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Syrup -
How to make a herbal syrup and how it is used

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Syrups are useful for coughs and colds when one would like the herbal extract to stay in touch with the inflamed area longer, but it is also useful to disguise the taste of the herd, particularly for children.

Syrups are easy to make. Simply mix equal volumes of infusion and either honey or molasses syrup. It is also possible to make a sugar syrup instead of the honey or molasses.

A syrup can also be made by using a tincture instead of the infusion but the ratio has to be calculated to ensure that you still have control over dosage. I normally use the ratio of one standard dose of tincture to 5ml syrup so that when the syrup is prepared a teaspoonful will render a standard dose of the remedy. Do remember that if the remedy is made for children it must be a lot weaker and observe the children's dosage specifications of the herb.

Sugar and molasses syrup ferment very easily. Honey is a bit better because it has antibacterial properties and these are antifungal too. If the syrup is made using a decoction or infusion it may be prudent to heat the mixture to almost boiling point as this will destroy most bacteria and fungi (apart from the fact that it makes it a lot easier to mix).
Herbal syrups have to be stored in a refrigerator and even then they have been known to ferment, which renders them useless as there is no knowing hoe that will affect the efficacy of the herb and some bacteria form harmful toxins. It is best to make only enough syrup to last for a few days at a time. Do not store syrups in screw-cap bottles as these could explode from the fermentation.
Herbs that rely on the retention of a volatile oil (normally only useable in tinctures as most volatile oils do nit dissolve in water) loose most of their potency when heated. In this case it is not possible to make a syrup by heating the entire mixture. If needed the syrup can be heated to pasteurize it but it should be cooled before blending in the tincture.

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