cough Drops Recipe that had caught my eye. The very next morning a GIANT bag of fresh horehound appeared on my desk. I didn’t have much experience with horehound at the time, and I was surprised to see that the leaves are fuzzy and they feel super soft, kind of like sage. In the picture above, marshmallow is on the left and horehound is on the right.
I’m lucky enough to be an apprentice in an intensive local program that teaches how to grow herbs and process them for medicine. A few days after receiving the horehound, I was at my teacher’s home and she recommended that I add some marshmallow leaves to the cough drops; this is because marshmallow leaves help reduce inflammation in the mucus membranes and they also thin the mucus for easy expulsion from the body (more on that, here). This is a great benefit for someone with a nagging cough and deeply lodged phlegm. I plucked fresh marshmallow leaves from my teacher’s expansive herbal medicine garden, and I had all the fresh ingredients I needed to make the cough drops.