Health/Natural beauty Recipes / Wise Woman Wednesday

Wise Woman Wednesday #1: Homemade Herbal Throat Lozenges

by Angela
I don’t know about your family, but this year our family’s been prey to colds that just won’t quit. At least one of us has been sick since Thanksgiving despite my best efforts – herbal or otherwise – to keep germs at bay. With all the coughing in our house and a scratchy throat of my own, I decided to modify a LearningHerbs recipe for an Herbal Cough Drop just a tad and make some natural throat lozenges. The recipe is super simple and within an hour you’ll have tasty throat lozenges.The original recipe called for thyme, which I didn’t have, so I doubled up on the hyssop. I also added slippery elm bark powder because it is good for inflamed or sore throats. I think I will make these again with the thyme because the slippery elm bark powder made the lozenges a little crumbly (as you’ll see in the photo below). However, my family loves them due to the surprisingly “chocolate-like” taste of the slippery elm bark powder. (I might have fibbed a little and told the kids it’s candy. What they don’t know won’t hurt them. And if they eat enough, it will actually help!)
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon dried sage leaves
2 tablespoons dried hyssop
1 tablespoon slippery elm bark powder
2 cups sugar (Yes, it’s a lot of sugar, but the jury is out on if honey will work…)
¾ cup blackstrap molassesSupplies:
Tea ball
Cheesecloth or thin cotton cloth
Candy thermometer
Large saucepan
Metal spatula
Greased 9 X 13 cake pan (I used olive oil to grease mine)Instructions:
Put the herbs in a tea ball and put in a teapot (just a pot with a lid would work too) and cover with boiling water. Let steep 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pull the tea ball filled with herbs out of the liquid.

Because of the mucilaginous property of the slippery elm bark powder the liquid will be quite thick, like honey. (You can use the cheesecloth or cotton to strain out any leftover herb pieces, or you can leave them in, which is what I did, because I’m lazy.)

Add ½ cup of the liquid to your saucepan. Add the sugar and the molasses. Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Turn the burner on medium-high heat. Stir the mixture. Heat the mixture and stir continuously* until the temperature on the thermometer gets to 300 degrees F. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the temperature is at 300 degrees F, pour the mixture into your greased cake pan.

The mixture will begin to harden quickly, so begin cutting into small squares immediately. If you go over squares over and over for about 10 minutes the mixture will harden into nice bite-sized squares!


According to HerbMentor these can be stored for up to eight months in an airtight container. Ours won’t last that long!

*I don’t exactly know if recipes really mean “continuously” but I rarely really stand there and stir continuously for the amount of specified time. I didn’t for this recipe either. The important thing is to stir it enough so that the mixture doesn’t burn.

Angela will be doing a weekly post called Wise Woman Wednesday, chronicling her sometimes humorous, frequently frustrating, and almost always satisfying journey of sustainability. Angela is partner to Matt, foster mom to O and J, Truth-chaser, and education addict. She loves to play with words, workflow rules, herbs, and dirt. Angela lives in rural Illinois, where her family is part of an intentional Christian community. When she gets up the gumption, Angela blogs over at Leaping Greenly and hatch*.


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