Tea is astringent. It’s a terrific go-to herb for drying your respiratory system, that is, if you like tea. My honey, as it turns out, won’t make a cup of tea unless I harangue or wang-dingle him into it. So, after his most recent cold when the cough and phlegm was dragging on a lot longer than he liked, I made him black tea syrup for his coffee. I added calendula, elderberry, and astragulus to the mix to help him kick the crud out. It turns out, he liked it.

Yields about 3 cups syrup.

Ingredients

  • 0.5 oz black tea
  • 0.25 oz calendula
  • 0.5 oz elderberries, dried
  • 0.25 oz astragulus root
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water

Equipment

  1. 2 quarter saucepan
  2. Wooden or other spoon for stirring
  3. Strainer
  4. Heat-proof bowl or similar container
  5. Glass jar with lid or similar

Procedure

  1. Add the water and sugar to the pot.
  2. Put the pot on the stove on medium to medium-low.
  3. Stir the mixture while it heats until all the sugar has dissolved. It will look clear rather than cloudy when the sugar has completely dissolved.
  4. Add the herbs and continue stirring.
  5. Heat the mixture to a low simmer, stirring as makes sense.
  6. Let the mixture simmer for about 25 minutes, until it turns a good, dark tan to brown color and has thickened to the consistency you desire.
  7. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it through a strainer into a heat-proof bowl.
  8. Discard the herbs and let the syrup cool.
  9. Pour your cooled syrup into a glass jar, then cap and label it.

Storage and Use

Store your syrup in the refrigerator or a cool, dark place. It’ll keep several months, assuming you don’t use it up sooner.

To dry the respiratory system, take 1-2 ounces up to three times a day until signs of dampness, including runny nose and phlegmy cough, have subsided. You can continue to take this syrup in small quantities as often as you desire, but be aware that the black tea in this syrup is caffeinated, so this is a mildly stimulating concoction.

Black Tea Syrup is terrific in warm drinks, like herbal teas, coffee, or steamed or warmed milk. It’s also makes a good ice cream topping or sweetener for smoothies or yogurts.