Herbal Syrups are concentrated herbal extracts that have been mixed with honey or other sweeteners to give them a thick consistency and a sweet taste . Herbal syrups make great cough syrups and sore throat soothers. They are easy, and a lot cheaper to make, then the store bought syrup. You can make any blend that you like, for cold, cough or what ever you need them for. This is a great way to get kids to take herbs that are strong or don’t taste very good. They are very easy to make. but a little time consuming since you have to wait for the herbs to reduce down.
Use about a cup of dried herbs to each pint of water. Put the herbs and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and let simmer until the water level is reduced to half. I usually have a line from the water and herbs on my pan where I started so I just use that line as a guide. This is your concentrate.
Let cool then strain the herbs out using a coffee filter, tea towel, or my favorite knee high stockings (new ones). I don’t like cheesecloth it doesn’t strain out the small stuff.
For each cup of liquid add ½ to 1 cup of sweetener, Honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, sugar or even glycerin. If you want a sweeter syrup use a 1 to 1 ratio ( 1 cup sweetener to 1 cup liquid) for a less sweet syrup use ½ cup sweeter to I cup liquid. Remember do not give honey to a child younger then a year old.
Pour the liquid into a pan add your sweetener warm over medium heat until thoroughly mixed If you are not using honey you can simmer for 20 to 30 minutes on a medium high heat for a thicker consistency (If you are using honey and you simmer this long you will lose the healthful enzymes in the honey.). If using honey, just warm it enough so the honey and the liquid mix together.
You can add a couple tablespoons of vodka or brandy to help preserve the syrup (this is optional) for 6 months to a year.
Pour into sterilized canning jars and add your heated lids. This should seal your jars or you can water bath for 10 minutes for longer storage (you will lose some of the helpful properties if you water bath). Store away from heat and light. Store any opened jars in the fridge. Be sure to label what it is.
Take one to three tablespoons a day, cough syrup as often as every hour.