Dec 4, 2012

An Effective Cough Syrup

       For example, to make an effective cough syrup, combine 2 tablespoons each of dried coltsfoot, echinacea, wild cherry bark, slippery elm bark, sage, horehound and ginger in 2 cups water. Simmer the herbs for about an hour over low to medium heat, uncovered, until half the water has evaporated. Strain the tea through cheesecloth and add an equal amount of raw honey or brown rice syrup.

      It's more exotic, but I'm partial to the following recipe for coltsfoot leaf syrup from Maria Treben's book Health through God's Pharmacy.

     Treben recommended this syrup for all lung disorders, coughs and bronchitis. In a large ceramic pot or glass jar, alternate layers of fresh coltsfoot leaves and raw sugar, let it settle and keep adding more until the pot is full. Wrap the pot in newspaper or fabric, then dig a hole in the garden and bury it. After eight weeks, dig it up and strain the syrup into a large pan and bring it just to a boil. Pour it into small jars. ''This syrup is our best protection against winter and influenza,'' wrote Treben. "Take it in teaspoonful doses." Coltsfoot is the first herb to bloom in the Northeast and I'm always cheered by its yellow blossoms rising through the snow in early spring.
    Adapting Treben's recipe, I have made wonderful coltsfoot syrups using raw sugar or a blend of raw sugar and raw honey layered with freshly picked coltsfoot leaves in a large glass jar which I leave outdoors in the sun all summer. From time to time I turn the tightly sealed jar upside down so its liquid contents can circulate. Instead of boiling the syrup, I simply strain it into clean glass jars and store them in a cool, dark place. This year I'm experimenting with coltsfoot-ginger syrup using sliced fresh ginger root, another soothing remedy for sore throats and chronic coughs.

No comments: