California School of Traditional Hispanic Herbalism
Charles R. Garcia, Director
In the far reaches of my memory I can see my mother making what she called in Spanish, throat candies. My guess is she learned this from her mother and not her dad. She took extra care when making them, taking her time, laying out a white clean cloth to put her tools on. It was only later when I was in grade school did I realize she was making lozenges. She always started the process with a decoction of many herbs, including spearmint out of the garden along with ground rosemary. It made the house smell…herby. You also can make herbal lozenges similar to hard candy, but you'll use tea made from medicinal herbs to form the liquid portion of the recipe. Herbal lozenges soothe inflamed mucous membranes and help suppress coughing, depending on the herbs you use. For best results, choose a mucilaginous herb such as marshmallow, slippery elm, or licorice root, as your carrier for the stronger herbs.
Things You'll Need
• 9-by-13-inch baking pan
• Butter or vegetable oil cooking spray
• Large saucepan
• 3 tbsp. dried herbs
• 4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 quart-sized glass jars with lids
Grease a 9-by-13-inch glass baking pan with butter, or spray lightly with vegetable oil cooking spray. Place in the refrigerator.
Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Turn off the heat, add the dried herbs, cover and steep for 20 minutes.
Strain the herbs from the liquid and discard the spent plant material. Return the liquid to the pan, add the granulated sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Do not stir.
Continue boiling until the mixture reaches the hard ball stage, about 35 to 50 minutes. Check if the mixture has reached this stage by dipping out a small ball and dropping it into a glass of cold water. If it keeps its shape, the mixture is ready. If it breaks apart, boil longer.
Pour the mixture into the chilled, greased pan. Score with a knife into small, 1-inch squares before it hardens. Allow the mixture to stand for at least an hour.
Remove the mixture from the pan once cool, and break into pieces along the score lines. Store the herbal lozenges in glass jars with tight-fitting lids.
Tips and Warnings
• For best results, use dried herbs with cough suppressant or throat soothing properties. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, peppermint, eucalyptus, marshmallow, slippery elm, licorice, lobelia, mullein, stinging nettle and thyme may provide some relief from sore throat or cough.
• This recipe should fill two quart-sized jars.
• Use within six months for the best results.
• The sugar and herbal tea mixture typically reaches the hard ball stage somewhere between 247 and 252 degrees F, according to Shatoiya De la Tour in her book, "Earth Mother Herbal."
• A candy thermometer will tell you when the mixture reaches this point, although you'll still need to manually check by dropping a small amount in cold water.
• University of Maryland Medical Center: Cough
• "Earth Mother Herbal;" Shatoiya De la Tour and Richard De la Tour; 2002
• "The Complete Guide to Herbal Medicines;" Charles W. Fetrow and Juan R. Avila; 2000
— Charles R. Garcia
yummy and powerful
Garlic and Honey
The Herbal Resistance
Charles R. Garcia, Director
Ingredients: Garlic cloves Honey
Peel garlic cloves and put them in a jar. Add honey, a little at a time over a couple of days until the jar is full. Set in a warm window for 2 weeks to a month or until the garlic
has turned somewhat opaque and all the garlic flavor has been transferred to the honey.
This garlic honey is an excellent cough syrup. Just take a teaspoonful every couple of hours or whenever it seems necessary. You must remember though, that the honey has a lot of
concentrated garlic power in it and one teaspoonful can represent many cloves of garlic. If you are giving this syrup to a child, you should dilute each spoonful with a bit of water.
Garlic honey also soothes a sore throat. As an application for acne or herpes it has no equal because it is both healing, soothing and slightly anesthetic. Some cooks like to baste
their chicken with this garlic honey mixture.
Here's a short list of other disorders which, studies show, can be eased with regular doses of garlic and honey.
ARTHRITIS: Garlic taken daily helps ease the pain and possibly eliminate the disorder by stimulating the immune system.
ASTHMA: A combination of garlic and honey can help stop an attack if taken right away, say herbal practitioners.
BLADDER INFECTIONS: Garlic has proven effective in killing the bacteria responsible for recurrent bladder infections.
BLOOD PRESSURE: Garlic and onions are both packed with allicin, selenium and other nutrients which, studies show, help keep hypertension under control.
CANCER: For many years the National Cancer Institute has been studying how common foods can help safeguard against this killer disease -\-\ and garlic has definitely
proved to be a formidable weapon. It is a member of a food group that contains powerful phytochemicals -\-\ compounds researchers believe inhibit cancer growth. The
pungent herb may also be effective in preventing the onset of deadly colon cancer, report researchers at the prestigious University of Texas M. D. Anderson Hospital.
CHOLESTEROL: Heart-damaging LDL cholesterol can be reduced by eating a moderate amount of raw garlic or a couple of garlic pills on a daily basis, studies show.
COLDS: This remedy won't make you popular at parties, but it should nip your cold in the bud: Chew a bit of garlic and honey before going out in crowds. Do this every
hour if possible.
COUGHS: A syrup made of raw garlic and honey can quell the toughest cough. Mince six cloves of garlic and put them in a jar with a cup of honey, then let it sit for about
two hours. When your cough gets bad, take a teaspoon and enjoy the relief. This can also be effective in pill form. Garlic tea is also an effective cough remedy. To make
it, add three minced cloves to a cup of just boiled water and let the mixture steep for about ten minutes. Strain out the garlic bits and drink the remaining liquid. But
don't throw out the garlic -\-\ you can add them to sup or other dishes at dinnertime.
DROWSINESS: Chew and swallow a teaspoon of garlic honey. This will perk you up almost immediately.
FOOD POISONING: Garlic has long been recognized as an effective antidote to many common forms of food poisoning. Just to be on the safe side, always consult your local
poison control center should you or anyone in your family show signs of serious food poisoning. Quick action can save lives.
FUNGUS INFECTIONS: Whether its athlete's foot or any other common fungal infection, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can ward off any kind of fungal
infection by adding one or two cloves of fresh garlic to your diet every day. A student in Maryland dealt with a fungal toe infection using garlic honey.
GINGIVITIS: This disorder is characterized by red, swollen or bleeding gums, and often results from poor dental hygiene. To alleviate the symptoms, take a capsule containing
garlic and parsley extract every four hours for three days.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: Daily doses of garlic fed to patients by Prof. F. G. Piotrowski of the University of Geneva produced the first clinical evidence of how amazingly
effective garlic is in relieving hypertension and its accompanying symptoms of chest pains and dizziness. Garlic honey has produced the same effects.
INDIGESTION: Two teaspoons after lunch and dinner immediately banishes indigestion because garlic helps stimulate the secretion of digestive juices.
INSECT STINGS: Put some garlic honey over the sting and wrap it in a bandage: leave it for about two hours.