For many of us it is now Winter time, which frequently means an increase in coughs, colds and flu symptoms. Here are some recipes to address common Winter woes.
COUGH and SORE THROAT TEA
Thyme is an effective expectorant and antispetic, as it is rich in germ-killing compounds. For a cough remedy, add one teaspoon dried thyme to one cup of boiling water. Steep for ten minutes, strain, and drink. For sore throats; brew two teaspoons of thyme in one cup of boiling water for ten minutes. Gargle with the brew, then spit it out.
NIGHT-TIME COLD FORMULA
2 Tbs. lemon
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup hot water
2 Tbs. 90 proof vodka
Mix everything all together and drink it slowly, then go nightie night! *This recipe is NOT intended for children!
In the following recipe, the onion and the garlic are tough on colds and fevers. The honey and the glycerin help to sooth throats, the vodka helps to quiet a cough, and horehound has been used for almost 2000 years for respiratory relief. If you can find the flower tops and the leaves of the horehound herb, you can make your own extract, OR you can simply use a purchased extract. In fact, horehound is not necessary for this recipe to be effective, but it does make the recipe better, so it is worth the effort to find it. If you want to make this for a child, just leave out the vodka.
EXPECTORANT COUGH SYRUP
1 tbs. chopped red onion
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. glycerin
2 Tbs. glycerin
2 Tbs 90 proof vodka
1 tsp. horehound extract
Scratchy or sore throats result from an irritation of the mucus membranes in the throat. To sooth and help settle the irritation, the throat needs to be coated in a pleasant way. The following recipe can be made ahead of time so that you will be ready for your family's needs. It can be adjusted to incorporate your favorite herbs, vitamins, and or flavors! See the notes after the basic recipe for some suggestions.
LEMON THROAT DROPS
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1/2 cup water
Line a baking pan (9x9) with foil, making sure that the foil goes all the way up the sides of the pan, or you will be sorry! Then, butter the sides of a 2 quart saucepan. Combine the corn syrup, sugar, honey, and water in the pan. Cook over a medium-high heat until the mixture boils. Make sure that you stir constantly, in order to dissolve the sugar and keep it from burning. This usually takes about five minutes, give or take a few minutes. Once the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking at a light boil. Stir occasionally. Once it reaches the soft crack stage (which is 290 degrees F. on a candy thermometer), keep cooking for 20 more minutes, still stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Stir it occasionally, as it cools, for the next 2-3 minutes, then add the lemon. **If you are going to add any other vitamins or herbs, add them at this point** Then pour the mixture into the foil-lined pan to finish cooling. As it cools (another 3-10 minutes), it is a good idea to use a spatula and mark some "break" lines into the drops. Make squares in the size you want, remembering that they are for individual-size portions. These marks will stay when the mixture is completely set up, making it easier to portion correctly and consistently. If your marks do not stay, it means that the mixture is still too hot and needs more cooling time, just wait a while and try it again. Once properly marked, let the pan sit overnight then use the foil to lift it out of the pan. Break the pieces apart along your marks then package them in individual candy wrappers or wax paper. Make sure to twist each end tightly, then put all of the wrapped pieces into a large baggie or a paper bag. This recipe will make from 100-200 pieces, depending upon the size that you mark and break. They will last from 6-8 months, when properly wrapped and stored.
**To make this recipe more holistic and herbal you can add one each of the
following; zinc, vitamin C, echinacea, and goldenseal. If these are in tablet form, finely crush them before adding, if in capsules, just pull apart and drop the inner content into your mixture.
Of course you could also change up this recipe by either substituting (for the lemon), or just by adding an herb or two (some essential oils are ok too) to the lemon.
*when using fresh herbs, it is probably best to infuse them into the liquid portion of the recipe, but you can also finely chop them.
*You may also substitute a food-safe flavoring oil, however you will NOT receive any of the benefits listed for that flavor. The way in which they are created destroys their natural benefits.
*If you plan to use essential oils, you MUST be aware of, and familiar with, the warnings, as well as the necessary dilution rate (which are not provided for you here).
*If you are not familiar with the proper use of essential oils in edible products, you should NOTattempt to use them in this recipe.
If you want, you may add another herb/spice (in addition) to the lemon. Basil, bay, bergamot, black pepper, clary sage, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lime, orange, rosemary, vanilla, all blend well with lemon. If you would like to substitute another herb/spice for the lemon, you may want to consider one of the following;
-Basil has a beneficial action on the respiratory tract, and is often used for asthma, bronchitis, colds, coughs and sinus infections. It blends well with; black pepper, ginger, geranium, grapefruit, lavender and lemon.
-Black Pepper has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, and is good for coughs, colds and flus. It blends well with bergamot, clary sage, coriander, fennel, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime, orange, nutmeg, and rosemary.
-Ginger is good for colds and flu, congestion, coughs, sinusitis, sore throats, fever and chills. It does have a slight warming affect, so be extra cautious in the amount that you add. It blends well with; basil, black pepper, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, coriander, eucalyptus, geranium, lemon, lime, orange, rose, rosemary, spearmint, and vanilla.
-Geranium is good for sore throats and tonsillitis, and blends well with; basil, grapefruit, lavender, lime, orange, and rosemary.
-Grapefruit is good for colds, flu, and headaches and blends well with; basil, black pepper, geranium, lavender, lime, and lemon.
-Lavender is good for bronchitis, asthma, colds, laryngitis, and throat infections. It will blends well with everything, so use your imagination.
-Lemongrass is good for sore throats, laryngitis, and fever as well as indigestion and gastroenteritis. It blends well with; basil, bergamot, black Pepper, clary Sage, eucalyptus, geranium, ginger, lavender, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, rose, and vanilla.
-Lime is good fevers, colds, sore throats, flu, coughs, bronchitis, sinusitis and asthma. It blends well with; basil, clary sage, eucalyptus, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, orange, peppermint, rose, rosemary, and spearmint.
-Margoram, an antiseptic and calming agent
-Eucalyptus, an antiseptic and calming agent, good for bronchitis, colds, flu, headaches, sinusitis sore throats, and throat infections. The antiseptic properties in the essential oil increase with age.
-Orange (Sweet) is good for colds, flu, and fever, blending well with; basil, black Pepper, cinnamon, ginger, clary Sage, lavender, lime, peppermint, and spearmint.
dry coughs, sinus congestion, asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia, as well as bad breath (in case you want to make breath drops along with the throat drops). Peppermint blends well with; basil, black pepper, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon, lime, orange, and rosemary.
-Rose (use pure essential oil or untreated rose petals to infuse the water) posses anti-infectious, antiseptic, antiviral, and bactericidal properties that help with asthma, headaches, and coughs. It blends well with; bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, geranium, lavender, lemon, and madarin.
-Spearmint. While spearmint has properties of a local anesthetic, an antiseptic, a decongestant and an expectorant which can benefit fevers, headaches, asthma, bronchitis and colds, its effects are less powerful than those of peppermint. For this reason, spearmint may be better in children's products. It blends well with; basil, lavender, peppermint and rosemary.