What You Need
Ingredients – Makes 36 ounces
• Herbs, coarsely ground – 28 oz by volume (14oz/1.75 cups for each: tea & honey)
• Honey – 14 oz./1.75 cups
• Water – 24 oz./3 cups (for decoction and double boiler)
• Herbal tincture – 12 oz./1.75 cups (for syrup)
• Measuring cup
• Clean mason jar(s) with lid(s)
• Thermometer for liquids (for honey)
• Double boiler (to heat honey)
• Label, permanent marker and clear packing tape
• Potato ricer or similar implement
• Cloth for straining: muslin, tighter weave cheesecloth, cotton gauze fabric or a clean t-shirt
• Glass bottle(s) to store finished product(s)
Note: You can prepare herbal honeys as stand-alone medicines and to sweeten teas and tinctures by following Step 3 below. Herbal infused honeys, made from dried herbs, have a very long shelf life.
This syrup contains equal parts (important to ensure proper preservation!), by volume, of:
• 1 part Herbal Honey Infusion (12 oz)
• 1 part concentrated Herbal Water Infusion or Decoction (12 oz)
• 1 part Herbal Tincture (12 oz)
1. Gather & clean your supplies
2. Prepare the herbal tincture(s). To use homemade tincture(s) in your syrup, prepare it at least 4 weeks prior to making a syrup. You can also use store-bought tinctures or straight alcohol.
3. Prepare your herbal infused honey:
Coarsely grind dry herbs. Using a measuring cup, combine equal parts of herb(s) (14oz) and honey (14oz) in a double boiler and heat on low for 6 – 8 hours, stirring periodically. Honey temperature should not exceed 110-115 °F. If needed, add more honey to cover the herbs and replenish the water in the bottom pot of the double boiler.
While still warm, strain the honey through cloth. Press the honey from the herbal material by pressing with a potato ricer or similar kitchen tool or wringing out with your hands.
4. Make the concentrated herbal water infusion or decoction:
Measure dried herb in a measuring cup using 1 part herb(s) to 1 part water, by volume.
Example: 14 oz of herb(s) in 14 oz of water.
5. Combine honey infusion, water extract & herbal tincture:
Combine equal parts by volume. For example:
12 oz of honey + 12 oz of tincture + 12 oz of water extract (infusion or decoction)
6. Label syrup with: herb(s), date & alcohol percentage. Cover label with clear packing tape. Depending on the alcohol percentage of your tincture and whether you used fresh or dried herbs, the alcohol percentage in your finished syrup will be anywhere from 10-30%.
*Storage, Dosage & Safety tips:
If you used a tincture with less than 75% alcohol, keep your syrup refrigerated. The higher the alcohol content, the longer your syrup will keep. Look out for signs of spoilage such as bubbling, off smells or visible mold.
If you used a tincture with 75% or higher alcohol content, your syrup will have a final alcohol level of ~25% and should keep refrigerated for ~2 years.
Dosage will vary by herb. A general dose is ~1-2 teaspoons up to 3 x a day for a 150 pound adult.
Determining dosage in children by weight:
Assume adult dosage is for 150 lb adult. Divide child’s weight by 150. Take that number and multiply it by the recommended adult dosage. Example: for a 50 pound child, dose 1/3 the recommended dose for an adult. If adult dose is 2 teaspoons (10ml) of syrup, give 3.3 ml or ~3/4 teaspoon. Note that ½ of that dose is tincture so 1.1 ml in this example.
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: Do not give honey to babies under 1 year of age.
Alcohol-Free Syrups: combine the tea and honey, in equal parts by volume and omit the alcohol for a slightly weaker, alcohol free syrup. This must be refrigerated and will last 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.