Taking herbal powders can be kind of challenging sometimes – which is a shame, because they’re so awesome and effective. Traditionally. herbal powders would simply be placed on the back of the tongue and washed down with water, or mixed in a little warm water and consumed quickly. However, it’s been my personal experience (as well as my experience recommending herbal powders to people) that folks need to have a good first experience taking powders, or they’ll be hesitant to try them again.
Previously, I posted my recipe for nut butter balls that make a fantastic carrier for almost any herbal powder. These lozenges are my second favorite way to take herbal powders – especially for the sore throats that come with fall and winter. These marshmallow root and slippery elm herbal lozenges are so easy to make, and so soothing to chew or dissolve when you have a scratchy or raw throat. Marshmallow and slippery elm are both demulcents, meaning they’re extra mucilaginous and coat the tissue / lining of the esophagus to soothe inflamed tissue. I like to add some extra sweetness to the recipe with a little licorice, and also some wild cherry bark for it’s anti-tussive and astringent quality (it’s really ideal for dry, unproductive coughs).
The key to making these little lozenges is to allow them time to dry completely. If there’s even a hint of moisture left in them, no matter how you store them they’ll mold rather quickly. I let mine sit out on the counter for about 2 days to dry out completely, and I’ve also used a dehydrator for quick prep and that works beautifully. They should look like unappealing little pieces of dirt by the time you’re all done. You can adjust the sweetness by making your licorice decoction stronger or adding a bit more honey. Regardless, you need to keep the moisture level the same (1/4 cup liquid no matter what your desired sweetness) or they will not have the right consistency. Once prepared and dried, I store mine in a little glass mason jar in the medicine cabinet and use as needed. I’ll either use them up in one season, or discard the remaining lozenges at the end of each season and prepare a new batch. The shelf life on these little lozenges is not super long – 3 months is often my max.