How do cough drops help?

Are you hacking up a lung? Feeling like you could be mistaken for an 80-year-old smoker? Fear not, my friend. The solution to your coughing conundrum is cough drops. But how exactly do they help? Let’s dive in and find out.

What are cough drops?

Before we can understand how cough drops work, let’s quickly review what they are. Cough drops (also known as throat lozenges), are small tablets that contain various ingredients aimed at relieving cough symptoms.


So, what exactly makes these little guys so magical? Here are some of the traditional ingredients found in most commercial cough drop brands:

  • Menthol: This natural compound helps soothe irritated throats by providing a cooling sensation.
  • Eucalyptus oil: Eucalyptus contains compounds that may have antimicrobial properties and act as an expectorant.
  • Honey: A well-known home remedy for sore throats thanks to its soothing effects.
  • Zinc gluconate: Some studies suggest that consuming zinc may reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, it gives us a good idea of what goes into those deliciously sweet-but-not-too-sweet discs.

How do they work?

Now onto the meaty part – how do these babies actually make us feel better when our throats bear dry deserts during flu season?

Soothing irritation

One of the primary ways that cough drops help alleviate discomfort is by targeting throat irritation resulting from postnasal drip or inflammation caused by sickness or allergens. Some key players here include:


The aforementioned menthol often acts as the main event behind sting-free satisfaction by activating certain sensory receptors in our mouths, leading to cooling and numbing sensations or even enhanced feeling of airflow.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil could also contain anti-inflammatory properties to potentially help reduce inflammation in the throat, talking about effective multitasking doctors there!

Clearing congestion

Another way cough drops work is by helping to clear up congestion – A.K.A. snot (If Dr. House told me anything).

We’ve already talked a little bit about eucalyptus and how it can act as an expectorant, but let’s dive into some other ingredients that may aid in decongestion:

Zinc gluconate

When you’re sick or fighting off infection, your body’s demand for zinc increases which justifies zin contemporary use in aiding better immunity during flu season or cold days.

N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)

This compound found in some medical mixes makes mucus less thick and sticky, making it easier to clear out clogged passages with blowing or sound-coughs.

Moisturizing the throat

Cough drops sometimes provide gentle moisture to dry throats: Side effects of putting nothing useful down our throats otherwise…

Pacing ourselves

Last but not least; sucking on something like candy helps us take slower breaths than we normally would when speaking which eases irritation caused by coughs due to certain reflexes associated with fatigued-respiratory tubes linked together usually collaborating on things like hiccups too! Can’t do much more multi-tasking than this combo…Ice-breakers even had a menthol flavour after all.

How long do they take to work?

How quickly you feel relief from taking a cough drop depends mostly on what exactly is causing your symptoms. Menthol usually starts working pretty quickly, often within ten minutes while Zinc inspired lozenges are best taken before meal times since they require surrounding stomach acids as well to help the suckers dissolve.

Are they really effective?

Ah, here’s the million-dollar question. While research suggests that certain ingredients found in cough drops like menthol might offer some relief for upper respiratory symptoms and irritation from coughing… realistically it’s more so temporarily as once again lozenges are usually not able to target root causes of issues but rather can only mildly soothe and relieve. So these won’t cure your chronic asthma or TB if you were wondering.

Also remember to moderate how many one consumes (futilities aside) since too much menthol or eucalyptus side effects could range on nausea especially with younger demographic individuals (We take no responsibility for any unfortunate incidents propped up by individuals’ choice; this is just good ole exaggeration).

In conclusion

No matter what form it may come in whether keeping an opaque clip-style box full conveniently placed within reach, snacking on a hard candy loaded with healing properties at work or popping fresh extract-vials when indulging upon light exercise periods during flu season – Cough Drops are definitely worth checking out when the air gets chillier outside!

Never underestimate the power of slurping on nice smelling / tasting thing-a-majigs made specifically for temporary symptom alleviation, just don’t forget moderation as excessive consumption only results in regretful morning-after stomach-pains./EOL

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