One of my challenges as an herbalist (and mama!) is often getting the herbs into the body that needs them. Some herbs are very lovely tasting and others, well, as my kids would bluntly say: taste terrible.
They are pretty good about taking tinctures – even the "terrible ones". Teas, on the other hand, must be tasty if I want them to be drinking cup after cup – which is exactly the case when they are fighting off some sort of virus.
This is our current throat soothing tea. Rosehips & orange peel offer vitamin C to boost your immunity, cherry bark and marshmallow soothe coughs and inflamed tissue, and we love the earthy spiciness of the ginger + cinnamon + fennel combo! My youngest is prone to respiratory illnesses, so we tend to be super proactive at the first sign of a sniffle in hopes of catching it before it settles into his chest. I've used both slippery elm and marshmallow root in this recipe with wonderful results – I have read that Slippery Elm is endangered, so while I will use up what is in my apothecary, I do not plan to buy more. Marshmallow is a wonderful substitute and easily cultivated. (We grow our own!)
Warm & Spicy Throat Soothe Tea
(adapted from a recipe in Healing Herbal Teas)
4 parts rosehips
3 parts cinnamon chips
2 parts wild cherry bark
2 parts marshmallow root
2 parts orange peel
1 part ginger root
1 part fennel
1 part licorice root
Use 1 TBSP of the tea blend per 1.5 cups of hot water.
This tea is best as a decoction – where all the herbs are simmered for 15 minutes. We also make it in our little teapot (see above) and let it steep in freshly boiled water for 15-20 minutes. I usually put two batches of hot water through the teapot with the same herbs, as I feel like root based tea blends keep on giving up their flavor.
Also, We mix up a jar at a time so it's ready and waiting when we need it. It's no fun trying to mix up sore throat tea when you're under the weather.