Cough sweets: for many, they’re a childhood memory of winter ailments, handed out by grandparents and guardians of old remedies. For others, they’re a trusted companion against sudden throat tickles, whether brought on by seasonal shifts, persistent colds, or vocal exertions. As simple as they might appear, these little lozenges come in a plethora of types, flavours, and brands. Let’s delve into the world of cough sweets to help you find the perfect one.
The Humble Beginnings
The history of cough sweets traces back centuries, with ancient civilizations using various forms of honey, herbs, and spices to soothe sore throats. From these rudimentary remedies, the modern cough sweet has evolved, offering relief through ingenious combinations of ingredients and techniques.
The Many Types
1. Medicated Lozenges: These are formulated with active ingredients designed to ease coughs and soothe throats. Examples include menthol, eucalyptus, and even mild anaesthetics.
2. Non-medicated Lozenges: Primarily made of sugars and syrups, these serve to moisten the mouth and throat, offering relief through soothing rather than medication.
3. Pastilles: These gelatin or gum arabic-based lozenges often have a slightly gummy texture and may contain medicinal ingredients or simply act as soothing agents.
4. Herbal Lozenges: Infused with natural extracts like honey, lemon, or various herbs, they provide a holistic approach to throat relief.
- Menthol: Offers a cooling sensation.
- Honey and Lemon: A classic duo known for its soothing properties.
- Eucalyptus: Clears the nose and soothes the throat.
- Blackcurrant: Often combined with glycerol to soothe irritated throats.
- Cherry: A popular flavour, especially in non-medicated varieties.
Iconic Brands and Their Offerings
1. Halls: Likely one of the most recognised brands globally, Halls offers a wide variety of flavours from the classic Mentho-Lyptus to Honey Lemon. They’ve long been the go-to for a refreshing, soothing experience.
2. Fisherman’s Friend: Originally developed for fishermen working in the extreme conditions of the Icelandic deep-sea fishing grounds, these lozenges are potent and come in various flavours, from Original Extra Strong to Cherry.
3. Ricola: Originating from Switzerland, Ricola is famed for its herbal lozenges. Using a blend of 13 herbs, their cough sweets are both tasty and effective.
4. Strepsils: Known for their dual-action lozenges, they combine two antiseptic ingredients to fight throat infections while providing relief.
5. Jakemans: Established in 1907, Jakemans offers a range of throat & chest sweets, from the popular Honey & Lemon to the soothing Cherry menthol.
6. Lockets: With a hard exterior and a soothing liquid centre, Lockets are popular in Honey & Lemon and Extra Strong.
7. Vicks: Their cough drops, especially the mentholated ones, have been a household name for decades, providing relief for blocked noses and sore throats.
A Few Parting Thoughts
Cough sweets have been a trusted ally against the discomfort of coughs and colds for generations. The vast variety ensures that there’s something for everyone, from those seeking the sharp relief of a menthol lozenge to others wanting the natural embrace of honey and herbs.
If you’re navigating the world of cough sweets, consider factors like the kind of relief you’re seeking (medicated versus soothing), your flavour preferences, and any brand loyalties you might have. With a plethora of choices out there, it might just be time to explore beyond your usual pick.
For a curated collection of the best in cough sweets, ranging from the iconic to the artisanal, dive into Duncan’s Sweet Shop’s selection. After all, relief is but a lozenge away.