Making An Herbal Syrup

Syrups are often made using sugar, but working with honey is preferred because of its innate benefits. While the finished product is not shelf stable, it keeps well refrigerated.

Administration and Dosage Guidelines

Syrups are taken by the teaspoon or tablespoon, straight up, or stirred into tea.

Shelf Life and Storage Guidelines

Kept refrigerated, a honey-based syrup will last for several months. Light-blocking storage bottles are best, but as the syrup will be in the dark refrigerator most of the time, they are not as critical as they are for tinctures.

Necessary Tools, Equipment, or Ingredients
  • Herbs
  • Water
  • Pot for decoction
  • Wire mesh strainers
  • Honey, plain or herb infused
  • Funnels
  • Storage bottles
  • Labels
Preparing Remedies – Step by Step

Prepare a tea with your herbs and water – either an extra strong infusion (use twice as much herb as usual) or a concentrated decoction. If making a decoction, allow the water to evaporate as it simmers, reducing the original volume of water to half or one fourth the original amount.

Strain and combine the concentrated decoction with an equal amount of honey, warming gently as you stir to mix thoroughly.

Close securely and label the jar with the ingredients used, along with the date.  Store in the refrigerator.

Pros
  • Delicious. Syrups are appealing to almost everyone because of their sweetness.
  • Multiple extractions. If you use an herb infused honey, your syrup contains both honey and water extracts of herbs, maximizing the extraction of a broad array of plant chemicals.
Cons
  • Needs refrigeration. This makes the syrup less portable.
  • Potential for old. Always examine your syrup when you open the jar to take a dose. If there’s any sign of mold growth on the surface, discard it and make a new batch.
Additional Considerations

Some recipes for herbal syrups call for sugar as this creates a shelf-stable product. Instead of adding honey, you would add twice as much sugar as you have tea. For example: for 4 cups of tea add 8 cups of sugar. That’s a lot of sugar and the major reason this is not the preferred method.

You can make a honey syrup shelf stable by adding an equal amount of tincture to your syrup once it’s made. For 2 cups of finished syrup, add 2 cups of tincture. This could be the same herb (or herbs) used in your syrup – again increasing the range of constituents extracted – or complementary plants, creating a synergistic formula.

Source: Herbal Medicine for Beginners

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