Ill and disgusting taste in my mouth? No thanks.
March 24, 2013 9:42 PM   Subscribe

Please give me your recommendations for cough drops that actually taste good!

I've been sick with a terrible cough for a week now. I've been sucking down cough drops like they're air, and boy, do they taste foul! Isn't there a decent tasting cough drop to be found out there?

Please, hivemind, help me save my taste buds. Recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

From the metro DC area, if that's relevant.
posted by horizonseeker to Health & Fitness (30 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't live without Halls sugar-free Citrus Blend cough drops.
posted by limeonaire at 9:52 PM on March 24, 2013

Honey lemon Jakemans. I'm eating them like candy right now!
posted by RainyJay at 9:53 PM on March 24, 2013

I recommend trying Halls Breezers and Refreshers for good tasting cough drops. For something less yummy tasting, but was better at suppressing my ending coughing, Halls "triple action" might be up your alley. They should be available at your local CVS or drugstore although I've found that the Halls Refresher were a bit harder to find occasionally.
posted by QueenHawkeye at 9:54 PM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

Luden's lozenges taste pretty good, but as the NYT link points out, all they do is leave a slight film, relieving only minor irritation. In my experience, that does help, but moreso when I'm trying to limit a cough that has gone on long enough to be a bit of a habit. If you see a doctor, you could ask about Tessalon Perles, which as far as I can recall had no taste at all (you swallow them).
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:54 PM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I like the Ricola herb ones.
posted by naturalog at 10:03 PM on March 24, 2013 [10 favorites]

I'm partial to Nice (but if you've had a cough that long you might want to go to the doctor.)
posted by gudrun at 10:04 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Buckwheat honey is an old-timey cough remedy... it has a particular flavor of its own, though (it reminds me of horse sweat, which is nice if you like horses but not so much if you don't)
posted by The otter lady at 10:05 PM on March 24, 2013

I'm pretty sure the active ingredient in 90% of cough lollies is just sugar, so you should just eat whatever hard sweets you like.
posted by thylacinthine at 10:09 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you can get hold of fresh lemongrass, and infuse it to make lemongrass tea with lots of honey, it'll work and taste a shitload better than any cough drop.

(No use when you're on the bus or whatever, though, I get that.)
posted by Salamander at 10:19 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've had good luck this winter with Cepacol Sensations--the one I like is Hydra, which is citrus flavored, and there's another one that's meant to be cooling and is mint flavored--they're both pretty good.

Also, tea with honey might help.
posted by MeghanC at 10:22 PM on March 24, 2013

I'm pretty sure the active ingredient in 90% of cough lollies is just sugar, so you should just eat whatever hard sweets you like.

The active ingredient is usually menthol, in various strengths. But sugar (or another sweetener) is usually one of the primary inactive ingredients.

Anyway, another vote for the Ricola herbal or citrus drops -- they're the only ones I find that don't taste disgusting after one or two.
posted by scody at 10:24 PM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

A spoonful of honey can soothe a cough as well as cough syrups.
posted by Specklet at 10:41 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

The ricola cough drops are the only ones I can stand as well. I like the honey and herb ones.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 10:49 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

The active ingredient is usually menthol, in various strengths. But sugar (or another sweetener) is usually one of the primary inactive ingredients.

Yes - in my experience here in the U.S. even the cheapest generic-brand cough drops are quite a bit more effective than hard candies, although of course simply keeping your saliva flowing does help somewhat.
posted by XMLicious at 11:03 PM on March 24, 2013

For a demulcent I really like Thayer's Slippery Elm lozenges. They're in the category of "soothing film coating your throat" thing, rather than any kind of active cough suppressant. Probably you can find them in a Whole Foods or other place with organic stuff and so on.

For actually suppressing the coughs, alcohol works pretty well, though obviously that's something you'd want to moderate. Incidentally Luden's cough drops used to (in the 1800's) have opiates in them!
posted by aubilenon at 12:00 AM on March 25, 2013

Cherry Ricola, only kind I can stand. Nice use to have a non-menthol kind, but I cannot seem to find them anymore.
posted by wandering_not_lost at 12:39 AM on March 25, 2013

Ricola cranberry on my desk as I type. Good stuff.
posted by ambient2 at 1:11 AM on March 25, 2013

Ricola Honey Herb for me.

Although I also found that caramels (especially honey caramels, although you probably can't find them) maybe did an even better job, just because the chewing action really creates more moisture. I ended up swapping back and forth depending on when I felt like I'd had too many caramels to justify.
posted by anaelith at 3:30 AM on March 25, 2013

Is it the menthol that tastes bad to you? I find that as I start to get better, menthol cough drops (especially Halls or generic Halls-like ones) taste worse and worse. The Ricola herb ones are less gross to me at that point.
posted by camyram at 4:27 AM on March 25, 2013

Hall's Sugar Free Honey Lemon - has the added bonus that it does actually relieve coughing for a while. The flavor does a good job of moderating the strong eucalyptus taste into something pleasant.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:43 AM on March 25, 2013

I like Ricola herbal drops, but I'm a fan of the herbal taste in general. But I also really like their lemon mint version.
posted by Sunburnt at 5:45 AM on March 25, 2013

Ricola lemon mint cough drops make me very happy.
posted by kat518 at 5:48 AM on March 25, 2013

If you want drops that taste good, I think Luden's or Smith Brothers is the answer. Most of their varieties don't have any menthol, and they use Pectin as their "active ingredient", but since pectin is the same thing that sets jelly, it tastes good.

But I don't usually use cough drops at all. I am a big fan of the throat sprays. Chlorasceptic or Cepacol or the generic brands. They won't help if you have a productive cough and are trying to rid your lungs of gunk, but they have an anesthetic to relieve the pain/tickle of a sore throat that makes you want to cough. They come in pocket-size tubes so you can spray on the bus or at the office, too.
posted by CathyG at 6:10 AM on March 25, 2013

Growing up I remember Luden's being the loop hole item that allowed us to openly eat "candy" while in grade school classes. For something that is effective and tastes good I too recommend the Ricola varieties.
posted by mmascolino at 6:22 AM on March 25, 2013

Depending on how/what kind of sick you've been, your tastebuds may also just be shot for awhile, so even delicious cough drops will end up tasting like mentholated dirt. I know that when I'm at the point where I've been sucking down massive quantities of cough drops, my tongue ends up coated with an utterly horrid taste/sensation that makes everything awful.
posted by Diagonalize at 9:02 AM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

When I was battling a month-long cold (that turned into a sinus infection, then morphed into another cold, which faded just as pollen season kicked in, so I'm still not entirely sure it's gone), I went back and forth between Ricola honey herbal drops and some generic vitamin C drops from Target. The Ricola soothed my throat but tasted like cough drops due to the menthol; a vitamin C drop after got rid of the taste (the vitamin drops just taste like citrus hard candy) and kept the saliva flowing.
posted by QuickedWeen at 9:23 AM on March 25, 2013

Which ones do you not like? Without some guidelines everyone is just going to give you their favorite. Taste is fairly specific and we don't have much to go on here.
posted by demiurge at 10:56 AM on March 25, 2013

i really like the burt's bees honey cough drops. they come in other flavors like lemon and pomegranate. they're a little less menthol-y than halls. i'm in DC and have found them in a ton of CVS stores.
posted by kerning at 11:02 AM on March 25, 2013

Smith brothers peaches and cream. Mildly cooling, extremely delicious.
posted by missriss89 at 5:29 PM on March 25, 2013

I've been taking Halls Triple Soothing Action in both honey-lemon and mint-eucalyptus, with mint-eucalyptus being the less disgusting of the two. I don't understand why I don't like them; I love anything lemony, mint has always been my favorite flavor, and honey is just yum.

I tried a spoonful of honey and my cough was stagnant for a record ten minutes! And, it tasted delicious. But it's only temporary and probably a poor health decision for regular, continued use; it works fantastically, though!

I went to the store armed with your suggestions. I steered clear of the Halls, and don't much care for Ricola or Cepacol. I couldn't find Jakemans, Nice, buckwheat honey, Thayer's, or Smith brothers.

I did find Luden's and Bert's Bees cough drops. Luden's honey cough drops are, literally, the best cough drop I've ever tasted! (spoken in Chris Traeger's voice) The Bert's Bees pomegranate honey were pretty yummy too. I'll continue my tea with honey as usual, and will pick up some lemongrass next time I'm at Wegmans. Also, I have an appointment at my university's Health Clinic tomorrow morning, which should help.

Thanks, hivemind!
posted by horizonseeker at 7:10 PM on March 25, 2013

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