“Candy” and “health” are rarely in the same sentence. The two words are basically oxymorons. However, with herbal candy, it’s possible to get health benefits with every bite. What makes herbal candy so special? For starters, it uses natural ingredients like tea, honey, and plants. This infuses the candy with amazing healing properties, giving a new meaning to holistic medicine. For instance, ginger is excellent for easing nausea. Instead of brewing tea, you can suck on a ginger peppermint candy. So easy!
Herbal candy still has tons of sugar. But compared to “normal” sweets, they’re not half bad! Artificial dyes and preservatives are rarely used, if it all. You also can’t beat the real flavor and benefits. Luckily, making DIY (do it yourself) herbal candy is surprisingly easy. Ingredients can be mixed and matched for special combinations. Once you master the basic recipe, you’ll be good to go. So, are you ready to make herbal candy? Here’s how to make it, complete with our seven favorite variations.
How To Make Candy
- 3 ¾ cups organic white sugar
- 1 ½ cups light corn syrup
- 1 cup water or tea
- 1 tablespoon extract (optional)
- Corn starch or powdered sugar
- Candy thermometer
- Medium saucepan
- Candy molds
- Combine white sugar, corn syrup, and water or tea in a saucepan.
- Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Bring to a boil.
- Heat the mixture to 300–310 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not stir during this time.
- Remove from heat. Add extracts.
- Dust the candy molds with corn starch or powdered sugar.
- Carefully pour into candy molds and let them cool.
- Wrap individually or store in an airtight container.
Herbal Candy Recipes
For centuries, ginger has been used to treat nausea, diarrhea, and stomach ache.1 These benefits come from active compounds called gingerols and shogaols.2 In candy form, ginger doubles as the perfect motion sickness remedy when you’re traveling. It’s a lot easier than packing ginger ale or tea.
In the recipe, instead of 1 cup of water, use strong ginger tea.
- Peel and slice 1 small root of fresh ginger.
- Boil in 1 cup of water.
If you have a sore throat, make sage candy. This option is ideal if you prefer earthy flavors and it can relieve you of mouth sores.3
- Soak 4 to 5 sage tea bags in 1 cup of hot water.
- Let sit for 5 to 7 minutes.
When making the hard candy recipe, use sage tea in place of water.
3. Honey And Lemon
Honey will enhance your immune system and energy. It also provides antioxidants, giving you protection against germs.4 Meanwhile, lemon is packed with immune-boosting properties.5 The two go hand in hand. Use honey in place of corn syrup. When possible, opt for fresh and local honey.
- Swap the water with 1 cup lemon juice.
- If that’s too strong, mix ½ water and ½ lemon juice.
- You can even adjust the ratio to ¼ water and ¾ cup lemon juice, as long as it equals 1 cup.
Nothing says “relaxation” like lavender. The aroma and flavor calm the central nervous system, making it useful for anxiety and depression. Lavender candy is perfect for those stressful days.6
- Steep 4 to 5 lavender tea bags in 1 cup of hot water.
- After 5 to 7 minutes, remove the bags.
- Use this infusion instead of water.
5. Lavender Valerian
Take things up a notch with valerian. This powerful herb is a mild sedative that fights anxiety, restlessness, and nervousness.7 With lavender, it makes a soothing remedy.
- To brew a relaxing tea, use 2 lavender tea bags and 2 valerian tea bags.
- Replace the 1 cup water with this mixture.
Remember, this candy is made to induce sleep. Make sure you eat it before dozing off! To be safe, make these candies smaller than usual.
From headaches to gas, peppermint is a popular remedy. It’s also a classic flavor. If you’re dealing with nausea, diarrhea, or menstrual cramps, these candies will save the day.8
- You’ll need 4 to 5 peppermint tea bags for 1 cup hot water.
- You can also use peppermint and spearmint.
7. Black Tea
Can’t focus? Enjoy black tea candy, which enhances mental alertness and concentration. It also works against low blood pressure, headaches, and diarrhea.9
- Infuse 4 to 5 black tea bags in 1 cup hot water.
- For more flavor, add 5 to 7 drops of lemon, orange, or vanilla extract.
If you’re not a fan of black tea, try white or green tea.
Despite these benefits, herbal candy is still candy. Eat it in moderation and regularly brush your teeth. Otherwise, oral bacteria will feed on sugars, making room for tooth decay.10
|↑1||Ginger. National Center for Complementary for Integrative Health.|
|↑2||Ginger. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑3||Sage. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.|
|↑4||Benefits of honey. Michigan State university Extension.|
|↑5||Cirmi, Santa, Alessandro Maugeri, Nadia Ferlazzo, Sebastiano Gangemi, Gioacchino Calapai, Udo Schumacher, and Michele Navarra. “Anticancer Potential of Citrus Juices and Their Extracts: A Systematic Review of Both Preclinical and Clinical Studies.” Frontiers in Pharmacology 8 (2017).|
|↑6||López, Víctor, Birgitte Nielsen, Maite Solas, Maria J. Ramírez, and Anna K. Jäger. “Exploring pharmacological mechanisms of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil on central nervous system targets.” Frontiers in pharmacology 8 (2017).|
|↑7||Valerian. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑8||Peppermint. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑9||Black tea. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑10||The Tooth Decay Process: How to Reverse It and Avoid a Cavity. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.|