DIY Herbal Jello

Botanica wigglus, family Gelatanaceae… HERBAL JELLO!

Sometimes parents have trouble getting their kids to take well-intended herbal medicines. Welcome to 21st century herbalism, where the post-modern world meets old-world apothecary! Herbalist James Green accidentally discovered this herbal administration method in an Oregon Grape vegetable gelatin encapsulation project gone wrong. However, this happy mistake revolutionized the way we might think about intaking herbal medicines, particularly for those who are not so excited about drinking lots of tea or dropping bitter tinctures on the tongue: kids!

This idea can be adapted in several ways. One can replace the liquid portion of the jello box recipe with the same quantity of the herbal tea of choice, or one can make an addition of an ounce of the desired tincture to the box recipe. And voila, after the required chilling period a fun, sweet way of administering medicine is ready for picky kids. Try it out with The Herb Shoppe's tea blend of the month, Stomach Soother, featuring tummy soothers Fennel, Ginger, Marshmallow, Slippery Elm, and Licorice, just in time for the Thanksgiving season. Below is a copy of Green’s recipe, available in his book The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook; A Home Manual.

HERBAL JELLO

1/4 box Jello

1/4 cup boiling water

1 oz tincture

1 oz cold water

1. Put the jello powder into a small rectangular shaped baking tin. (I used a small loaf tin that measured 2 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches. Using this squared-off shape makes it easy to divide the herb jello into equal sized pieces in order to give relatively equal sized doses.)

2. Pour the boiling waiter on the jello powder and stir well for 2 to 3 minutes, making sure that the gelatin is completely dissolved.

3. Add the tincture and stir this well.

4. Then add the cold water and stir well.

5. Pour the mixture into the pan and/or into any other molds you wish to use. I bought some candy molds of various forms (shells, cars, cigars, Christmas tree, ect) that makes kid-approved shapes for eating. (The research that remains for us is to discover the jello flavors that work best with each uniquely flavored herb or herbal blend. This is why I use only 1/4 of the pack, or less, at a time.)

6. Once the herb jello has hardened, cut it into equal portions, each one delivering about a 5 ml dose of tincture.

*Kindernote: Leave jello uncovered for about a week in the fridge and you've got yourself a phyto-gummy bear!

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