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
-1 ounce dried Wild Cherry Bark
-1 ounce dried Horehound
-16 ounces 100 proof vodka
-1 quart-sized glass Mason jar
*Click here to read my post on How to Make an Herbal Tincture at Home.
- 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!
-In a pinch and need it now…purchase my handmade Wild Cherry Bark & Horehound Tincture directly from Frugally Sustainable’s Herbal Marketplace on Etsy!
[email protected] says
Thanks for the article and great information. I used to grow Horehound years ago when I started growing medicinal herbs. I lost the plant eventually, but I think it’s time to find a new one. Will be pinning this post! Hoping you all feel better soon!
I am so thankful for you and what you teach me! I wish you and your family a very blessed and peaceful time of rest and joy in the Lord this CHRISTmas season.
I remember my father buying horehound candy and bringing it home for us kids. Not exactly what we commonly think of a as a candy treat but my brother and I got excited anyway.
Thank you for your post. I just purchased a bottle of your tincture because three out of six members of my family are suffering with a wicked cold. Hopefully your tincture will help if/when the other three get it. I am a big believer in herbal remedies but I’m afraid my family is skeptical. Any hints for converting would be appreciated. 😉
Perfect timing–Myself & 2 toddler daughters are battling a terrible chest ailment-painful coughs, sniffles, chills etc. and could really use something to help us now!! Do you know if this would be safe to take while pregnant, as I am about 32 weeks…Hopefully it will be better here by the time we would get this (this is day 4 for me:( )
I should have known better to plan-we have rarely got sick in the past and so I wasn’t in a huge rush to get my herbal medicinals in line–now we are paying the price! I am hoping to get out of the house in the next day or so to at least find some elderberries at a healthfood store.
Also-what does your family take to increase your vitamin c intake (as mentioned in the post)? I have been trying to get everyone to eat more vitamin c-rich foods, but our appetites aren’t great either! 🙁
My question is along the same lines as Steph. I’m 36 weeks pregnant and my daughter is 23 months old. Is this safe to use? which would be better to use, the apple cider vinegar or the vegetable glycerin if we’re able to take it. Thank you so much for your herbal remedies, I prefer these over anything you get in a store!
The Redeemed Gardener says
I have mentioned your wonderful blog in a new post! Happy New Year!
Levi Levin says
Do you have a syrup recipe?
Tell me, Andrea. Do you have a recipe to relieve sinus pressure and/or inflammation? I’ve been dealing with just that for about a week or two and I’ve wonder more than once if you did.