Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Hoarse? Dark Brown Voice? Try My Tincture!

DC Editor Adam writes…

Outside in all weathers guiding tours, I like to think I know a thing or two about battling the cold weather and its attendant agues & annoyances.

I'm re-posting this one - originally posted in 2017. It follows a discussion last night with my Westminster guiding colleagues down the Horse & Groom in Belgravia. 

The Daily Constitutional Cough Tincture

I fear I am beginning a journey into eccentric old age akin to that of Kurtz in Conrad's Heart of Darkness – when they send a team to get me back, I will be too far gone to ever return home.

I have taken, gentle reader, to making my own cough medicine.

In my all-too-rare moments of clarity I catch sight of myself and sigh, "Dearie me."

Having said that, it is outstanding cough medicine.

Here's the recipe…

You will need…

50g Soft Eating Liquorice

Balsamic Vinegar

Dried Sage

Chamomile flowers


Whole cloves


Chop up the liquorice into small pieces and place in a pan with half a mug of water.

Add a good glug of Balsamic vinegar and 6 cloves.

Bring to the boil, stirring continually, and simmer until the mixture is slightly gloopy and the liquorice has more or less dissolved.

While the mixture simmers…

In a mug or small teapot, place three heaped teaspoons of dried sage and one teaspoon of chamomile flowers. Fill with boiling water and allow to brew for a few minutes – for about as long as a good cup of builder’s tea.

Strain the mixture and add the result to the simmering liquorice solution.

Stir in 2-3 table spoons of honey.

Strain into a jar or bottle.

How To Take…

This tincture works best as a gargle.

Exercise caution with the cloves and never replace them with clove oil, which is much more potent and can burn, even small quantities.

And please take note: don’t keep it hanging around in a bottle/jar for more than two days, due to lack of preservatives. 

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