This is one of the easiest herbal recipes ever, and your lungs will thank you. It may seem odd to some people to go gather pine needles from a nearby grove or forest, but these needles actually contain more vitamin C than citrus and make an excellent tea or syrup to support your respiratory system. The lungs use Vitamin C to build and repair tissues, particularly blood vessels. Obviously Vitamin C isn't going to prevent or cure any ailment, but there is wisdom in giving our bodies as much support as possible and making your own medicine is a profound act of self love. Let's get started!
Step 1: Go outside! Vitamin D deficiency is directly linked to poor respiratory health and the human body requires 20 minutes of direct sunlight a day to produce it. Go find a Pine grove or forest that is the perfect balance of remote, yet accessible and gather a few handfuls of needles. All Pine species are edible but identifying various conifers from one another can sometimes be tricky if you are unfamiliar. Please use both common sense and identification guides like this one before foraging. You've got this! In Arizona where I live, Mullein is abundant in the Pine forests outside of Flagstaff so I gathered some to add to my syrup. It's a powerful bronchodilator and compliments Pine perfectly.
Step 2: This may sound way too hippie for some, but I do it religiously. Thank the plants.
Step 3: Take your fresh herbs home, give them a little rinse and put them into a large saucepan. Fill the saucepan with enough water to cover the herbs and bring it to a boil.
Bring down the heat and allow to gently boil, uncovered for 2-3 hours. Your water content should have reduced by 35-50% when it's ready to remove from the heat and strain out the herbs.
Step 4: Add a raw, local honey once your mixture has cooled down a bit. The honey will help to preserve your syrup as well as give it a thicker, silky texture. I used a gallon of water (which reduced to a half gallon) and dissolved 1 & 1/2 cups raw honey into it while it was still warm.
Bottle and label, and you're done! You've made an herbal syrup. If you've cleaned and sterilized your bottles properly, this should keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
Dosage is quite personal and depends on your age, size and overall health. I take 3-5 tablespoons in the morning, afternoon and evening. Follow your intuition, this syrup is just about as benign as lettuce. Too much Vitamin C will give you nausea and or diarrhea, so if you experience these symptoms lower your dosage or stop altogether.
***Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this post is intended purely as information. It is not intended to treat or diagnose.