HERB - Horehound cough syrups

Gaylin Walli gwalli at infoengine.com
Thu Jan 28 10:51:34 PST 1999

Baroness Leonora wrote:
>I always say that horehound is "as bitter as unrequited love."  The way
>that I take my syrup is in a cup of hot water.  When I am sick and coughy,
>it really tastes wonderful!!

I've found that the same is generally true. The people who have seemed
to benefit the most from my syrup though, so far, are (1) smokers with
dry coughs or coughs that have trouble producing anything noticeable
by way of phlegm, (2) people with the annoying starting cough that
sometimes is the precursor to a cold. I've really not seen anyone
who's tried it with a full-blown, wet or wet & sticky cough, though
I suspect that by the quality of the herbs in it, the phlegm would
be thinned and easier to expectorate and the throat would be soothed
from the sugar.

>I have one client who would drink my syrup as a cordial.  I think he is
>wierd and tell him so, but I have seen him upend the bottle, take a swig of
>it, and smack his lips!

My husband did the same thing! That, of course, was after he got a
spoon full of Robostussing in his mouth and promptly spit it out
loudly exclaiming "How can anyone stomach this *&^%!" While I agree
that the commercial brands I've tasted are hideous, I also agree that
horehound tastes hideous as well. But I personally think that the
thyme and the lemon balm add a little complexity to the flavour as
well, something you wouldn't get with straight horehound syrup. And
my favorite is still the version made with honey and white sugar rather
than just white sugar.

>The lemon balm is a good idea!  Studies have shown it to be anti-viral and
>what a wonderful time to have that.  I think I will brew up a batch of my
>syrup and throw in some Lemon Balm!!

This is why I added it, as well as why I added the thyme. Well, that
and because I was trying to tone down the taste of the horehound. :)

I'm curious though. I've used the dried herbs every time I've made
a syrup rather than using the fresh. Potency issues and measurements
aside, what are the differences that you have to watch out for?
Shorter steeping time?

>Good for you!  Doesn't it feel wonderful when people actually use your
>"potions and nostrums" and can see that they feel better.

It does feel good, but it's rather scary in a way. You take on a great
responsibility when you start something like this. It sort of opens
up a whole series of ethics that I think not enough people consider
when making up their "potions and nostrums." And it makes you
realize even more when you research some of the medical botany and
medical history of our time periods why so many writers complained
about quacks and fruitcakes even in the Middle Ages.

On a related note, is there an InterKingdom Apothecaries or Herbalists
Guild? (I know there's an InterKingdom Brewers Guild and I was wondering
if there was an herbal-ish equivalent)

>Did you post your recipe for us?  Would you!?

Actually, I did post it at your behest. :) But it was more in
the form of "Hey, look what I did by accident yesterday!" I can
rewrite it as a real recipe if people wanted me to. Perhaps not
today or tomorrow, but over the weekend when mundane-work life
isn't quite so stunningly busy.

Jasmine, jasmine at infoengine.com
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