The Cough Drop- Let’s start with the basics
A cough drop is medicinal tablet designed to deliver active ingredients which suppress or relieve the cough reflex. They are made just like hard candies; ingredients are mixed together, they are cooked, cooled, and packaged. First developed during the eighteenth century, cough drops have become a significant part of the $2 billion cough and cold market.
How about the Parts that WORK
Some common ingredients are volatile oils such as menthol or eucalyptus oil. Volatile oils, or essential oils, are obtained from parts of a plant through extraction or distillation processes. Menthol is typically isolated from the Mentha arvensis plant or distilled from peppermint oil. It may also be synthetically produced. Menthol has a cooling effect in the mouth that helps to relieve irritation. It is also thought to work as an expectorant. Eucalyptus oil is isolated from the eucalyptus plant. It is believed to have a medicinal effect functioning as an expectorant and a relief agent for minor mouth and throat irritations. Recently, companies have been including zinc in their cough drops. Certain evidence suggests that zinc may be beneficial in fighting symptoms of a cold. Vitamin C is another ingredient that has been included in some brands of cough drops. Other ingredients that may be found are herbals such as echinacea or ginko biloba. Peppermint oil, camphor, and sodium citrate have also been used.
Let’s Talk Sugar
Fact: Sugar is a known irritant to the sore throat.
SO the ideal way to utilize a cough drop is to place the lozenge in your mouth and over a period of time suck on it until its completely dissolved thus releasing its power over the longest duration of time relieving the cough or scratchy throat. The relief typically only lasts while the ingredients are being pulled into the throat. It’s a great idea however what if your relief drop from constant coughing and misery is full of glucose and the whole time you’re coating your throat you’re also coating your poor teeth in a blanket of sugar?
You have to be careful when deciding which cough drop you choose, if the aforementioned ingredients (that work) aren’t a part of that cough drop your pretty much eating a hard sugar candy.
How much Sugar are we Talking?
Luden’s Wild Cherry Cough Drops2 grams
Halls Cherry (Menthol) Cough Drops4 grams
Halls Triple Soothing Action Cherry3 grams
Ricola Original Natural Herb Cough Drops3 grams
Ricola Lemon Mint Cough Drops3 grams
Now that you know how many sugar grams are in some of the top selling brands of cough drops maybe next time you go to the store you can choose sugar free instead. Get the relief you seek without the cavity fuel!
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“Cough Drop.” How Products Are Made. Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017.