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Syrup flu pills.

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... yum!

I got hit with a sore throat Friday morning a week ago, and didn't do anything about it all day Friday - except for drinking lots of hot liquids, and going to bed early.
On Saturday things were a lot worse, so I made a flu tea. Mmmm. It contained 6 roots, plus roselle:

  • lomatium (Lomatium dissectum), as it's a very good virus killer
  • licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), cos it's soothing and good for coughs
  • echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) (organically grown, of course), cos it's a good immune system booster
  • elecampane (Inula helenium), cos it's very good for coughs
  • calmus (Acorus calamus), to bring a bit of heat to the mix
  • marshmallow (Althaea officinalis), cos its mucilage soothes things nicely
  • roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), cos that's just loaded with vitamin C, and it makes the tea a pretty deep red.

And I drank that tea all day Saturday, and went to bed early.

On Sunday things had calmed down a tad, but not quite enough - and I was supposed to teach, a hundred plus kilometers thataway --> , for the week, starting on Monday.

So I threw the tea herbs into the blender, sifted things, and made syrup pills from the finer powder. The coarser remains of the tea blend still serve as a tea blend, although it's difficult to tell which herbs they were, now.

The syrup I used (mainly cos I didn't want to bother with heating honey etc.) for making these pills was hanging around in my fridge from last summer (I didn't want to bother with making a simple syrup, either): it was the blue spruce + mugo pine syrup, which has a nice sour tang.

For pillmaking, the moistness of the syrup+powder should be such that you can take a handful of the mix, squeeze it, and it'll show where your fingers were on the now oblong ball, which isn't wet enough to let any liquid drip off - not even one drop.

The pills: it's easiest to make small pyramids by squeezing smidgens off that pre-squeezed ball between the tips of the thumbs and forefingers. Making hare-dropping type round pills just won't work - not after the first five or so, anyway, cos this mess sticks to your hands.

Drop the pills onto baking paper and, once you've formed all your pills, put the sheet into your oven at 40 C or so. If your oven is precise, that is. Check by putting a thermometer into a mugful of water, and set it to 40 C. If the thermometer shows 95 C the next morning (clunky old ovens are very much less than precise in lower temperatures) you know that your oven is useless for anything below 100 C.
You can also use a dehydrator: set that to 40 C, too.
Or let things airdry, covered up to keep the flies away. But: the precise oven and the dehydrator means that your pills will be done in about 3 hours, whereas airdrying means you'll have to wait for your pills for a day or two.

And I'll just say that the tang of the syrup complements the root mix extremely well. Y-u-m for these pills.

Related entries: Spruce shoot syrup - Honey Pills - Honey pills again
(... and a google for thumb and forefinger gives fairly astonishing results. Ahem.)