Wild Cherry Cough Syrup
One of our visitors left a great remedy for cough. Here is the article:
Our friend’s child has done is best to come down with a cold and that is accompanied by an irritable cough which has been keeping him awake through the night. When he first started off getting sick I decided I had better go on and start making preparations for that cough. It just so happens that i had wild cherry bushes (Prunus serotina) around my property making it really handy for me when producing the medicine. I just love strolling out in to the yard for medicine…. how cool is it.
Wild Cherry bark is an excellent simple cough remedy that is primarily indicated for irritable coughs that are keeping you up through the night or creating alot of tension. Wild cherry bark is really a relaxing expectorant and demulcent (soothes irritated tissues) rendering it rather versatile when put together with other herbs. There are numerous other herbs that may be added to the wild cherry with regards to the type of cough you’re dealing with. For example, if the cough is dry you can include Marshmallow, Slippery Elm or Licorice root. Antimicrobials can be added should you suspect an infection
I have always prepared the bark like a cold water infusion since the properties of the plant are considered to be destroyed by heat. However, I do know of quite a few folks who prepare the bark like a decoction, simmering it on reduced heat, and seem to be successful with this method too. Like says William Cook inside the Physiomedical Dispensatory of 1869 writes and I quote:
“Cold water, warm water, and diluted alcohol, extract its virtues readily; but its better qualities are volatile, and are readily dissipated by heat. ”
I usually harvest the bark within the fall, but I’d say anytime in the year would be appropriate when you need it for medicine. The aroma is a great indicator of it’s potency since it will smell like almond extract when it creates good medicine. I usually cut away small branches with new bark in order to avoid harming the shrub. The bark should peel very easily when using a sharpened knife. The peel also contains the inner bark so this will be the part I use. There are a wide range of resources out there that will say the bark needs to be dried before preparing, but I have used it fresh without any problems. If you don’t feel at ease using it fresh you possibly can dry some and put it to use that way. However, I’ve only ever needed to use it in a small amount. If you have to make use of large doses for an extended time period because you are definitely not getting results than this may not be the correct remedy. I peel of the bark, place it in the pot or jar, completely cover it with cold water and let that to sit for about 4-12 hours. I find that this period of time is adequate for removal.
After waiting the appropriate time frame I strain off the actual bark and I’m left having a wonderfully aromatic infusion that has turned a creamy yellow-colored nuance. I then mix the wild cherries infusion with half that quantity of honey and several tablespoons of pure black cherry extract. It is not essential to add the black cherry draw out, but it really does boost the flavor and probably brings additional nutrients and antioxidants for the mixture. Keep the mixture inside a refrigerator for preservation.
I had some infusion left over therefore i will pour that straight into an ice tray and freeze this to ensure that when I need a fast infusion I can just thaw out several cubes.
I don’t want to become remiss by not talking about that the leaves shouldn’t be used when wilted or even rotten as they are considered to be toxic. I would also certainly not use Wild Cherry for an extended time period or in large doses like a daily tea.
And finally, although Wild Cherry continues to be pigeon holed as a cough remedy it’s an amazing plant indicated for a great number of conditions where there will be heat, irritation, agitation and restlessness. However, I will save that detailed discussion for another time.
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