A Herbal Syrup or Honey is a preparation made from a mixture of fresh herbs, water, and honey or sugar. They are nurturing and pleasant to take internally, and can also be applied externally. Syrups are most effective when used for soothing, antiseptic, demulcent and nutritive purposes. Different herbs are used to achieve the desired effect. Basil will help reduce stress and clear the mind, and is said to be an aphrodisiac. Marjoram is an anti-depressant. Sage balances female hormones, but should not be used during pregnancy. Aniseed relaxes the stomach and chest. Cinnamon clears the nose and lungs. Ginger relieves nausea. Garlic and onion are decongestant and help lower blood pressure. These are just a few examples, and all are prepared using the following recipe:

  1. Chop 40 grams of herbs and place in a saucepan with 900ml of water. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down low. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  2. Allow the liquid to cool, and strain into a measuring jug. Squeeze all the liquid out of the herbs by pressing with a spoon. Discard the herbs and keep the liquid.
  3. Return the liquid to the heat and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 200ml.
  4. Add 450 grams of sugar or honey to the saucepan. Dissolve slowly, stirring constantly until a syrupy consistency is achieved. Let the mixture bubble for a moment, but do not overheat. The syrup will turn into caramel if left for too long.
  5. Pour the syrup into clean bottles and label with the name and date.

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