Dandelion & burdock tonic-pop: a summer childhood favourite from the milkman, along with ice-cream soda & irn-bru (A Scottish upbringing here!). However, I wouldn't recommend the last two as healing tonics, except on very special occasions!
Dandelion & Burdock tonic is made from the roots of both plants. The roots are bitter and classed traditionally as 'blood cleansers' - tonics to help 'clear the system' and bing back a general state of health. Both plants are used by herbalists for digestive complaints and chronic skin-conditions linked to under-active/over-burdened liver & kidneys, the bodies natural waste-eliminatory organs. The real tonic is a fermented drink, but here we have a cordial recipe that can be drunk with fizzy water. It contains sugars as a preservative and is best used as a sweet, occasional drink. For a more medicinal effect, D&B decoction (made by boiling the roots in water) or a tincture (alcoholic extraction) would be more effective.
Dandelion & Burdock cordial
- 1 dessertspoon dandelion root (fresh or dry
- 1 dessertspoon burdock root (fresh or dry)
- 2 inches ginger root
- 1 star anise
- 300mls water
- dark brown sugar or honey
Simmer the roots, ginger and anise in 300mls water over a medium-low heat for 10-15minutes, until the water is infused with colour. Strain and measure the liquid & measure. For every 1ml of liquid, add 1gram of sugar (or 1ml honey). Return to the pan and heat over a low heat until dissolved and thickened. Pour into sterile jars, label, date.
To Use: as a cordial in fizzy water (or alcoholic cocktails!)
Shelf life: Will keep in the fridge for up to 1 year. Discard if musty or mouldy.