‘Tis the season…
or at least it will be soon!
Now is the time when I start making my herbal tinctures and syrups that will be needed once the cold, flu, and general malaise season begins.
It takes a good 6-8 weeks for a tincture to be effective, and I like to let mine sit at least 8 weeks.
Here’s a blend I mixed up this year (after reading the ingredients on the back of a Thera-Flu bottle):
8 weeks before you want to make the syrup, combine:
2 parts licorice root
2 parts valerian
2 parts echinacea root
1 part marsh mallow root
1/2 part ginger root
in a jar, and cover with brandy. Let sit tightly covered out of direct sunlight for 6-8 weeks.
When you’re ready to make the syrup, combine:
2 parts fennel seed
2 parts slippery elm bark
2 parts wild cherry bark
1 part cinnamon bark
(for every 2 ounces of herbs, use 1 quart of water)
Over low heat, simmer herbs and water until reduced by half.
Add 1 part honey (or other liquid sweetener, but I find honey to work the best) to 2 parts tea.
Stir until thoroughly mixed. Let cool, then add strained tincture.
Bottle it up, and shake to combine, and before use.
The combination of alcohol and sugar will “likely” keep it from going bad, but I like to keep it in the fridge, nonetheless.
Use 2 teaspoons every 2 hours.
This is what I would call an “adult” formula. I make a similar one (that I will likely post in the next few weeks) for children, but in a pinch, this can obviously be used for them as well, just at a greatly reduced dosage.
Because of the amount of alcohol used, it gives a nice “warming” sensation, which my husband likes. It is amazingly similar to the Thera-Flu Warming Sensation medication, but thankfully without the artificial sweetener, red food dye, and preservatives.
The valerian is included for the pain that often accompanies illness. If for some reason, you feel jittery or “hyper-active” after using this, please exchange the valerian for St. John’s Wort flowers in the tincture the next time you make it. Valerian affects some people differently.
There are fantastic, licensed herbalists out there – I am not one of them. Please take the advice of your doctor, or health practitioner into account before using ANY of these preparations.