Whoever said you have to take the good with the bad must have been referring to the fall and winter months. The welcome arrival of sweater weather simultaneously ushers in the dreaded cold and flu season — and with sniffles, runny noses and sore throats lurking around every corner, your medicine cabinet could use a restock of coping essentials. We’re specifically referring to cough drops, since (fair warning) you’ll most likely be sucking on these soothers over breath mints until spring.
Remember back in elementary school days when you thought cough drops were sick kid’s candy? You’d pop the Wild Cherry Luden’s your mom passed you from her purse like Skittles because these medicinal tablets are as sweet as they are soothing. Now you’re a mom, and it’s up to you to find the best cough drops to ease not just yours but the entire family’s scratchy throats throughout the season.
It’s a big responsibility: You have to factor in how effective the (actual) sucker is, what it’s made of and what it tastes like — because let’s be honest, not all cough drops taste like Jolly Ranchers. Here are the best cough drops to soothe every ailing throat in your household.
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1. Luden’s Wild Cherry Throat Drops
In 1879, William H. Luden strived to create the best-tasting throat drop that even the most irritated throat could enjoy. Flash forward to more than 130 years later and his legacy still stands. In case you’ve never tried them, Luden’s Wild Cherry Throat Drops taste like cherry Blow Pops sans the bubble gum center. Available in a variety of flavors from classic Wild Cherry to Kiwi Strawberry, Honey Lemon and even some sugar-free options, Luden’s drops are safe for children three years and older to take as needed.
2. Halls Sugar-Free Cough Suppressant
Whether you’ve caught the flu or a common cold, you’re rarely (if ever) dealing with just one symptom. If you have back drip from a stuffy nose, you probably have a sore throat. If you’re coughing up a lung every five seconds, you definitely have a sore throat.
For a case of the sniffles that wreaks havoc all over, Halls Sugar-Free drops work three times as hard to ease your ailments. Granted, these cough drops have a more intense medicinal flavor but its highlighted ingredient, menthol, has a cooling effect you’ll appreciate because it works fast to guarantee you feel better quickly.
3. Ricola Original Natural Herb Cough Drops
You might recognize Ricola Cough Drops from the brand’s earworm of a marketing jingle, but the catchy tune isn’t the only noteworthy thing about the company. Its original medicinal formula features 10 herbs grown in the Swiss Mountains, such as peppermint, sage and thyme. Ricola also prides itself on offering the most natural flavors and colors in its drops, so you can feel good knowing exactly what’s going in your — and your family’s — bodies. What’s more, two bags yields a whopping 260 drops — more than enough to cover every cough, sore and dry throat your family encounters this season.
4. Vicks VapoCOOL Sore Throat Spray
Sore throats can be unbearable, making it hard to function during the day and fall asleep at night. Obviously if symptoms become severe you should see a doctor ASAP, but if you’re looking for relief prior to your appointment, try the Vicks VapoCOOL Sore Throat Spray. The spritzing formula combines menthol to cool and ease pain with benzocaine, a numbing agent that speeds up the relieving process. Be advised that this product should not be used on children below the age of 12.
5. Zarbee’s Naturals Honey CoughSoothers +
We’re not naive to the fact that Zarbee’s packaging radiates health (in other words, they don’t appear tasty), but if you’re looking for a cough drop you can feel good about passing around to family members in need of relief, this is it. Each drop features an exclusive blend of soothing honey, antioxidant-rich vitamin C and immune-boosting ingredients zinc and echinacea, and has zero traces of alcohol, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors and colors, or processed sugars. Designed to soothe symptoms associated with coughing such as hoarseness, dryness and irritation as well as boost your immunity, these drops should be a staple in your medicine cabinet, purse and car for tasty relief that’s all-natural.