Written January 2017
You probably have everything you need in your kitchen to make this delicious and very simple syrup. You don’t have to have elderberries to make a medicinal syrup. With just 2 ounces of herbs and spices found in your kitchen, 4 cups of water and some raw honey you are set to go.
Below is a list of the herbs and spices commonly found in the kitchen. To weigh out the herbs I recommend purchasing a scale that weighs in ounces and grams. You can find these scales in any store with a kitchen department.
A warming and pungent spice that is a medicine chest in itself. High in vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, and manganese. Allspice fights off colds and flus, calms menstrual cramps, settles upset stomachs, and enhances the delivery of nutrients in the body.
anesthetic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antiviral, carminative, circulatory stimulant, rubefacient
Warm and spicy it is often used as a flavoring agent substituting licorice. A wonderful expectorant and antispasmodic, it can be used in bronchitis, tracheitis where there is persistent irritable coughing, and in whooping cough.
antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, parasiticide
The warming antiseptic action extends to the throat and chest. Moves out congestion, dampness, and mucus. Alleviates long-standing wet lung conditions. Helps with irritable bowel problems and is restorative to the digestive tract.
Antibacterial, anticatarrh, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, decongestant, expectorant, nervine tonic
Increases warmth and circulation and supports efficient digestion of fats. Counteracts congestion that accompany dairy foods. Relaxes uterine muscles and calms painful spasms. Quickens the healing process for coughs, cold, or sore throat. Clears stagnation throughout the respiratory tract.
alterative, anthelmintic, antibacterial, anticatarrh, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiviral, astringent, expectorant, hemostat
This aromatic spice is a powerhouse herb. Used in healing colds, constipation, coughs, dyspepsia, indigestion, intestinal parasites, muscle spasms, nausea, and toothaches. Cloves expel the bacteria-infected mucus that can instigate sinus problems or leave one susceptible to coughs and bronchial infections.
analgesic, anesthetic, anthelmintic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antiviral, carminative, expectorant, nutritive
Helps with colds, flu, and coughs. Relieves nausea, motion sickness, and sore throats. Increases circulation, gets rid of mucus congestion, settles an upset stomach, dispels gas, relieves aches and pains, reduces inflammation and menstrual cramps, and stimulates digestion.
Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, carminative, circulatory stimulant, expectorant, rubefacient
Combines well with other immune-enhancing herbs to strengthen the body’s capacity to counter viral and other infections. It makes an effective tonic in aiding recovery from illness and chronic exhaustion. Supports liver function and soothes mucous membranes in the stomach and airways.
anti-inflammatory, antiviral, demulcent, expectorant, tonic
A superb digestive aid. Used to treat diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and digestive problems including gastroenteritis and malabsorption.
anthelmintic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, nervine, rubefacient
Loaded with vitamin C and pectin. Pectin feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. Compliments the immune system, helps us to digest nutrients, and keeps pathogenic bacteria in check.
anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, bitter tonic, cardiovascular tonic, carminative, expectorant, nervine
Hinders the flu, and helps to keep your lungs clear of mucus that can leave you suceptible to catching the flu. Star anise is both anticatarrhal and expectorant; works together to liquefy thick mucus so it can be easily expelled.
Antibacterial, anticarrhal, antispasmodic, antiviral, aperient, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue
Not commonly found in kitchens but well worth adding. This valuable herb increases resilience and stamina and invigorates the vital force. Restores energy levels, an enlivening and rejuvenating effect, counteracting the ravages of stress.
adaptogen, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, demulcent, tonic
Optional extras and maybe not so common items found in the kitchen. These single herbs can be found in most stores down the tea and coffee aisle. I like to add a tablespoon after removing the decoction from the burner and letting it steep while it is cooling.
Relaxes and calms the nervous system. Helps with irritability, insomnia, and restlessness.
Cooling decongestant for the respiratory mucosa.
High in vitamin C and bioflavonoids. It is useful for treating mild colds and flus.
Has a wide range of treatment that includes respiratory problems, flu, cough, whooping cough, asthma, and bronchitis
Relieves spasmodic pains for stress-related stomach disorders such acidity, indigestion, colicky pain, gas and bloating.
Encourages sweating and cools fevers.
Strengthening to the heart, the stomach, and the liver. Prevents vomiting and stops tickling coughs.
2 ounces of Herb
4 cups Water
1 tbsp Herb (for steeping while cooling the decoction)
1 cup Raw Honey
Add choice 2 ounces of herb mixture to 4 cups of water. Bring mixture to a slight boil and turn down to simmer for 30-40 minutes until you have about 2 cups of liquid. This is your decoction that gives you a concentrated tea.
Take off burner and add choice delicate herb and allow to steep covered until cooled but still warm enough to add honey to dissolve and mix into decoction.
Strain herbs out and add to quart jar with honey. Put lid on jar and shake until thoroughly mixed.
You may wish to add brandy to help preserve the syrup. Refrigerate and enjoy over pancakes, in your coffee or tea, ice cream, mixed drinks, or simply use as a preventative medicinal syrup daily.
A Modern Herbal by M. Grieve
Herbal Remedies by Andrew Chevallier
Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman
The Herbal Kitchen by Kami McBride
The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra, L.A.c., O.M.D.