The Best-Tasting Throat Lozenges for Cold and Flu Season
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be largely inoperative because of the government shutdown and, as the Web site states, "the lapse in government funding," but here at the Houston Press, we've still got your back.
Photo by Monica Fuentes If you're sick enough to need throat lozenges, you'd better pick some tasty ones.
So sure, we can't with any medical authority tell you what this year's flu strains are like or what sort of vaccines are available this year, but we can help to ease your suffering should you neglect to heed all the government warnings about getting a flu shot and find yourself sick and in pain.
We've tested ten different varieties of throat lozenges and cough drops available at CVS to determine which taste the best and which are most likely to soothe your sore esophagus. Some of them are designed to alleviate minor tickles, while others are intended to suppress coughs and numb painful gullets. This ranking is based on both flavor and efficacy in mitigating our (not so sore) throats.
10. Chloraseptic Max ($4.99 for 15)
Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg Nope, not Halloween candy.
NO NO NO NO NO. Maybe if I was dying, and someone told me that sucking on one of these until it dissolved and revealed its "soothing liquid center" was the only way I'd survive...then maybe I'd eat one of these. It tastes like the worst kind of herbal, menthol, "wild berry" medicine imaginable. And it's an incredibly off-putting shade of grayish purple.
Verdict: Would rather stay sick than use these.
9. Sucrets Complete ($5.79 for 18)
The flavor listed on this tin is "vapor cherry," as if it's some sort of molecular gastronomy invention. In fact, they're designed to help relieve nasal stuffiness associated with a cough and sore throat with a big ol' dose of dyclonine hydrochloride. Yeah, I don't know what that is, either, but the tin says it's an oral anesthetic/analgesic. Fabulous. Unfortunately, these taste like that liquid cherry cough syrup your pediatrician used to prescribe and your mom had to coax down your throat with the promise of ice cream or a sticker. I would always swallow that cough syrup and drink something else really quickly to erase the taste. In no scenario do I want to let that flavor linger in my mouth until the hard lozenge dissolves.
Verdict: Would rather use a neti pot.
8. CVS Honey Lemon Cough Drops ($1.67 for 30)
If you made me a cocktail with honey, lemon and mint in it (and how 'bout some gin?), I would probably love it and want another round. Somehow, though, in cough drop form, those flavors just don't work. Perhaps because these are CVS brand, or perhaps because the menthol is so strong I can feel it in my nose, but I just can't handle this little yellow nugget. Of course, according to the bag, it's intended to "cool nasal passages." Is burning the same as cooling? If so, well done!
Verdict: Would rather have in cocktail form.