I was lucky enough to have a few herbalists all join me in my home yesterday to make a variety of herbal syrups. All of the syrups we made will be sent to Standing Rock to the herbal medic tent. Syrups are great to send to them because they do not need to contain alcohol.
Most of the time, when we think of herbal syrups we just think of elderberry. While elderberry syrup is wonderful, delicious, nutritious, and healing it is not the only herb we can make into syrups. Just about any herb you would make into a tea you can make into a syrup. The key is to make a concentration.
With it being holiday season well all are enjoying our cinnamon, cloves, nutmegs, and other warming herbs. These can be made into syrups that you then add only a few drops to a drink or baked good. Because how how potent these herbs are, they may not make the best syrup gifts to give to your friends but some herbs that are more floral may do better.
Let’s say your friend is commonly anxious and having trouble sleeping. You find that chamomile may be great for them, also being an anti-inflammatory and digestive stimulating herb. Chamomile is an herb you may need to take more of than most herbs so a syrup is great. You then don’t have to have 4-6 cups of tea a day and keep running to the bathroom. Try this:
- 100g Chamomile and 4 cups of water
- Mix together and simmer for 30 minutes
- Strain with a muslin cloth (be sure to get all flower pieces out)
- Return liquid to heat and simmer until you have about 150ml (about 3/5 of a cup)
- Add in 3/5 of a cup of sugar/honey and stir well
- This gives you a 1:3 extract ratio, meaning there is 1g of herb in every 3ml. If you are to take 5g of chamomile at once you would take 1 tablespoon (15ml) of syrup
Isn’t that so much easier than making tea every day and drinking cup after cup.
Syrups can be made with a number of herbs or just about any tea blend. Keep in mind if your blend contains roots or barks you will need to simmer them much longer.
Another mix that is nice as a holiday gift is to make a sage or thyme syrup. Use the same instructions above with these herbs. This syrup can be used as a nice glaze on poultry. You could also just use a poultry seasoning mix to make your syrup. Ooo the possibilities are endless with syrups.
I recently made a syrup using holy basil, tulsi, an herb from India. A friend of mine always said tulsi was like a ‘hug in a cup.’ This was lovely when I used a rose infused honey to sweeten it. Be sure to add sweetener to your syrup in a 1:1 ratio so it acts as a preservative. Keep your syrups on the counter for about 3 months or keep them in the fridge for up to a year.
*I have also made syrups like these with citrus fruits that a splash of the syrup can be added to a glass of ice water for a nice treat*
Want to buy some syrups instead of making them yourself? Try A Balanced Life Wellness and be sure to subscribe for more herbal holiday treats.