How to Make Wild Cherry Bark Cough Syrup

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Cherry bark has been a key ingredient in herbal cough syrups since before British colonial rule. It was introduced to both colonists and settlers of the West at different times in American history by Cherokee and Iroquois natives. Cherry bark contains properties that make it a good expectorant, and it is well suited to treat dry coughs, throat irritation and the combination of both of these types of coughs.

Things You'll Need

  • Saucepan
  • Licorice root
  • Wild cherry bark
  • Honey
  • Osha root
  • White pine bark
  • Ginseng
  • Poplar bark
  • Bloodroot
  • Strainer
  • Sugar
  • Almond extract
  • Black cherry juice concentrate

Simple Cherry Bark Cough Syrup

  • Put 1 pint of water in a saucepan to boil. Add 1 tbsp. of licorice root.

  • Boil the mixture for five minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat source. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes.

  • Wait 10 minutes and add 1 tbsp. of wild cherry bark and ½ cup of honey to the cough syrup.

  • Let the cough syrup cool to room temperature before using.

  • Take a ¼ cup of wild cherry bark cough syrup three times daily. Do not take more than the recommended dose.

Cherry Bark Cough Syrup with Ginseng

  • Add ½ cup wild cherry bark, ½ cup osha root, 1/2 cup white pine bark, ¼ cup ginseng, ¼ cup poplar bark and 1 tbsp. bloodroot into a large pot. Add 2 quarts of water to the ingredients and simmer until only about 1 quart of the liquid remains.

  • Strain the mixture, and put the liquid into a large pot. Add 4 cups of sugar, 2 tsp. of almond extract and 2 cups of black cherry juice concentrate.

  • Simmer until the liquid is thickened and has reduced to about 1 pint.

  • Adults should take 1 tbsp. of cough syrup up to three times daily, while children should take 1 tsp. as needed or up to three times daily.

Tips & Warnings

  • Echinacea can be added to both of the cherry cough syrups to help boost the immune system.
  • Cherry bark is also useful for treating diarrhea and for pain relief.
  • Wild cherry bark contains prunasin. This compound has some toxic properties. However, when taken in tea or cough syrup form, cherry bark is considered safe.
  • Large doses of cherry bark can cause cyanide poisoning. However, the risk of cyanide poisoning is slim due to the high consumption amount needed for overdose.
  • Homemade cherry cough syrup is not recommended for pregnant women or for those women who are nursing.

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