Our ancestors were making their own medicines for nearly as long as our species has existed. It doesn't matter from whence they hailed, homemade syrups and other medicinal concoctions were common. Making your own syrups for immune health today allows you to control what is in your medicine and avoid unnecessary fillers, sugars, and chemicals. Plus, herbal syrups are easy to make and can be produced from commonly found items in the garden or foraged plants.
Common Immune Boosters
You don't have to be in the middle of a pandemic to appreciate the simplicity and healthiness of brewing up your own immune boosting syrup. Historically speaking, mankind has been making their own medicine practically since we took our first steps. We can learn a thing or two from our grandparents and other antecedents who knew how to keep themselves fit and hale.
Pretty much all of us know about the benefits of a healthy diet, plenty of rest, and regular exercise in service of keeping us healthy. Choosing the right foods can boost the immune system, but so can making syrups of immune health.
Almost as simple as making a smoothie, herbal syrups use ingredients known for various immunity enhancing properties. These may be berries or fruit, herbs, spices, and even common weeds like dandelion. Some common ingredients are:
It is common to combine many of these ingredients, as each has different properties.
While you can use tap or distilled water to steep out your syrup, other common pantry staples can also accompany the herb of your choice. If you want a sweet syrup, you can use honey. For an enhanced delivery, try coconut oil, which will help moisten up dry throats and mouths from cold or flu.
You can also opt to use alcohol, such as whiskey or vodka. Usually known as a hot toddy, alcohol infused syrups can also help you get some much needed sleep. Depending on the plant used, you may need to decoct the item with seeds, berries, or bark.
Basically, you simmer it down until it is concentrated, strain out the crunchy or pulpy bits, and add your suspension agent.
Basic Immune Boosting Syrup
There are many recipes for homemade syrups available. A very simple one combines elderberries, cinnamon bark, ginger, and Echinacea root. The combination results in a very powerful immune boosting elixir.
Steep the four ingredients in enough water to cover them for about 45 minutes. Then use cheesecloth to strain out the chunks. Add honey to taste and keep in a tightly sealed glass container, after the syrup has cooled.
In a cool, dark place, the liquid can keep for up to three months. Use one teaspoon for a child daily or one tablespoon for an adult.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for educational and gardening purposes only. Before using or ingesting ANY herb or plant for medicinal purposes or otherwise, please consult a physician, medical herbalist, or other suitable professional for advice.
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Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.