1Making the tea:
These cough drops are a way to use some of the herbs you have grown or that you find growing near you. I go out and collect everything that is abundant and have properties that are good for cough drops (expectorant, anti-microbial, mucilaginous). Some herbs I have used are elecampane, thyme, sage, echinacea, marshmallow, angelica, elder flowers, mullein and comfrey.
2I collect everything and throw all the roots in a pot and simmer these for about 30 minutes then throw in the leafy herbs and simmer some more. I start with about 1 quart of water. After the herbs have simmered for 10 minutes or so I cool it down and strain out the herbs then put the tea back on the stove and simmer until the volume of liquid is reduced to 1 cup.
3When the tea is finished, combine it with the sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved then lower heat and cook without stirring until the temperature reaches 300 degree. This takes a long time! When the mixture reaches 300 degrees remove it from the heat and stir in your essential oils. I used peppermint and eucalyptus. Most of the oil evaporates quickly so I add the oil, stir briefly then pour the syrup onto a baking sheet.
4The syrup immediately begins to harden. As soon as I can touch it and pull up the edges I start cutting strips and snipping them into little pieces. You have to work fast. I got behind on one batch and had to put chunks in a bag and crack them into pieces.
5Notes: These turn out a lot like the ricola cough drops. If you don't have fresh herbs I'm sure you could substitute dried herbs but I haven't tried out proportions yet. You can add horehound but don't put in too much.