There are so many herbs, berries and spices that may be utilised to create these wonderful syrups that the whole family will enjoy using to soothe sore throats, slow the coughing reflex and kill the bugs that invade our mucous membranes when our immune systems are not coping with seasonal changes, allergens and viruses.
Many of the common spices and herbs we keep in our kitchens have strong antibacterial properties and may be used to make very effective syrups.
Some of these are –
- Ginger: Fresh or dried
- Cloves: Dried
- Sage: Fresh or dried
- Tumeric: Fresh or dried
- Garlic: Fresh
- Onion: Fresh
- Thyme: Fresh or dried
- Lemon: Fresh
- Marshmallow Root: Fresh or dried
- Elderberries: Fresh, frozen or dried
There are dozens more herbs that may also be used effectively to make these soothing syrups. For most households, I have listed those that you will generally have available in your kitchen, pantry or vegetable bin.
Ginger – for instance is warming, soothing, antiviral, reduces congestion, eases sore throats and assists in alleviating coughing.
Cloves – are antibacterial, antiviral and have an anaesthetic like action on very sore painful throats etc.
Sage – is antibacterial and really helps to dry up excessive mucous and phlegm in the throat and respiratory system.
Tumeric – is soothing, antibacterial and helps with dry coughs.
Garlic – is antiviral, antibacterial and a powerful natural antibiotic. It helps to improve breathing and kill the germs causing the difficulties.
Onion – This works in a similar way to Garlic, although not as strongly.
Thyme – One of my favourites as it is readily available and very effective at killing bacteria. Thyme is most useful as an expectorant to help alleviate dry unproductive conditions, as it really breaks up dry congestion and helps one to bring it up and break it up, when the chest is tight and hard.
Marshmallow Root – I have included this because it forms a very slippery gel like substance when cooked which greatly assists to soothe and heal dry, highly irritated respiratory passages. It puts a protective coating throughout the entire respiratory system and it greatly assists with coughing spasms and pain.
Liquorice Root – This wonderful and very sweet tasting herb relaxes bronchial spasms and relieves pain as well as it loosens phlegm.
Any of these herbs and spices may be combined as available to create your syrups. Fresh or dried may be combined together, simply depending on what you have in the kitchen.
The basic recipe is: 1 cup of herbal material to 1.5 litres of pure water. Place in a saucepan and gently simmer (with the lid on the pot) and stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture – then place the liquid back into the saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar and as much honey (to taste) as will from a syrup. DO NOT BOIL or overheat the syrup! (gently heat and stir).
If honey is not available brown sugar may be used, but the resulting syrup will not be as healing as when using honey, although a reasonable syrup may be produced this way.
This mixture will keep for approximately 9 months and may be safely used as and when required.
NOTE: The organic apple cider vinegar assists with the healing benefits and the shelf life of the syrup.