Monday, 10 December 2018

Spiced Fig & Rosemary Syrup

Article by Debs Cook
We are just around the corner from the over indulgences that the festive season presents to the delicate balance of our digestive systems causing upset and discomfort. In days gone by, our ancestors would have turned to good old syrup of figs when constipation took hold, a remedy that certainly got things moving again, but for some the remedy was worse than the problem it set out to cure; although it wasn’t as bad as another old remedy for constipation, the dreaded castor oil!

For some, figs are the Marmite of the herbal world, you either love them or hate them or your digestive system does. This modern day version of the old fashioned syrup of figs recipe, is loosely (pun intended) based on an recipe from herbalist Christopher Hedley - I discovered the recipe when I used to edit the website for the Herb Society many moons ago. The rich fruitiness of the figs is complimented by the warming herbs and spices, all of which help to get a sluggish digestive system moving again.

Makes 6 x 100ml or 2 x 300ml Bottles

16 Dried Figs
500ml Water
250ml Runny Honey
2 Tbsp. Dried Rosemary
1 Tbsp. Ground Ginger
3 Whole Cloves
1 Bay Leaf
1 Cinnamon Stick, broken
Juice & Zest of 1 Whole Orange

Method: Dice the figs into small pieces and put them in a pan, take a little muslin bag or use a tea ball if you have one and place the cinnamon, cloves and rosemary in it, then add this to the pan along with the bay leaf, simmer these ingredients in 500ml of water until they are soft and tender, this will take 15-20 minutes. After this time pour the figgy liquid into a jug, discard the spices and bay leaf but reserve the cooked figs.

Make the contents of the jug back up to 500ml with cold water and add the honey to the liquid, then heat the mixture through gently, stirring all the time, until the honey has dissolved.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then add the orange juice and zest, ground ginger and the cooked figs and put the mixture in to an electric blender and blend together until the syrup is smooth. Pour the syrup into clean, sterilized amber glass bottles, label and store in a cool place. The syrup will keep for 2-3 months if stored in the fridge.

Take 1- 2 dessert-spoons when the digestive system needs a boost. Small children, 1-2 tsp up to three or four times a day, or until relief is obtained.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to source the most up to date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that the old remedies in our articles are effective, when in doubt, consult your GP or a qualified Medicinal Herbalist. Remember also that herbal remedies can be dangerous under certain circumstances therefore you should always seek medical advice before self-treating with a homemade remedy, especially if you are pregnant, breast feeding or suffer from any known illness which could be adversely affected by self-treatment.