Together with common colds, coughs are among the most prevalent and easily acquired medical conditions experienced by most people no matter what time of year it is. It’s the top reason people visit their doctors, and it is not hard to understand why. In fact, Americans spend billions each year on over-the-counter medications like cough medicine.
There’s no doubt that we take coughing seriously. It’s annoying and gets in the way of our daily lives. With this in mind, let’s talk about cough drops. How do they help alleviate our symptoms? And of course, what are the best cough drops to take?
- Best Cough Drops: Our Top 5 Recommendations
- #1. HALLS Sugar-Free Cough Drops - Editor’s Choice
- #2. Ricola Original Cough Drops - Best Visual Packaging
- #3. doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Drops - Premium Pick
- #4. Original All Natural Silver Throat Lozenges (Sweet Menthol) - Best Alternative Solution
- #5. Cold-Eeze All Natural Lozenges - On-The-Go Pick
- Benefits of Using Cough Drops
Best Cough Drops: Our Top 5 Recommendations
1. HALLS Sugar-Free Cough Drops - Editor’s Choice
2. Ricola Original Cough Drops - Best Visual Packaging
3. doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Drops - Premium Pick
4. Original All Natural Silver Throat Lozenges (Sweet Menthol) - Best Alternative Solution
5. Cold-Eeze All Natural Lozenges - On-The-Go Pick
#1. HALLS Sugar-Free Cough Drops - Editor’s Choice
Halls is one of the most commonly recognized brands. When you hear Halls, you immediately think of cough drops and lozenges. It’s a household name that has become ultimately synonymous with cough drops.
There are a lot of flavors to choose from. You can take your pick from Mountain Menthol, Honey Berry, Black Cherry and others. The one we’re reviewing in particular is the Honey Lemon variety, mainly because it is such a great deal.
The pack has 180 drops and at its price, you can bet that it’s a super good bargain. Remember that Halls is a name brand, so this is a steal. Their lozenges are high-quality and you can expect that they do a good job at tapering down the cough reflex.
It doesn’t take more than 10 seconds to see the effects of the drops. The flavor is great as well. They don’t just taste good, they also feature Lemon and Honey, which are helpful in solving the cough problem and boosting your immune system.
These are great for simple coughs and sore throat cases. They can soothe the throat and alleviate the need to cough significantly. However, if you have a far more serious inflammatory condition, or have persistent coughing, then you should not rely on these alone. They are not designed to cure serious cases beyond a sore throat.
#2. Ricola Original Cough Drops - Best Visual Packaging
Right off the bat, you can tell that Ricola isn’t joking around. They’ve got their packaging game on point. Even though they’re an over-the-counter and everyday item, they put enough thought and appeal to their packaging that it might just be enough to create a lasting impression. If visual advertising works greatly on you, then you are probably buying this one.
In addition to a nice exterior, these cough drops also come at quite a reasonable price. This product in particular features two bags, with 50 drops per bag. For a name brand and quality product, that is nearer the affordable end of the pole.
Just like their other products, Ricola cough drops are made with ingredients that aim to soothe, such as peppermint, horehound, lemon balm, wild thyme, and linden flowers.
Just like Halls cough drops, these are precisely just that: cough drops. They are intended to provide a level of soothing calm for your throat, but they cannot heal any other medical condition miraculously. If you have a cough that requires further treatment, you best go to your physician and ask for the right medication.
Still, these are quite the catch. They come in the original and authentic flavor that is Ricola. If you have been used to that traditional taste of cough drops that only Ricola (still) brings to the table, then there’s no use in going with another brand. The flavor is more suitable for grown-ups, though, as the kids might not find it as palatable.
#3. doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Drops - Premium Pick
If you are unfamiliar with this brand, that’s because they aren’t at a scale as large as Halls or Ricola just yet, and maybe they will be in the future. DoTerra is a Utah-based MLM company that deals primarily with essential oils and natural ingredients.
The brand gets its popularity mainly by word of mouth, so I was quite surprised to see them on Amazon with a healthy number of positive reviews. After checking them out, I learned that their drops are also based on essential oils that are particularly geared towards solving breathing and other respiratory problems.
After trying a few of them, I can tell that they do actually work!
I gather that their efficacy comes from the nice blend of ingredients found in their drops: peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, cardamom, thyme, and melissa oil. I know each of these ingredients are natural substances that have significant respiratory health benefits (I googled them, for sure!), and this must be the best blend of ingredients yet because I really felt better after trying just a drop or two. They’re great for common colds, too.
In fact, this might be the first on our list that deals with something beyond sore throat and cough symptoms. They are effective with symptoms of flu as well. They can really ease up a clogged nose, runny nose, and even snotty days!
Of course, it goes without saying that they are quite expensive. They more than twice the cost of Halls and Ricola drops, and you only get 30 drops per pack. So if you are only looking for a budget option, this might not be for you. Considering its great efficacy, though, I would say that it’s a worthy purchase.
#4. Original All Natural Silver Throat Lozenges (Sweet Menthol) - Best Alternative Solution
Okay, so earlier we mentioned how amazing Ricola’s packaging was. Get ready for the exact and complete opposite with this product. The package looks as generic as you can possibly imagine, and without actually knowing it firsthand, you’ll probably pass by this option without giving it a second thought.
Although - and hear me out here - give them a chance. Underwhelming packaging aside, they are actually pretty decent as cough drops. At first, I thought the word “silver” in the product title was just the name of the brand, but it actually was referring to the Silver Solution that makes up the drops themselves.
Each drop contains 30 ppm of silver solution, which today still sparks a debate on its safety. Also known as colloidal silver, the substance is traditionally used to treat infections and other topical conditions. Taken in liquid form, it is used to treat other illnesses, and coughs are one of them.
After trying it, my throat actually felt lighter and better. You will need to keep it in your mouth for 6 minutes, though. And while that doesn’t sound too appealing, you’ll find solace in the fact that it can also boost your immune system.
There are a variety of flavors to choose from, I chose Sweet Menthol for this review. You can try Green Apple, which is quite tasty too. The downside to this product is mainly its price, especially if you are planning on doing it on the regular. Also, if you prefer to only use products with organic - or at least, natural - ingredients, then this brand might not appeal to you.
#5. Cold-Eeze All Natural Lozenges - On-The-Go Pick
At first glance, you can tell that this brand is targeting a younger demographic with its colorful and fun designs on its packages. And the actual drops coincide smoothly with this vibe. They taste like they are “young people” lozenges, if that makes any sense.
You only get 18 drops in each pack, but they also cost quite less. So if you need more, you can just buy more packs. The advantage of such a small package is that you can fit them in your pocket or purse without any hassle.
You can choose from various flavors. Again, I chose the Honey Lemon flavor. But you can choose from Tropical Orange, Lemon Lime, Pineapple, and Cherry. Whatever floats your boat will be a good choice, as every single one from their roster are good quality drops.
You can’t help but not love the brand name, too. Cold-Eeze sounds like a laid-back approach to treating sore throat and coughs. The drops contain some zinc gluconate, which plays a role in shortening the length of the cold or flu symptoms. At a low price point, this is a good deal.
Benefits of Using Cough Drops
Cough drops are designed to help alleviate sore throat, and itchy, irritating sensations that comes with coughs. Some can also help suppress the cough reflex to minimize the strain caused by excessive coughing. Ultimately, the main benefits of each brand of cough drop will depend on what ingredients they contain.
Zinc can help reduce the length of the cough. In addition to this, zinc can also help in boosting your immune system, which will make you more fit to combat your illness naturally.
A lot of the cough drops we featured earlier contain honey, and that’s not a coincidence. While more research is required, honey is believed to help alleviate cough symptoms. Some cultures even use pure, raw honey as a cough and asthma treatment for children.
Honey is also proved to have antimicrobial properties. If your cough is caused by bacteria, then this would be plenty helpful. We’re also acknowledging the fact that the simple flavor of honey, by itself, is soothing to the throat that has been hacking and coughing for a long while.
The data only provided information for acute cases, though. We’ll have to wait for more concrete evidence if this applies to chronic cases. But for now, it’s comforting to hear that honey in cough drops does more than make them taste a little better.
You might notice that menthol is a common ingredient in cough medicine, not just cough drops. This is because it contains potent anti-inflammatory properties that help irritation and inflammation die down significantly. It also has analgesic effects which help a lot if the person has been in pain from excessive coughing.
In addition to this medical properties, it creates a “cooling” feeling in the throat. It doesn’t just feel good and refreshing -- this sensation also help in suppressing coughs. Menthol also aids in effectively clearing up congestion in the respiratory tract!
For this roundup, I’d say all the entries are winners. It will depend on your particular case and personal preference. Overall, I declare the Halls cough drops as the big winner because of their price point, brand recognition, and availability wherever you might be from.
I hope this guide has been helpful to you -- and I hope if you have a cough or sore throat, that you feel better real soon! Let us know in the comments section which cough drops you ended up using!