When you live in California, respiratory health is not something you can take for granted. In addition to the regular complaints that arise each autumn during the season of sniffles and scratchy throats, we also have to contend with another annual event: fire season. The yearly blazes that arise, combined with high temperatures create poor air quality that can affect people hundreds of miles from the source.
During these especially hazardous times, many of our friends and customers seek out our extracts featuring herbs to support lung function, which Mother Nature happily provides in abundance! I’ve personally built up quite a repertoire of recipes featuring herbs for lung support, and one of my favorites has to be this simple (and tasty) "breathe easy" oxymel recipe formulated with botanicals known for their demulcent and expectorant actions.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the lungs correlate to the function of “qi". Qi is the flowing vital life force of energy that is essential to life. When exertion, coughing, and shortness of breath occur, they can weaken the qi of the lungs and therefore deplete our vitality. By working with herbs that support the lungs, like the herbs in this recipe, we can restore energy to our whole being as well as aid respiration.
What is an Oxymel?
A simple oxymel definition can be found in its original Greek form: oxymeli, or “acid and honey.” Developed during or before the age of the ancient Greeks and prominently featured in Renaissance pharmacopeia, oxymels are made by infusing beneficial herbs into a vinegar and raw honey mixture. The result is a shelf-stable, versatile, and delightfully sweet-and-sour traditional remedy that can be enjoyed by itself, or mixed into beverages or salad dressings for delicious tonic enjoyment.
Beyond the support offered by the specific herbs infused into the vinegar, other oxymel benefits include that it’s alcohol-free. That, combined with this recipe’s kid-friendly formulation (also appropriate for adults wanting to avoid alcohol) and the digestive assistance provided by the probiotic raw apple cider vinegar, makes this a remedy your whole family will enjoy. Start your own batch today and give your respiratory and immune systems the nourishment they crave.
“Breathe Easy” Lung Support Oxymel Recipe
- Dried elecampane root
- Dried wild cherry bark
- Dried mullein
- Raw apple cider vinegar
- Raw, local honey
- Fill a glass jar 1/4 full with equal parts of elecampane, wild cherry bark, and mullein.
- Pour vinegar over herbs until jar is half full.
- Fill remainder of jar with honey, and stir.
- Secure a plastic lid (or metal lid with piece of parchment paper underneath to keep the vinegar from corroding the metal).
- Shake well.
- Store jar in a cool, dark place and shake every 2 to 3 days.
- After about 2 weeks, strain herbs from mixture and store in a sanitized glass jar.
- Enjoy as desired!
CAN’T WAIT FOR HERBAL LUNG SUPPORT?
TRY OUR RESPIRATORY RECOUP TINCTURE!
Written by Jules Benefico. Jules Benefico is a Clinical Western Herbalist and the Retail Manager at Five Flavors Herbs. She studies medical astrology, western alchemy, and clinical nutrition and infuses this into her herbal practice.