Our house has suddenly been taken over by sore throats, stuffy noses, and coughing.
Thankfully a few months ago I had the foresight to set Horehound — the Horehound that I wild-harvested here in the Rim Country of Arizona – and some organic Wild Cherry Bark to tincture.
Now strained and ready to use…this remedy is exactly what we need!
How We Treat Respiratory Illnesses
Prevention is the best medicine! Therefore, we mostly try to focus on preventing getting sick in the first place by:
- taking daily doses of immune system building vitamins such as vitamin C and D.
- eating a whole foods diet.
- drinking water.
- exercising and resting as needed.
- keeping stress at bay with this herbal tea and adaptogenic mix.
But even our best attempts at prevention fail us at times and we end up feeling under the weather. And it always seems to affect our respiratory systems in some way or another. For treatment, I insist that everyone in the home:
- increase the intake of water to 64-80 ounces daily.
- start a high-dose vitamin C regime.
- take several doses of my Herbal Cold Care Capsules.
- drink this Sniffles tea.
- routinely use our homemade Herbal Decongestant Salve.
- try a sinus rinses via the Netty Pot.
And when there’s a cough involved — you know those nasty ones — there’s nothing better than this tea made from my handmade Wild Cherry Bark and Horehound tincture.
Properties of the Herbs
Wild Cherry Bark has amazing expectorant and even some mild sedative properties. It has been used historically for treating fevers, colds, coughs, and sore throats. Not-to-mention it’s wonderful taste works beautifully to mask the bitterness of the Horehound.
Horehound acts as an expectorant as well and works powerfully to loosens phlegm in the chest. Marrubiin, one of the compounds in horehound, stimulates bronchial secretions thereby helping to break up congestion. Research also indicates that marrubiin acts as an antibiotic as well as an anti-viral.
All in all, horehound has been known to help with the following:
- Intestinal gas
- Sore Throats
- The common cold
Recipe for a Wild Cherry Bark & Horehound Tincture
- Measure the herbs you will use in your recipe using a small kitchen scale.
- Place plant material into the quart-sized glass jar.
- Pour your solvent, in this case vodka, over the herbs until it reaches approximately 2 inches above the herbs. Please Note: Alternative solvents include apple cider vinegar and vegetable glycerin. Purchase high-quality organic vegetable glycerin here.
- Stir well to combine. Then place a lid on the jar and shake.
- The jar should rest in a warm place, near a sunny window, and it should be shook at least once daily (twice is best).
- Steep for 4-6 weeks, although it may be strained after 2 weeks if needed.
- Strain tincture through a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh sieve.
- Keep the strained tincture in a colored glass bottle or clear glass in a cool, dark place.
- Label each bottle with the name, date, and contents.
Good Practice Tip: You may hear many older herbalist and great-grandparents who speak about tincturing with the cycles of the moon. There is a lot of good research out that supports the validity to this practice. Therefore, consider setting your tinctures to steep on the new moon and wait a full 30 day lunar cycle prior to straining.
Recipe for a Wild Cherry Bark & Horehound Tea
The most effective way that I have found to administer this tincture to the entire family is by adding a dropperful or two of the extract to a warm cup of water along side a splash of lemon, sweetened with raw honey…Wild Cherry Bark & Horehound Tea…yummy!
-Mountain Rose Herbs…they have everything you’ll need for this remedy! It’s your one-stop-shop!
-The Bulk Herb Store also carries many of these ingredients if you’d like to price check.
-I can’t recommend enough any book written by Rosemary Gladstar. She’s been my go-to source for herbal recipes for years. You’ll love her books:
- Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family
- Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use
- Rosemary Gladstar’s Family Herbal: A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality
-The second best resource that I highly recommend is Practical Herbalism by Peter Fritchey. Tons of theory and knowledge of the herbs provided here!