herbal syrups


Sort of a step by step visual guide on how I just made three jars of amazing wild violet syrup! It’s so sweet and yummy! The jar of yellow water was dandelions, which you can also use to make a delicious syrup following my recipe. For those that are better learners with directions, here’s my recipe, written out in plain English.

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DIY Herbal Remedies

Can’t wait to try some of these!!

From gaiasgarden.com

One of the best methods for extracting the more tenacious plant material, such as roots, bark and woody stems is by making a decoction. To make a decoction add one ounce of root/bark to one pint of cold spring water. Bring this mixture to a boil… then simmer for 15 – 30 minutes, depending on strength of decoction desired. Always keep the pot tightly covered. Store any unused portion in refrigerator. Use only glass, ceramic or enameled vessels for your herbal preparations.

To make an infusion pour boiling water over the herbs and allow the herbs to steep 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the strength needed. Remember to keep the container tightly covered during the infusion process.

Solar Infusion
I place my herbal mixture in a large glass jar with a lid. I add cool spring water over this and place in direct
sunlight for several hours. When the infusion has reached desired strength, strain the herbal material from the liquid and store the infusion in the refrigerator.

Lunar Infusion
Follow the above directions, only place your jar of water and herbs under the full moon’s rays overnight. Fresh flowers are quite lovely in lunar infusions. Do not use poisonous flowers! Avoid sprayed flowers. There are a lot of good reference books on edible flowers. Check them out before experimenting. Safe, edible flowers; Calendula petals, Chrysanthemum petals, Dandelion petals, Fuchsia, Hollyhock, Honeysuckle, Johnny-jump-up, Nasturtium, Pansy, Rose petals, Snapdragon and Violets. These are a few of the edible flowers that I use in infusions, salads and other herbal formulations.

Herbal Tinctures
I personally use the old folk method. To make a tincture, fill a clean dry jar one-half way with your herbal mixture, cover completely with vodka, brandy or grain alcohol, adding a couple more inches to allow for expansion as the dry herbs absorb the liquid. Steep in a warm place for three to eight weeks. Shake daily, strain when done and store in a dark colored bottle, label with content and date of preparation. I suggest keeping accurate files on all preparations, there is nothing worse than not being able to recreate a prize tincture. Over the some odd forty years of making tinctures, I have lost a few great recipes, simply because I was in a hurry and didn’t bother to write them down.

Medicinal syrups have been traditionally used for treating coughs, sore throats and digestive problems. Syrups are easy and fun to make. Because of the high sugar content in most syrups they will last for several weeks, if refrigerated. I’ve had a few of my syrups last for months and some of  my students have reported the same results.

To make an herbal syrup, add about two ounces of herb to one quart of water. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer until liquid is reduced to one pint. Strain, and while the liquid is still warm, add ½ -1 cup of honey (or brown / white sugar or maple syrup.) You may also add six to eight tablespoons of plain or fruit brandy to the your pint of syrup. Brandy relaxes the throat muscles and helps to calm coughing spasms. Bottle for use and store in refrigerator.

Liniments are used for soothing strained muscles and ligaments. Liniments are for external use, and should be labeled accordingly. One of the most popular liniment recipes comes from the famous herbalist, Jethro Kloss. I use this for rubbing on tired, strained muscles after a busy day in the garden. I’ve also noticed that it keeps fleas and bugs off my legs. Combine one ounce of each of the following; golden seal powder, myrrh powder and echinacea, plus ¼ ounce cayenne powder. Place these dried herbs in a bottle and add one pint of rubbing alcohol. Shake this bottle daily for three to ten days.  Strain and store in a bottle.

Salves / Ointments
A salve/ointment, is a preparation that when applied to the skin will remain in place because of its thick
consistency. A salve can be made by first heating one cup of infused oil and  about one-fourth cup of grated beeswax. Stirring gently with a wooden spoon until all of the beeswax is completely melted. Remove from heat and let this mixture cool until you see a ridge forming around the edge of  your ceramic pot. Add a couple drops of essential oils of your choice, blending well. Immediately pour this mixture into small containers and store in a cool dark place. If you store your salves/ointments properly they will last a very long time. I have a tea tree mixture in my herbal closet that is over two years old.  When they lose their color and smell rancid discard them.

A compress is applied directly to the skin to enhance the healing process. To make a compress, use a clean soft cloth made of cotton, linen or gauze. Soak this cloth in a hot infusion or decoction. Place this as hot as is comfortable, without burning upon the affected area. Change the compress as soon as it cools. For a cold compress use  a cold water infusion or cold water with a couple of drops of a soothing essential oil swished around in the water. My favorite essential oils to use are lavender, Clary sage, Chamomile and Jasmine. Remember only one to two drops of essential oil to one cup of water. Make sure you mix the oil and water well. When I’ve had a hectic day I pour some spring water into a lovely hand painted cup, add a couple of drops of  Clary Sage then dip my favorite fine linen handkerchief into the mixture. I wring out the excess water and place this over my forehead. It’s wonderful. I also keep a couple bottles of rose and orange water in my refrigerator, and I sometimes use the waters instead of infusions or decoctions. You can usually find these waters at well stocked Asian stores.

Tisanes / Teas
Place the herbs in a container with a tight fitting lid and pour boiling water over them. Replace the lid on the
container. Allow the tea to steep for five to twenty minutes. Steeping time will depend on herbs/flowers used. Sun tea can be made by placing your herbs in a sun tea jar and pouring cold spring water over the herbs. Place this jar in direct sunlight and let it infuse for several hours. To prepare lunar tea,  place the herbs in an open glass bowl. Cover the herbs with fresh water and place directly in the moonlight. I sometimes cover the bowl with a glass lid to keep the neighborhood  squirrel out. Allow your tea to infuse overnight and refrigerate first thing in the morning.

Infused Herbal Oils
Infused oils are simply wonderful, I use them in making my cosmetic creams, ointments, massage oils, salves, dream balms, shampoos, hand lotions etc. I use either dry or fresh herbs. I find the lighter oils such as almond, apricot or grapeseed oils are the best. If you choose to use fresh herbs, make sure they are completely free of moisture. To make infused oils I simply add two ounces of herbal mixture to two cups of oil in a large glass jar. Cover tightly. I place these jars in a warm sunny spot on my windowsill. Let the mixture infuse for two weeks, strain, adding a fresh batch of herbs to the oil, and infuse for an additional two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, strain the herbs into a new bottle, and store it in a cool dark area. When I’m in a hurry I use my crock-pot. Place the herbs and oil in a crock-pot turn to the lowest setting. Check for overheating and allow this mixture to infuse from two to four hours. Strain the mixture and pour into clean dry bottles. Store your infused oils in a cool, dark place. The left over oil can be pressed from the herbal residue and stored in a separate container, this oil is usable, but of a poorer quality. My favorite infused oil is made by using equal parts of Calendula flowers, Roses, Lavender, Chamomile flowers and Comfrey. Comfrey used as a cosmetic herb,  is reported to regenerate aging skin. To the finished infused oil, I also add a few drops of Blue Chamomile essential oil.


One of the many plants growing in my garden that were already present by the time we bougt the house, is a small elderbush. This year, it’ll be in bloom for the first time, so I decided to dedicate one post to something my Mom used to make every late May or early June every since I could think:


It certainly cannot compared to the dull and way too sweet syrup you can buy at the grocery stores. There’s nothing like home-made, is there?

Ingredients for approximately 5-7 bottles:

  • 30 Elder-flower umbels
  • 3 l Water
  • 80 g Citric Acid
  • 3 Organic Lemons cut into slices
  • 3 kg Sugar

How it is made:

  • Make sure that your Elder-flower umbels are clean and bug-free. Wash and put them into a big bucket.
  • Add the citric acid, the water and lemon slices - stir well.
  • Cover the bucket with a dish cloth and let rest for 3 days. Stir once a day.
  • Strain the liquid though a linen tissue and add 1 kg sugar per 1 liter of juice.
  • Cook the mixture for 3-5 minutes and fill the (still hot) liquid into clean bottles. Seal the bottles right afterwards.
  • Store in a cool and dark place so you can enjoy them until … like forever. Unless you don’t drink it right away.
  • To enjoy the wonderful fresh an lemony flavor of Elder-flower juice like your everyday syrup. Water : Syrup = approximately 7 : 1

Now there’s something even better for the grown up wine drinkers among us. A delicious and refreshing thing that came all the way from Italy to find a huge fan-base among the Austrians, even though it got a crazy name:


It all started in late Summer 2010 in a former Austrian, now Italian region called Southern Tirol. Soon afterwards, the sparkling drink, that sort of is a daytime-type of Mojito, found its  place in every bar and Biergarten in Austria and Bavaria and step by step dethroned the former favorite wine-cocktail Aperol Spritz.

Of course, just like the reddish Aperol Liquor-White Wine mixture, a Hugo is easily made at home. This is what you’ll need:

Ingredients for a Hugo:

  • 150 ml Prosecco
  • 1 shot Elder-Flower Syrup
  • Limes
  • Mint or Lemon Balm
  • 100 ml Sparkling Water

It’s served with ice cubes and straw in a bulgy Wine glass and makes sure, that everyone who has once tried it, will fall in love with it. Believe me, everyone I know, did!

More Facts?
According to Swedish folklore one can see the Elf-King and his entourage when sitting under an elder bush during sunset on Midsummer’s day. Hmm, I wonder if the king ever travels all the way southwards to Austria. Oh and the plant also plays an important role as a household remedy since a tea brewed from elder-flowers is used to cure fever and the symptoms of the common cold. Its almost black berries contain even more Vitamin C than the flower umbels, but you’ll have to wait a few more months until August or September to be able to collect them. 

Wild Violet Syrup

  • Pack a 1 litre canning jar with fresh violet flowers
  • Add 4 cups of distilled water and 2 tbsp of alcohol (40% or more)
  • Seal jar and infuse for 24-48 hours
  • Shake a few times each day
  • Strain, squeeze remaining liquid from petals and discard petal pulp
  • Measure resulting infusion
  • Heat until just bubbling and add 1 part sugar per 1 part violet infusion
  • Remove from heat as soon as sugar melts completely
  • Cool and add 1 tbsp of spirits per 1 cup of liquid
  • Strain through cheese cloth
  • Store in the fridge

For the best results, pick your flowers in the morning just after they’ve opened but before the sun burns away the fragrance and work with them right away. Pick as many violet flowers as you can and really pack them in – the more you have to work with the stronger in taste your syrup will be. By only heating the infusion long enough to melt the sugar, you preserve the strong violet colour, taste, and smell. The heat will lighten the syrup’s colour, but it will darken again in a week or two. The syrup will lose it’s colour and turn a brownish colour after 6 months.

Now that you have violet syrup, what to do with it? You can pour it as is over top of vanilla or coconut ice cream or have it for breakfast with pancakes, waffles, or crepes. Brush the layers of a white cake with it, letting it soak in well, and ice with a white butter cream and garnish with candied violets for a gorgeous and simple violet cake. Pour it over pound cake crumbled in a bowl and add booze, custard, and whipped cream to make a violet trifle.

Add 1 tbsp of violet syrup per 1 cup of soda water to make home made violet soda. Diluted it is a pale lavender colour and tastes divine. Use it to mix drinks as the violet syrup would pair well with a plain mead, vodka, white rum, gin, or brandy to make your own creme de violette. Mix a Blue Moon cocktail by combining gin, lemon juice, and violet syrup or a Moonlight cocktail with gin, lime juice, cointreau, and violet syrup.

© 2014 Fernspindle

Witches’ Remedies & Painkillers

from PaganHeart.co.uk



(IMPORTANT: Herbal preparations should never be boiled in aluminum vessels! Use only copper, earthenware or pyrex to avoid contamination of the medicines. Please follow all directions carefully!)

ANIMAL BITES (MINOR WOUNDS) - The powdered root of angelica (gathered when the moon is in Leo, preferably)mixed with a bit of pitch and laid on the biting of dogs, or any other creature, helps to cleanse the open wound and makes it heal more quickly.

ANXIETY - A tea made from catnip, chamomile or skullcap helps to relieve anxiety and nervousness.

ARTERIOSCLEROSIS (HARDENING OF THE ARTERIES) - Combine one pint of grain alcohol with one ounce of powdered dried Hawthorne berries. This tincture should be given in doses ranging from one to 15 drops. (NOTE: Although hawthorne is non-toxic, it can produce dizziness if taken in large doses)

ASTHMA - Place the soft fuzzy leaves of the mullein plant in a teapot with hot water and inhale the steam through the spout to relieve the symptoms. Another preventative against mild attacks calls for one tablespoon of sunflower oil taken at night before going to bed. A brew of skunk cabbage, garlic, onion and honey was favored by many witches as a remedy for bronchial asthma. A very old asthma remedy used by the Native American calls for the smoking of ground red clover blossoms. The leaves of the California gum plant combined with those of the stramonium were also smoked.

ATHLETE’S FOOT - Rub onion juice between the toes two or three times daily until the condition disappears.

BACKACHE - A tea of nettle or rosinweed is recommended for aching backs by many witches.

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Homemade “Rose-Clove” Simple Syrup.  
I add it to tea, coffee and seltzer water to make some
pretty amazing flavored drinks.  But that’s a small fraction of what one can do w/ simple syrup. Here’s a few suggestions, along w/ an easy recipe for making your own herbal syrups.

Equal parts Sugar & Water,
1 cp / 1 cp  - sugar water brought to boil
Simmer for 5-10 mins. @ medium-high heat,  then add any herb you
desire to mixture.  Suggestions- Lavender, Rose, Cinnamon, Lemon Verbena, Mint. Steep for a minimum of 30 mins.

Culinary uses-
1. Create custom infusions for cocktails
Simply add alcohol and ice and you can make endless drink combos.
2. Dress fruit salads
transform a simple bowl of fruit into a cohesive dish w/ a great glossy look.
3. Moisten layer cakes
Brush simple syrup onto cooled layers of layer cake to keep your confection fresh and moist. Adding a little booze—reduces a too-sweet taste
4. Tea/Coffee
Add to your herbal tea or your warm hot coco/coffee for a unique scent or taste
5.  Herbal Lemonade
Herbal lemonade w/ Lemon Verbena or Lavender simple syrup is pretty yummy
6. Shaved Ice Add your syrup to shaved Ice
7. Morning Pancakes
Add this syrup to your pancakes and waffles like regular syrup

homemade cough syrup recipe!

this is a recipe i came across at pagancon last year slightly modified (i can’t remember for the life of me what the lady who demonstrated it was called!). this is one of the first things i made from my foraged stuff and it’s super easy and very effective. because of the amount of sugar in it it will last a long time too - mine lasted a couple of months before it started fermenting, i don’t have any exact use-by date but i’d guess around 6 weeks!

you’ll need:

- plantain (this grows literally everywhere if you’re in the uk; roadsides, lawns, scrubland… it’s really easy to clean too)
- thyme (mine was from my garden, you can get it fresh from a lot of supermarkets. again, if you’re in the uk aldi does it cheap)
- ginger (preferably fresh but ground should be fine)
- licorice root (this is the most awkward to get - i got a big bag from tiger for a pound but i’m not really sure where else does it)
- sugar 

now here’s how you do it!

1. chuck all your herbs in a pan and cover with water. i didn’t use exact measurements for mine - it was about three handfuls of plantain, a handful of thyme, about an inch long ginger root chopped up and a handful of chopped licorice root, and that easily made a litre of cough medicine.

2. bring the water to a boil, then simmer for 30-40 mins. let it cool, then strain it through some muslin. 

3. return to the heat and add your sugar (using my quantities, i used a kg sugar), stirring until it has dissolved. 

boom! cough syrup! 

sorry this is ridiculously vague, i’m an absolute nightmare for measurements and following recipes. but in all honesty, different quantities won’t do you any harm. also, heads up: this is cough syrup. it doesn’t taste particularly good. but it works, it lasts, and it’s pretty cheap to make!

This is not my recipe.  But I found it and think it is a useful bit for those who need to make something for colds and flu.  I love elderberries, so tho should really do the trick!

From herbalbear.com

I was tagged by @eloquent-cabbage a few days ago for this thing, tnx m8

1. Drink: some herbal syrup my mom just made 
2. Phone call:  dad
3. Text message: my biology professor 
4. Song you listened to: Dark Heart Ceremony by Carnifex
5. Time you cried: this morning when i got my matura results
6. Dated someone twice: no
7. Kissed someone and regretted it: yeah lol
8. Been cheated on: no
9. Lost someone special: uhhh???

10. Been depressed: not that i’d know of 

11. Gotten drunk and thrown up: once, but it was from the food i ate so idk if it counts

12. black
13. red

14. purple

15. Made new friends: yea
16. Fallen out of love: nah
17. Laughed until you cried: multiple times
18. Found out someone was talking about you: ??? i tend to forget these things
19. Met someone who changed you: n o
20. Found out who your friends are: what even is this question
21. Kissed someone on your Facebook list: nay 

22. How many of your Facebook friends do you know in real life: almost all
23. Do you have any pets: nope
24. Do you want to change your name: nah
25. What did you do for your last Birthday: same shit i do every day but i had cake
26. What time did you wake up: 5:30
27. What were you doing at midnight last night: trying to go to sleep
28. Name something you can’t wait for: the day when someone kills Supernatural
29. When was the last time you saw your mom: like 20 min ago
30. What is one thing you wish you could change in your life: just who i am in general
31. What are you listening right now: Kreator
32. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom: does Tomi count?
33. Something that is getting on your nerves: me, myself & i
34. Most visited Website: this blue hell

35. Mole/s: yea
36. Mark/s: yea
37. Childhood dream: being a lawyer because i heard they’re rich
38. Haircolour: light brown
39. Long or short hair: long
40. Do you have a crush on someone: ew
41. What do you like about yourself: good question
42. Piercings: no
43. Bloodtype: don’t know
44. Nickname: Ally, also Alko
45. Relationship status: no relationship
46. Zodiac: taurus
47. Pronouns: i have no gender, only rage
48. Favourite TV Show: BLACK SAILS there are no other shows
49. Tattoos: no
50. Right or left hand: right
51. Surgery: no
52. Hair dyed in different color: no
53. Sport: long distance running mostly
55. Vacation: i’ve just been to Chez Republic
56. Pair of trainers:  again, what is this question
57. Eating: a muffin
58. Drinking: water
59. I’m about to: go get some sleep 
61. Waiting for: death?
62. Want: inner peace
63. Get married: ugh

64. Career: i’m starting med school this october?

65. Hugs or kisses: hugs always
66. Lips or eyes: eyes usually
67. Shorter or taller: shorter
68. Older or younger: in what context?
70. Nice arms or nice stomach: arms 
71. Sensitive or loud: neither

72. Hook up or relationship: ….relationship
73. Troublemaker or hesitant: idc

74. Kissed a stranger: ….maybe
75. Drank hard liquor: yah
76. Lost glasses/contact lenses: no
77. Turned someone down: oh yea
78. Sex in the first date: what the hell is a sex
79. Broken someone’s heart: don’t know, don’t care  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
80. Had your heart broken: does MCR breaking up count?
81. Been arrested: no
82. Cried when someone died: yea
83. Fallen for a friend: no

84. Yourself: no???? what kinda question lmao
85. Miracles: no
86. Love at first sight: no
87. Santa Claus: sure
88. Kiss on the first date: sounds fake
89. Angels: who

90. Current best friends name: Anja
91. Eyecolour: brown/green
92. Favorite movie: The Empire Strikes Back

kk, I tag @hanfski, @jabolka, @beliprah, @gabibakos, @fleshbutt-apocalypse, @trash-cactus, @justaddgigi and @thatraerae I hope that’s enough I’m tired & going to sleep

DIY Herbal Stomach Syrup

Sorry I’ve put this off so long! Yay! Another awesome addition to an herbal medicine cupboard is this nifty stomach/general indigestion syrup. It treats tummy aches, nausea/vomiting, bowel pain, diarrhea, gas/bloating. Its basically an herbal version of pepto bismol in regards to the symptoms it treats, but it tastes much better! (Again, Image heavy post!!)

Our two main herbs for this tonic are star anise and cloves. Not only are they chock full of herbal goodness, but they taste great and give this syrup a nice “Christmas spice” taste. Chinese star anise (not to be confused with Japanese star anise which is fatal if ingested!) is a common cooking spice with a distinct black licorice flavor. Its great for fighting of bacterial and fungal infections, an imbalance of which are a primary cause of many common digestive tract ailments. Its been used for centuries for digestive tract problems including upset stomach, gas, loss of appetite, nausea and colic in babies. Cloves are another great multipurpose spice. Its a great expectorant, so its good for respiratory infections and getting rid of phlegm. It also reduces inflammation and is a natural antiseptic and pain killer. (I’m planning on making a salve with cloves for treating scrapes/bruises and arthritis/sore muscles!) But for our purposes today, cloves help relax the smooth lining of the gastrointestinal tract, so they help alleviate vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal gas and stomachaches. 

So some things you’ll need:

  • Chinese Star Anise
  • Cloves
  • Honey (I put honey in just about everything to be taken internally, not only does it pack a nutritional punch with all the medicinal benefits you get, but it makes medicines taste so much better.)
  • Sugar (or other sweetener for preservative
  • Water
  • Small sauce pan
  • Small strainer
  • Something to stir with. A whisk will help later on too.
  • A funnel
  • Containers for storage (I used recycled brandy bottles.)

Step 1:

Measure ¼ cup of star anise and cloves. Since this is a fairly large whole spice, the way I did it was to first fill it up with the anise and then sprinkle the clove buds into the spaces. You want to use less cloves than anise anyway because they are strong and can upset the stomach if you use too much. Add your spices to a quart (4 cups) of cold water in your sauce pan. Its important for the water to be cold or room temp so everything infuses as it heats up together. 

Step 2:

Heat on medium temp. and bring to a simmer. Simmer liquid on med-low or low (depending on your stove) and reduce it to about ½ or a pint (2 cups.) This will take awhile so be patient. The important thing is to not heat to too high too quickly.

Step 3:

Strain your mixture into a separate container. Pour back into the pot. You don’t have to, but I sometimes add food coloring at this step to tell my syrups apart more easily. I liked the pale yellow of this one though, reminds me of the solar plexus chakra. ;)

Step 4:

Add two cups of sweetener. I used one cup of sugar and one cup of honey. You can use whatever sweetener you have, agave, sugar, honey, brown sugar, even maple syrup. Some recipes will say just use one cup of sweetener especially if you’re just going to refrigerate it, but I used more as a preservative and to make it shelf safe. Add the sugar first and whisk to dissolve, then add your honey.

Step 5:

Warm over low heat and stir well for about 30 minutes. Again this will be tedious, but slow and steady wins the race, you don’t want your sugars to burn. It will thicken and reduce to about half again.

Step 6: 

You’re almost done! Use a funnel to pour the warm syrup into empty, glass containers. Leave them on the counter to cool. After they’ve cooled, don’t forget to label and date them. (You can see my heart health syrup cooling in the background!)

Treats stomachaches, indigestion, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, gas/bloating, bowel pain.

Directions: Take a spoonful as needed to treat symptoms. Additional dose every hour if symptoms persist.

There you have it! I make this for a friend of mine, diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, (a not very fun chronic GI tract illness) and she swears by it. Of course she takes her regularly prescribed medicine, but says this syrup is extremely helpful in fighting quick flares of symptoms, especially those onset by certain foods.

January 19, 2016 - 5:47PM

Got sick last night and it got worse over night, so I had to skip uni today. Made me kinda sad because Tuesdays are my 4 module day. But my honey lemon tea and pei pa koa w/ honey tea helped relieve my sore throat temporarily. Annotating this journal article before I go and edit my essay. 

FYI, pei pa koa is a Chinese herbal syrup that helps relieve pain from sore throats, cough and temporary loss of voice. 

Wishing you all a happy health and happy study session!