Provide your body with the tools it needs to improve its stress response through an adaptogen syrup. Adaptogens are those herbs found to promote the regulation of the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands (Brusie, 2017). By reducing fatigue and enhancing focus, adaptogens promote a sense of overall wellness.
A commonly used adaptogen, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) root has anti-inflammatory properties and has been found to lower both blood sugar and cortisol levels. Studies have shown ashwagandha supplements are related to improved memory and attention (Spritzler, 2019).
This adaptogen syrup recipe also uses eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) root, another adaptogen known to modulate blood sugar levels and improve cognitive function (Huizen, 2017).
Combining both of these adaptogens with the immune-supportive properties of hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) berries and the sweetness of locally sourced honey ensures this adaptogen syrup is sure to be a go-to tonic in any natural household.
Stay Calm Adaptogen Syrup
This tasty little blend helps to gently create a strong foundation, especially during times of stress or when one has been overwhelmed for a long time. This recipe is broad in scope and thus easy to adapt to your individual needs. Yield: 8 ounces.
3 tablespoons ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) root
3 tablespoons eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) root
3 tablespoons hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) berries
1 quart cool water
1-2 cups of honey or sugar
- Syrup making begins with a decoction. Combine the hard or coarse herbs, such as berries, roots, or bark with the water in a pot. (If you choose to tweak the recipe and add any leaves or flowers, you will do that later in the process.)
- Bring to a simmer and partially cover the pot with a lid.
- Let simmer until the liquid inside is reduced by half.
- Remove from the heat and add any leaves or flowers. If you are not using leaves or flowers skip the next step.
- Place the lid on the pan covering it fully and let the leaves and flowers steep for at least 20 minutes and up to a couple of hours.
- Strain out the herbs—you have now created a strong decoction for your syrup base.
- Return the liquid to the pan and add your honey or sugar.
- If using honey, very gently heat until the honey just dissolves, being careful not to boil the syrup. This helps to preserve the beneficial, naturally occurring enzymes in the honey. If using sugar, you have the option of bringing the syrup up to a gentle boil and simmering for up to an additional 30 minutes to thicken the syrup further. Or you can simply reheat the syrup enough to easily dissolve the sugar.
- Remove the syrup from the heat. Some herbalists like to add brandy or tinctures to their syrup at this stage as an extra preservative or herbal boost. If you introduce those ingredients, then add up to ¼ cup of brandy or tincture total for each cup of syrup you have.
- Finish up by placing your syrup in clean, sterile bottles. Add a label including the ingredients and the date you created your syrup.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. If you used higher quantities of honey/sugar, or included alcohol in your syrup, then it may last even longer.
The dosage will depend on the herbs used in the syrup, the situation being addressed, and the age of the recipient. A general dosage is a ½ teaspoon to 1 tablespoon taken 1 to 3 times a day with increased frequency during an acute phase of symptoms (Groves, 2016).
Here are some additional simple herbal syrup recipes for you to try:
Brusie, C. (2017). Adaptogenic herbs: list, effectiveness, and health benefits [Online article]. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/adaptogenic-herbs
De Luca, D. (1998). Botanica erotica: arousing body, mind, and spirit. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
Felter, H. W. (1922). The eclectic materia medica, pharmacology and therapeutics. Retrieved from http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/felter/vanilla.html
Felter, H. W. (1898). King’s American dispensatory. Retrieved from http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/vanilla.html
Fortini, A. (2005). The white stuff: how vanilla became shorthand for bland [Online article]. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2005/08/the_white_stuff.html
Groves, M. N. (2016). Body into balance: an herbal guide to holistic self-care. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.
Huizen, J. (2017). 12 potential health benefits of eleuthero [Online article]. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319084
Justis, A. (2016). How to make a simple syrup [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://theherbalacademy.com/herbal-syrup/
Spritzler, F. (2019). 12 proven health benefits of ashwagandha [Online article]. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-ashwagandha-benefits#1