Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down….so the popular Mary Poppins’ tune declares.
Sweetening herbs is an easy way to make them more palatable for young taste buds.
And because we are making the remedy ourself, we can control the type and amount of sweetener we use!
Herbal syrups are a great way to get a dose of herbs into your kids and they are quite versatile.
Getting kids involved in the making process helps to empower them.
They will love knowing they can make their own custom herbal medicine that they will love to take.
Ways to Use Herbal Syrups
- As a cough syrup
- To help relieve nausea
- As a sweet tonic
- Cooked longer to turn into cough drops or anti-nausea drops
- As an ice cream topper
- As a pancake topper
- To make soda
- Drizzle onto toast, scones, or bagels with butter or cream cheese
- Drizzle onto Elderflower fritters
- Drizzle onto a cake as an icing replacement
- Mix in with plain yogurt for a bit of sweetness and flavor
The possibilities are endless!
How to Make an Herbal Syrup
You’ll want to start by making a strong tea of the herb you want to convert into a syrup.
If you are making a syrup with roots, bark, berries, or seeds, add 4 tablespoons dried root and 4 cups water into your saucepan. Bring the water to a boil then turn down and simmer until you have 2 cups of decoction.
Let the decoction cool then strain through the strainer. You should have 2 cups of decoction.
If you are making a syrup with leaves, flowers, or aerial parts, add 4 tablespoons of dried herb and 2 cups of water to your saucepan. Bring to a boil then turn off and steep for about 20 minutes.
Let the tea cool then strain through a strainer.
Reheat the decoction or tea, add 2 cups (or an equal portion to the liquid you have left) honey and stir to combine.
Pour into a bottle, label and refrigerate.
Use within 3 months.
You can make a syrup with sugar too. I really like coconut sugar for this!
Follow the same steps for making your tea and then add 2 cups of sugar. Continue to simmer the mixture until thickened and reduced.
Some Herbs That Make Great Syrups
Ready to make a syrup but don’t know which herb to try it with? Here are a few of my favorites!
Ginger – great for helping upset stomachs, makes a great soda, and a great vanilla ice cream topper!
Peppermint or Spearmint – also great for upset stomachs and makes a refreshing herbal soda! Try it drizzled on chocolate ice cream or chocolate chip pancakes, yum!
Lemon Balm or Lemon Verbena – I love this drizzled on top of peach cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream. They both make a great soda too.
Elderberry – great syrup as is for a flu fighter, great on Elderflower fritters and pancakes
Wild Cherry – the original cough syrup! Great as a cough syrup if you want something a bit more solid. Pretty tasty as a soda too.
Elecampane – another great lung and cough syrup support herb, and soothes sore throats. Also great as a cough drop.
Violet flowers – soothes coughs and sore throats. Yummy on vanilla ice cream and makes an interesting soda.
Dandelion flowers – great drizzled on pancakes, bagels, scones, etc. or as a cake topper. Pretty delicious as a soda. Tastes like honey.
Maitake, Reishi, Oyster, and Turkey Tails – any combination of medicinal mushrooms makes a great immune system tonic.
Thyme, Basil, and other savory herbs – Savory herbs like Thyme, Basil, Sage, and Rosemary make great cough syrups too.
Have you ever made herbal syrups? What kind have you made and what’s your favorite use for them?