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How to ‘Bee’ Kind and Healthy With Honey-Free, Vegan Cough Drops

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One of the worst parts of getting sick is having a scratchy throat and a lingering cough. Cough drops can help alleviate some symptoms of a nasty bug—but these remedies often come with a price for a very nice insect: the honeybee.

Bee on a yellow flower

Making honey is a lot harder than beekeepers in the industry want you to believe. A single worker bee may visit up to 10,000 flowers in a single day but in her entire life may produce only a teaspoon of honey. Bees collect nectar from plants and then have to dry out the watery liquid with enzymes from their bodies, which convert it into food and prevent it from going bad. All this work is done so that they’ll have the vital nutrients that they need to survive the winter, but the fruit of their labor, honey, is stolen for human items such as cough drops.

Thankfully, many widely available cough drops and throat lozenges can soothe your discomfort without being cruel to bees. Check out this handy list that we’ve compiled:

Ricola Mixed Berry with Vitamin C

If you can’t afford that trip to the Swiss Alps, you can at least use the area’s cold remedies! Ricola combines real berries, vitamin C, and 10 Swiss herbs to create a tasty, effective throat lozenge.

Luden’s Wild Cherry Throat Drops

Luden’s drops have been around for 100 years, yet their flavor and results are ageless! Designed to ease a sore throat and mouth, these cherry-flavored soothers will help you get through the workday without hacking up a lung.

Herbion Sugar Free Cough Drops

Instead of sugar, these orange-flavored cough drops use stevia, a sweet substance made from the leaves of stevia plants. The drops are adorable, berry-shaped chews—perfect for channeling fruit-snack nostalgia while you’re feeling under the weather.

Himalaya Koflet Lozenges

No one can call flavors like cardamom boring! Himalaya Koflet Lozenges come in a variety of flavors, using herbs and spices such as ginger, cloves, and cinnamon to bring warm, soothing comfort to your throat. Plus, these lozenges even help freshen your breath—nice!

Nature’s Way Sambucus Elderberry Zinc Lozenges

The peppermint flavor of Nature’s Way lozenges brings some icy satisfaction to the typical cough drop. They also pack 5 milligrams of zinc (to help keep your immune system strong) and 100% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C.

Zand Immunity Elderberry Zinc Herbalozenge

If you do your best to stay away from artificial colors and sweeteners, Zand Herbalozenges may be the cough drops for you. They contain 5 milligrams of zinc and are flavored with rosehips, hibiscus flower, and brown rice syrup as a sweetener.

Buzz Off, Honey!

Thankfully, many effective and tasty honey-free cough drops are available. While vegan drops can help your throat and mouth stay comfortable while your body fights off illness, if you’re feeling particularly bad—especially while the COVID-19 pandemic continues—be sure to check with your medical doctor and follow their advice.

Bee hovers around small yellow flowers

You can only help animals when you’re feeling good yourself, so bee kind to your body and give it the nourishment and rest that it needs to recover.

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