Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Herbal syrups

Herbal syrups are easy and delicious to make and can be used for an array of conditions. Over the long weekend my little boy came down with conjunctivitis, a head cold and an ear infection. The poor little thing was crawling around squeaking due to a raw throat. He really is a trooper though and managed quite well despite it all. So i decided to whip up a classic herbal syrup to soothe his throat and upset tummy.

~Marshmallow root, chamomile and dill seed syrup~

 1 t dried dill seed to soothe an upset stomach and 'lull and calm fractious children' - a quote i will always remember from my studies.

 Half a handful of dried marshmallow root to soothe and coat the throat and digestive system. Marshmallow root becomes very very slimy when boiled. It sometimes tries to escape your spoon! But this makes it perfect for sore throats and sore tummies.

 3 t dried chamomile flowers to soothe and calm. Also good for soothing the digestive system and easing into sleep.

 Put into a pot with 2 C of water 

Simmer for about 20 mins or until reduced by about half

Strain. You now have a strong herb decoction. 

 Return to the pot and add 2/3C sugar and simmer for about 15mins until it reaches a gelling point.

I test the gelling point by dropping some of the syrup onto a cold plate. Leave for 30seconds and then run your finger through it. It should gel stick to your finger. Now its all ready, you have syrup! Allow to cool and pour into a clean jar, cover and store in the fridge for up to a month. A bit of this cold from the fridge is bliss on a sore throat and is quite well recieved from the little ones who think it is just a treat.

Adults - Take 1t up to 3 times a day as required.
Children under 5- 1/4t up to 3 times a day but remember there is a lot of sugar in this!
If you found yourself needing to use it more a herbal tea might be a better option.
Please note i make a stronger decoction for syrups than i would to drink. This syrup can also be made with any of the herbs used on thier own. 

 Always make sure you source your herbs from a reputable source so the quality is good and they have been correctly identified. Not all herbs are used in the same quantities and not all are safe for children so it's important to do consult a medical profession if unsure.
Take care people.

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