Organix Cough and Sore Throat Drops
By Jodi Mailander Farrell
McClatchy Newspapers
Product: Organix Cough and Sore Throat Drops, $3.99 for 24 drops (honey lemon, cherry, dark chocolate mint or peppermint) at Walgreens, Rite Aid, Kmart, Winn-Dixie and Whole Foods.
Key ingredients: menthol (from organic peppermint oil), pectin, organic evaporated cane juice, organic hyssop, organic marshmallow root, organic mullein, organic peppermint oil, organic sage, organic slippery elm, organic sunflower oil, organic tapioca syrup, organic thyme, organic vanilla flavor and sea salt.
The pitch: Suppresses coughs, soothes sore throats and cools nasal passages.
Pros: Some studies have demonstrated that menthol can help relieve constriction in the lungs and airway. Most recently, a Japanese study published in Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics reported that menthol reduces respiratory symptoms by inhibiting contraction of smooth muscle in the airway. If you’re worried about the environment, these lozenges come in compostable wrappers made from cornstarch.
Cons: Although menthol is widely used in over-the-counter medication, there is no conclusive evidence of its beneficial effects. A British study published in the June 2008 issue of Pediatric Pulmonology found that, although the 42 children in the study felt they could breathe better through their noses, menthol had the same effect as a placebo on cough counts among the kids, ages 10 and 11. While some herbs in the ingredients have been used for centuries to treat respiratory symptoms, there are no published studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals on their efficacy. Children younger than 5 should not use these drops.
Bottom line: They taste good, but there’s no proof these or other cough drops will make you feel better. Want to save money? Gargle with warm salt water, drink a lot of water and try a spoonful of honey. A 2007 Penn State College of Medicine study found that buckwheat honey given to children before bedtime provided better relief than over-the-counter cough suppressants.

(Contact the writer: jmailander(AT)

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PHOTO (from MCT Photo Service, 202-383-6099): medwatchc
AP-NY-04-10-09 0518EDT

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