One of my favorite types of plant medicines to make are syrups. That’s probably because I’m rather spoiled having a limitless supply of raw honey, thanks to my husband, the beekeeper.
Raw honey is a special medicine, and it deserves it’s own blog entry. But, I was thinking of how lucky I am to have so much pure, raw honey and wanted to make a special syrup to say “thank you” to the man who has done all of the heavy lifting, been stung, and spent many hours at all the tasks associated with keeping bees and harvesting honey.
In addition to tending our bees, dear hubby has a stressful and physical day job that puts him in contact with a lot of people, and puts him at risk of catching whatever cold or flu is floating about. For this syrup, I wanted to create something that would support the immune system, while alleviating inflammation, chronic stress, and fatigue.
I decided upon a trio of herbal ingredients, including ashwaganda, eleuthero (siberian ginseng), and ginger root. The first two were dried, but I always have fresh, juicy ginger root on hand and used the fresh root.
All three plants are considered “longevity tonics”. Naturally, I want my husband to have a long, happy, healthy life. They are also all adaptogens, which possess the ability to adapt it’s actions to your body’s individual needs. The three also possess cholesterol-lowering and anticancer properties. This blend is also beneficial for the immune system, proper hormone function, and reducing pain from both rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Ashwaganda is an important herb in Ayurvedic healing. It is rapidly gaining interest in western herbalism, and for good reason. Ashwaganda is a tonic herb that supports the immune system, may have cancer suppressing properties, and has been used to stabalize blood sugar, improve mental acuity, and reduce both cholesterol and inflammation. However, it is best to avoid this herb during pregnancy.
Eleuthero is another tonic herb that is widely known for it’s ability to support the adrenals and the immune system. This helps alleviate fatigue and keeps stress hormones, like cortisol in check. It has the added benefit of improving concentration.
Ginger has so many supportive uses. Besides being well-known for calming nausea, it is warming, detoxifying, calms inflammation, helps fight off colds and flues, and has anti-cancer properties. Ginger is a powerful immune-booster and promotes healthy digestion. Not that I have seen this recommendation elsewhere, but I’ve used it successfully to calm some of the symptoms of my gluten sensitivities when I accidentally get exposed to gluten.
How to Make Triple Tonic Syrup
I made a decoction out of equal parts of the three roots, equaling 3 ounces by weight. It was placed in a pot with 4 cups of cold water. It was brought to a boil for 10 minutes, then the heat reduced to a simmer. Once the liquid was reduced to 2 cups (about 30 mintes), I strained the plant material and very gently simmered the remaining liquid down to 1/2 cup.
Next, I poured it into a pint mason jar to cool a little, then filled the jar with honey. It would be a shame to add raw honey to very hot liquid and kill off all those beneficial enzymes in the honey! What’s the point of using live, raw honey, if you’re just going to cook it into oblivion? Gentle stirring while the liquid was still warm was all that was necessary to effectively and thoroughly blend it into the honey.
How to take Triple Tonic Syrup
For adults, take one teaspoon, three to four times daily. Give this six weeks to get the full benefit, and to gauge if you need to adjust the dosage up or down. There are no known long term use issues with these plants. A pint is approximately a one-month supply.
I made this syrup a bit on the thick side, reducing the herbal liquid to only 1/2 cup and using 1 and 1/2 cups of honey. As a result, it is very sweet. A 1:1 ratio would certainly work as well, but my personal preference is for thicker syrups.
Be aware that this blend may lower blood pressure levels and act as a blood thinner. For some, this may be a good thing. But, if you are taking medication to lower your blood pressure, please use caution and common sense. This herbal syrup is contraindicated (not recommended) during pregnancy.