Friday, November 14, 2014

Herbal Cough Syrup {Homemade, no junk!}

My kids are starting to cough again.  Sigh.  It's that time of year.

But spend 5 seconds on google looking up cough syrup, and you will see tons of articles about not giving your kids cough syrup- it doesn't seem to work, (studies have shown that honey performs better than cough syrup) and it has actually harmed a whole bunch of kids.  In fact for the last several years the FDA has said to not give it to kids at all.

What's a momma to do?

Make your own.

homemade cough syrup ingredients
pretty herbs all in a bowl...(picture from Commonsense Home because I forgot to take one!)

Herbal Cough Syrup (adapted from Rosemary Gladstar's recipe- the uber herbalist)

2T. fennel seed
1T. licorice root
1T. slippery elm bark or marshmallow root (I used marshmallow root because I had it)
1T. valerian
1T. wild cherry bark
1t. cinnamon
3/4t. ginger

Honey (raw is best)

Measure all herbs (not the honey) into stovepot.  Add 1 quart of water.  Bring to a slow boil, simmer until liquid reduced by half.  This takes awhile.  Probably 20-30 minutes.  Strain herbs, and measure liquid.  For each pint of liquid add 1c. honey.  Add honey and liquid back to pot and heat until mixed through. You can also add a small amount of brandy (80 proof, at least)for a preservative.  Pour into mason jar and store in fridge.  It should last several months.  Dose will be 1-2 tsp. every hour or so as needed.

Now the big question for most of you is, where in the heck do I get something called slippery elm bark?

I buy all of my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.  Although, they were out of the wild cherry bark so I ordered that through the Bulk Herb Store.

The cost of all this (you were wondering, weren't you?!) really isn't that bad.  Mountain Rose Herbs sells in different sizes, if you buy the smallest which is 4 oz., the cost is about $23 plus shipping, assuming you already have the cinnamon and ginger in your cooking cupboard.  But then you have enough herbs to make a lot of cough syrup.  (not to mention researching what else those herbs are good for)  So in the end, it will cost you less than buying cough syrup from the store, plus you eliminate all the nasties that the FDA is saying are now harmful to children.

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