herbsandyoga

Simple ways to lead a healthy and nutritious life!


Leave a comment

Beginner’s Guide to Making Your Own Medicine – Part 2

Image

Cold and Flu Tonic

When feeling a little under the weather, reach for this soothing concoction to boost your immune system and fight that cold/flu with natural ingredients.  Your body will thank you!

2-3 organic lemons, sliced

6 green tea bags, use good quality tea

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 cup Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar

1 “thumb” ginger, peeled and sliced (about 1-2 inches)

5-6 cups filtered water

Raw, local honey, to taste

Instructions:

Pour water into large pot and bring to a boil (or you can also make this in the crockpot)

Add all ingredients except the apple cider vinegar and raw, local honey

Cover the pot (or put a lid on the crockpot) and let the mixture steep for 20-30 minutes

Wash and sterilize a large, wide mouth mason jar and pour the apple cider vinegar in

Add the lemon, tea, and ginger mixture into the mason jar with the ACV

At this point the mixture is ready to cool and store in the fridge (or let cool and drink a mug full right away)

The raw local honey can then be added after the mixture has cooled, as the hot liquid would destroy the beneficial enzymes present in the honey

When needed, take out of the fridge, gently warm, and add the honey

This mixture will last in the fridge for about a week.  Drink up and enjoy the relief!

 

 

 

IMG_20131229_115220
IMG_20131229_115804

A recipe I have yet to make but am very interested in comes from this site: http://www.instructables.com/id/Cough-Drops/?ALLSTEPS

I have the exact tea sampler as the post suggests so today I will give it a go! Making your own herbal cough drops is a great way to know what you’re putting in your body, not to mention it looks fun!! Just a couple things I noticed from the steps:
-Don’t use regular white sugar or agave nectar. These are both processed to heck and I would not use them at all. I suggest using honey or unrefined, organic sugar cane.
– I also would not add any artificial flavors or colors at the end of the process. Not needed. I would stick to the tea and sugar only.

Have you had success making your own cough drops? This should be quite the experiment for me and I do not own a candy mold so I am off to the store to get one! Let me know how yours turn out! Happy and Healthy medicine making everyone! 🙂

**UPDATE 1/17/2014**
I made the above mentioned cough drops and was very impressed! I used Traditional Medicinals Echinacea Plus Tea and some fresh ginger for the tea. Let that steep for 15 minutes and added the sugar. I didn’t have a candy thermometer so I decided to try it anyway, which was extremely bold I don’t recommend it, and let it boil until I thought that it was done. I used the cold water method and put a little in some cold water to see if it would harden right away and it seemed to hold together well so I took it off the heat and poured into my powdered sugar molds (never did get to the store to buy a candy mold so the sugar had to do for my first attempt). I let them cool and put into a jar. I immediately tried one, along with my 8 year old son, and we were pleasantly surprised! Not bad for my first attempt at candy making and cough drop making. I am looking forward to using different ingredients and also using a candy thermometer, which I know would have made the end result more lozenge-like. All in all, SUCCESS!
IMG_20140117_111320
IMG_20140117_115751
IMG_20140117_120700
IMG_20140117_123519

Advertisements


1 Comment

Beginner’s Guide to Making Your Own Medicine

ImageI can still remember exactly how it was as a kid, on the couch with some sickness, sipping on some herbal tea that tasted like grass.  I now find myself as a mother, calling my mother asking what teas did she give me as a child.  Natural remedies and holistic healing has been a part of my family as long as I can remember.  I may not have understood as a child, wondering why they didn’t just give me some cough syrup.  As an adult, I am intrigued by the idea of making medicines, salves, tinctures, etc.  I still haven’t been able to re-create my grandmother’s Swedish Bitters recipe (although I am confident I’ll get it). 

As I began to learn about our bodies and their amazing abilities to fight infections and viruses, I realized that I didn’t need over the counter medicines that only masked the problem.  I also didn’t need the disgusting chemicals that are added to those products.  Here is a sample inactive ingredient list for Nyquil Cold and Flu from a government website:(http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/archives/fdaDrugInfo.cfm?archiveid=38575)

“acesulfame potassium, alcohol, citric acid, FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Red No. 40, flavor, high fructose corn syrup, polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol, purified water, saccharin sodium, sodium citrate”

Well, well, well.  Pretty gross, huh? And that’s in medicine! So this is why I have made my own medicine for the last couple years.  I have had great success with the few different recipes I have come across on Pinterest (LOVE that site!).  Before starting your own medicines, make sure you have glass jars that have been cleaned and sanitized.  The size of the jars will depend on the amount of medicine you plan on making.  Another important tool in natural medicine making is a fine mesh strainer, or I like to use cheesecloth that you can find in your local grocery store.  Alright…let’s make some medicine!

Elderberry Syrup (Recipe from A Blossoming Life)

  • 1/2 cup dried elderberries
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup raw, local honey
  • 2/3 cup Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar

Fill a pot with water and add the dried elderberries.  Bring to a boil and let boil for 30 minutes.  Take off the heat and mash the elderberries well (a potato masher works well).  Strain out the liquid into a separate container using the cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer.  Once strained and cooled, add the local honey to the elderberry liquid and mix well.  Then add the apple cider vinegar and stir.  Place in a jar and put into the fridge for up to 6 months.  Adults-1 tbsp/day Children-1 tsp/day

*Elderberries have a high antioxidant capacity that enhances immune function*

Homemade Gingerade (From Cottage Life on Pilgrim’s Farm)

  • 1 medium sized root of ginger, grated
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • raw local honey, to taste

Steep the grated ginger in 4 cups of hot water until the water cools.  Strain the ginger juice using cheesecloth.  Add the juice of 1 lime to the strained ginger liquid.  Sprinkle in lime zest (or you can steep with the ginger in step 1).  Add enough raw honey to taste.  Store mixture in the fridge. 

*Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a powerful antiviral agent *

The last of my favorite medicines is a simple one.  It’s an easy-peasy lemon and honey “marmalade”.  For this all you need is about 2-3 organic lemons, raw local honey, and a clean, sterilized jar.  Wash and slice the lemons thinly and put them into the jar.  Pour enough raw honey to cover the lemons.  Put on the jar and store in the fridge.  Ginger slices can also be added to the mixture, if desired.  When cold/flu symptoms hit, add a couple spoonful’s to a mug of warm/hot water and enjoy the relief!