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There is a nasty flu-like virus going around that has brutally hit pretty much everyone that I know. Even my son, Syfy, came down with this virus ON Christmas, the poor guy! When it first hit our home, The Boyfriend was the first to come down with it, and I followed closely behind. Feeling absolutely miserable, I decided it was time to create an herbal bedtime cold & flu syrup that could help ease some of the symptoms you might be feeling, help you get a good nights rest, and support your immune system to help you get over it faster.
Herbs to help ease your symptoms
When I set out to create this nighttime herbal cold & flu syrup, I wanted to combine herbs that would help support the immune system, soothe my symptoms, and help me get a good night's rest. While there are a lot of herbs that can accomplish these tasks, t
- Elderflowers – Elderflowers are an amazing ally during a cold, the flu, or respiratory infections because of its antiviral properties. Elderflowers promote sweating and help to remove toxins from the body, thereby helping to reduce a fever after it has worked its pathogen-killing magic. Elderflower is also anti-inflammatory, anti-catarrhal (breaks up mucus), and an expectorant (helps get rid of mucus); so in the cases of colds, sinusitis and sinus allergies it helps to reduce inflammation of sinus tissue and relieve congestion.
- Valerian root – Valerian root is widely known for its calming properties at bedtime and natural ability to soothe anxiety and stress, but did you know that its antispasmodic properties make it useful in calming a spastic cough, and even soothing sore muscles? For this reason, it makes the perfect addition to this herbal bedtime cold/flu syrup!
- Red Clover Blossoms – Used for centuries to help cleanse the body and boost the immune system, red clover has long been used to treat bronchitis and other upper respiratory infections. A warming expectorant, red clover is known to help relieve chest congestion as well as soothe irritated sore throats. Red clover has a natural ability to remove byproducts of infection from the blood while nourishing and supporting the immune system. The tannins in red clover help dry the upper respiratory system and postnasal drip, while also reducing inflammation.
- Cinnamon chips – Like ginger, cinnamon is a warming herb that helps with circulation, congestion, and boosting immunities which make it a great addition to any cold or cough syrup.
- Ginger root – A warming herb that has been shown to reduce inflammation, increase circulation, boost your immunities, and even help to relieve coughs and sore throats. Ginger is an all-around herb that I use in all of my cold-related syrups!
- Echinacea root – Used for centuries by North American natives, and clinically studied for years, Echinacea is a very well known immune supporting herb that helps speed up healing and is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal. Echinacea is especially great for supporting respiratory and throat infections.
A Nighttime Herbal Cold & Flu Syrup
This herbal concoction is not safe for use with babies, children, and pregnant/nursing mothers. A safer option would be my homemade elderberry syrup! For older children and teens, under the age of 21, and adults sensitive to alcohol, omit the brandy
- 1/4 cup elderflowers
- 1/4 cup red clover blossoms
- 1/4 cup valerian root
- 2 Tbsp. echinacea root
- 2 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger root (or 1 Tbsp. dried ginger root)
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon chips or 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cups filtered water
- 1 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/2 cup raw unfiltered honey
- 1 cup southern comfort or brandy
- Combine 4 cups of water, elderflowers, red clover blossoms, ginger, cinnamon, echinacea, and valerian root in a 2 QT sauce pan.
- Cover the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Strain the herbal mixture using a fine mesh strainer and return the strained mixture to the pan.
- Bring to a boil and add the sugar, stirring until dissolved.
- Allow the mixture to boil for another 5 minutes to thicken.
- Remove from heat and stir in the honey, until completely mixed in.
- Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature before adding the alcohol.
- Pour into bottles and store in the
fridgeup to 2 years.
Take 1-2 Tbsp. of syrup at bedtime as needed.
Good valerian root is VERY stinky. No, really it totally is! I think that valerian root smells like stinky feet. The process of infusing the herbs on the stove is going to waft the smell around the room. I suggest diffusing your favorite blend of essential oils throughout your home, while you are making up this syrup!
- “Elder Monograph,” The Herbal Academy of New England, Herbarium.
- “Valerian Root Monograph,” The Herbal Academy of New England, Herbarium
- “Red Clover Monograph,” The Herbal Academy of New England, Herbarium.
- “Echinacea Monograph,” The Herbal Academy of New England, Herbarium.
- “Ceylon Cinnamon Monograph,” The Herbal Academy of New England, Herbarium.
- “Ginger Root Monograph,” The Herbal Academy of New England, Herbarium.