Using herbs has become a way of life for us, and every year I become more proficient and add more knowledge and experience to this wonderful way of caring for my family
( even so I am certainly still a novice herbalist )
I enjoy all aspects of the herbs, from growing and caring for them, to harvesting and then preparing the herbs.
I love using fresh herbs whenever possible, and right now the Echinacea are in full bloom which is the time to harvest the ariel parts, last year I made tincture from the roots, and the plants I have growing now are just slightly too young for harvesting the roots (which should be done in early spring or fall after the third year of growth), so I decided to harvest some flowers and leaves and make a syrup for the children, they LOVE herbal syrups, as they are sweet and tasty.
I will use this syrup as a supplement and give it by spoonfuls everyday for as long as this batch will last, a few weeks probably. Echinacea is great for immune support, colds and flu.
I also added some Bee Balm flowers for taste, and they are also great for common colds and such.
And just because I had some cherries laying around looking sad, I also added them to the concoction for sweetness and flavor, as echinacea can be strong flavored (especially the root).
I also added one comfrey leaf, just because:)
My basket of goodies
So pretty isn't it, all chopped up
with the cherries added, just love how it looks, so colorful
after it is all chopped up, I added water to cover and brought it to a boil, and then left it to simmer until
the water reduced to about half
this is what it looked like when done, at which point I strained it, and squeezed out all the remaining liquid from the plants. Then added honey, about one cup of honey per quart of liquid.
and here it is strained, sweetened and ready.
This will keep in the fridge for several months, although it wont last that long in this house.
And in case anyone is interested a great simple reference book on common healing herbs, how to grow them and use them, this is one I love "Growing 101 Herbs that Heal"
Another great informational book is Rosemary Gladstar"s "Herbal recipes for vibrant health"
There are so many wonderful titles, yet these are great basic herbal books.