B.R.A.V.E. Cough Syrup
[Botanical Respiratory Anti-Viral Elixir)
This tonic has been developed by the brilliant Herbalista project. The elixir includes herbs that support the respiratory system and protect from viral infection, which are infused in vegetable glycerine to make a remedy useful both as a preventative and during illness.
It’s made with vegetable glycerine which is sweet-tasting but safe to take if you are diabetic, as it doesn’t have the same effect in the body as sugar. You can take 3 teaspoons a day as a preventative or up to 6 teaspoons a day if you have a sore throat or persistent cough.
The main antiviral herb is Elderberry, along with Marshmallow, Thyme, and Yarrow, adding a range of soothing, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory action (1 – 5).
Tincture at a 1:5 Ratio, Vegetable Glycerine 60%
1 part herbs to 5 parts liquid, of which 60% is vegetable glycerine and 40% water
Elderberry 2 parts
Mullein 1 part
Hyssop 1 part
Yarrow 1 part
Thyme 1⁄2 part
Peppermint 1⁄2 part
Licorice 1⁄2 part
Marshmallow 1⁄2 part
You can use the above to make a batch that works for you. For example, a batch for your home might be 1L (glycerites can keep well for up to a year if stored in a cool, dark place), so 600ml glycerine & 400ml water + 200g herbs (the following amounts are slightly rounded):
Ideally, any larger herbs should be processed so the maximum surface area of herbs infuses into the liquid. However, it can be hard to strain out the herbs at the end if it is entirely powdered, so it’s best to have them in smaller pieces but not completely powdered.
Fill a large pot with water, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
While the water is heating, measure out the glycerine and water and add to a large jar.
Measure out the herbs, process any larger ones into smaller bits, and add to the jar, and mix well.
Place the jar (with lid on) into the pot with simmering water and leave for 6 hours.
Remove jar from the water and let it cool down.
When cool, strain out the herbs into a large bowl using a heavy muslin or cheesecloth. You can use your hands or a large potato ricer to squeeze out all the elixir.
Pour into bottles and label – make sure to include the date, ingredients, what it’s for, and you can also include the info below.
Preventative Care: Take 1 tsp, once or twice a day. Acute Care: Take 1 tsp up to 5 times per day.
Large quantities of Licorice can cause water retention and may increase blood pressure.
Please, as always, use common sense.
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1) Deters, A., Zippel, J., Hellenbrand, N., Pappai, D., Possemeyer, C., & Hensel, A. (2010). Aqueous extracts and polysaccharides from Marshmallow roots (Althea officinalis L.): Cellular internalisation and stimulation of cell physiology of human epithelial cells in vitro. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 127(1), 62-69.
2) Benbassat, N., Kostova, B., Nikolova, I., & Rachev, D. (2013). Development and evaluation of novel lozenges containing marshmallow root extract. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 26, 1103-1107. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net
3) Zarei, B., Saifi, T., Fazeli, A., Khodadadi, E., & Namavar, A. (2013). Evaluation of Antibacterial effects of marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) on four strains of bacteria. International Journal of Agriculture and Crop Sciences, 5(14), 1571. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net
4) Kemmerich, B. (2007). Evaluation of efficacy and tolerability of a fixed combination of dry extracts of thyme herb and primrose root in adults suffering from acute bronchitis with productive cough. A prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre clinical trial. Arzneimittel-Forschung, 57, 607-15.
5) Saeidnia, S., Gohari, A., Mokhber-Dezfuli, N., & Kiuchi, F. (2011). A review on phytochemistry and medicinal properties of the genus Achillea. Daru: Journal of Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 19(3), 173–186. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov