Horehound Lozenges - Horehound lozenges speak straight to the heart of the original purpose of herbal candies: creating a pleasant-tasting medicine. This herb is thought to soothe sore throats and also to relieve asthma symptoms. It is easy to make this or similar candies by cooking a strong herbal tea down together with sugar. Use a ratio of 3 cups tea to 8 cups sugar and cook to 292 degrees, adjusting for altitude (or passes the "hard crack" candymaking test). Pour into a 11"x13" buttered pan and score into pieces before it finishes hardening. Alternately, when it is cool enough, roll it into a ball and pull off pieces to form lozenge shapes. Roll in sugar, if desired, and allow to harden completely.
Mints - Mints serve a practical purpose, too - freshening the breath and refreshing the palate. There are numerous types of mints, but one of the easiest to make is the buttermint. Think of it as a hardened buttercream frosting. You beat together a stick of butter, 4 cups of sifted confectioner's sugar, ¼ tsp. peppermint oil, and enough water to smooth the mixture out (generally 2 - 3 tablespoons). Pour this mixture out onto a board that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Knead well (if you want to color the mints, this is the time to knead in a few drops of food coloring). If necessary, add additional water a few drops at a time. Pull a piece off of the mint mixture (cover the rest to keep it from drying out) and roll it between your hands to form a ½" thick rope. Cut into ½" pieces and let dry overnight. (For a more Victorian feel, try adding violet or rose flavoring to your mints.
Licorice - Licorice is a case study on respecting herbs, even if they are traditionally used in candies. Some studies have shown that overconsumption of black licorice can cause high blood pressure and deplete the body of potassium. That's why most licorice produced in the United States contains anise oil for flavoring instead of actual licorice (the two are not botanically related). You can still find licorice root as a supliment or in teas, and some candy will still contain it. If you want an easy way to get licorice flavor, consider candying fennel seeds (which are often served as breath fresheners with Indian food). In a nonstick pan, combine ¼ c. sugar with 2 tsp. water and stir until dissolved. Add ½ c. roasted fennel seeds and cook until the water has evaporated and the sugar coats the fennel. Spread on a piece of waxed paper to cool.
Marshmallows -- Marshmallows originated in Egypt, where the actual Marsh-Mallow plant was used as a thickener for honey candy. The plant has a reputation for soothing sore throats, as well as a cough suppressant and wound healer. But wait before you hit the candy aisle on your sick day - commercially produced marshmallows today are thickened with gelatin. Even when making them yourself, it is easier to use gelatin and add medicinal herbs to the mix. Start by making ¾ c. of herbal tea. Pour the tea into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle an envelope of gelatin over the tea and let it sit for around ten minutes. Then in a pot over medium heat, combine 1 c. sugar, a couple tablespoons honey, and 1 tsp. cream of tartar. Cook until the syrup reaches 234 degrees, then pour in a thin stream into the gelatin mixture (as the mixer whips it). When the mixture has doubled in volume, remove from the heat and add some vanilla extract. Turn the marshmallow out into a pan that has been dusted with corn starch and powdered sugar. Score into squares and allow to set completely.