Herbal Vitamin C Drops

Scored herbal glass candy in jelly roll pan

One of my favorite things about the online herbalist course I’m taking is that we’re required to try recipes that relate to the unit we’re studying before we can move on to the next unit. This encourages me to actually put theory into practice and get used to different ways of preparing herbs. I’m just finishing up the Immune System unit and decided to make Vitamin C drops, partly because I already had the ingredients and partly because I haven’t made candy in a while.

These are inspired by a vitamin C syrup I saw on the Bulk Herb Store’s Blog and the vitamin C drops my family stocks up on during flu season. I can’t have the store bought drops as they use soy oil somewhere in the processing. I’m hoping these will both soothe any sore throats and give me a little extra boost of vitamin C this winter.

Herbal Vitamin C Drops

1 cup filtered water + extra
1 TBSP Dried Black Elderberries
1 TBSP Dried Hibiscus Flowers
1 TBSP Dried Whole Rose Hips (I used my own from this fall)
½ TBSP Dried Cut Ginger Root
½ cup Local Honey
1 cup Granulated Sugar
Coconut oil – to grease molds/pan

In a small pan, combine the water, elderberries, hibiscus, rose hips, and ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Strain resultant liquid and add more water (if needed) to bring total liquid volume to ½ cup.

Return the liquid to the pan and add the honey and granulated sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly, then reduce heat slightly and cook to 300°F (hard crack stage). This will take a while; while mixture is cooking, oil candy molds or pan.

Remove mixture from heat and pour into molds or pan and allow it to cool. If using molds, remove the candy when it is almost room temperature. If using a pan/cookie sheet, wait until candy is just about room temperature, score with a knife then allow to cool completely. Break into pieces along score lines and store in airtight container. If pieces stick together, toss in powdered sugar.

Herbal Vitamin C Drops - decocting the herbs
Decocting the herbs to get a very (pretty) red liquid.
Herbal Vitamin C Drops - liquid, honey, and sugar cooking on stovetop.
Liquid, honey, and sugar cooking.

Now I was rather inattentive when oiling my cookie sheet and ended up having to shatter the candy to get it out. So much for my score lines…

Herbal glass candy stored in ziploc bag
Not quite drop shaped, but still delicious!
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