How to make a medicinal herbal syrup, part 3: medical herbal syrup

How to make a medicinal herbal syrup, part 3: medical herbal syrup

In the first blog of this series, we went over some theory about the use of medicinal herbal syrups. In the second blog, we discussed how to make a basic syrup.This time we’ll get to work on a medicinal herbal syrup. For this you need the following:

  • A pan or pot that can be used on fire, preferably earthenware, otherwise stainless steel
  • The medicinal herbs you want to use, dried
  • A stove
  • A strainer
  • A funnel
  • A cheesecloth
  • A clean glass pot or bowl
  • A well-sealable glass bottle or multiple bottles
  • White, pure sugar
  • Distilled water
  • A transparent measuring cup
  • If required, brandy, essential oil or concentrated fruit juice

Hygiene is essential

It is extremely important to make sure that all your materials are clean and dry and that your materials are pure. As we discussed last time, the dosage of a syrup is critical. Too much sugar and you get crystallisation, too little sugar and shelf life will be compromised. In either case, you get spoilage and your work is wasted. That is why there should really be no residual moisture in any of your jars, funnels, et cetera, because that can lead to an incorrect ratio.

Materials that aren’t clean can contain organisms which will subsequently cause fermentation. All of this may sound logical, but it goes wrong often enough. To spread risk, it is better to keep your syrup in smaller bottles, so that you only expose part of your preparation to the air, and thus oxidation.

Distilled water and sugar

We prefer to use distilled water to make syrup, for the above reasons. If there’s no other option, you can also use “normal” water. In either case, just to be on the safe side, we boil it just before using it.

In our recipe we use white sugar, but brown sugar and honey are also possible. The latter even has additional health benefits to offer.