The Ricola company is most well-known as a maker of cough drops, but the cough aid was not the company's original product. The Swiss company started as a bakery in 1924. It wasn't until the 1940s that the company's honor perfected a mix of herbs to include in the lozenges the company is now famous for. Today, Ricola makes a full line of cough drops, but the most popular is the Ricola Original Natural Herb drops.
Each Ricola Original Natural Herb cough drop you use to soothe a sore throat or stifle a cough contains 15 calories. The calories in the cough drop represent how much energy you get from it, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports. If you eat 2,000 calories a day, each cough drop amounts to 0.75 percent of your total caloric intake for the day. Keep in mind, though, that the calories can add up over the course of a day. For example, if you eat 10 cough drops that amounts to 150 calories, or 7.5 percent of your total daily caloric intake.
Other Nutritional Information
Other than the 15 calories in each cough drop, Ricola Original Natural Herb drops add little else to your diet. The drops contain no fat and also do not add sodium, protein or carbohydrates to your diet. They also do not contain any essential vitamins and minerals.
The active ingredient in the Ricola cough drops is menthol, with 4.8 mg of menthol in each drop, according to Ricola. The menthol serves two purposes. First, it can help suppress a cough. Second, it can lessen pain you feel in the mouth and throat.
In addition to the menthol that has medicinal properties, Ricola cough drops contain several other ingredients. One of the main components is an herb mixture extract containing lemon balm, horehound, hyssop, elder, linden flowers, peppermint, sage, thyme, mallow and wild thyme, Ricola reports. Other ingredients include caramel to provide color, peppermint oil, starch syrup and sugar.
How to Use Them
The natural herb cough drops are safe for use in adults and children age 6 and older. According to Ricola, you should dissolve two drops in your mouth one at a time every two hours as necessary to help prevent a sough. People with health conditions such as emphysema or a chronic cough should check with a doctor before using Ricola cough drops. You should stop taking the drops and meet with your doctor if your mouth pain lasts longer than seven days, your cough lasts more than a week or if your cough occurs with a fever, rash or chronic headache. The cough drops should not be used in children younger than 6 unless you have checked with the child's doctor, Ricola advises.