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Ash + Thorn Herbals Lilac Cordial

Ninetta M. Savino Herbalist

Signs of Spring: Lilacs (Syringa spp.)

Lilacs are one of my many favourite plants. Many of you know that I started getting curious about the plants around me as a child spending the summers at our cabin in Northern Saskatchewan, and the lilacs, let me tell you….they were glorious!

I would pick them for my mom, and she’d put them in a big bouquet that seemed to last forever. What she didn’t know is that I was secretly sampling the flowers, dissecting them, looking at them intently to try and figure out how they worked.

Fast forward many years later, and I’m still in love with them. Although I have grown out of the habit of eating the flowers raw (bitter little things), I do use them in my teas, make infused lilac honey, and a wonderful lilac cordial.

Since the season is upon us, I thought I would share my cordial recipe that can be stored in the fridge and added to summer spritzer as desired.

I HIGHLY recommend this recipe. Lilacs are easy to identify and so abundant! They can be harvested without putting out the pollinators and make it so easy to incorporate plant medicine into your everyday routine. Plus, making this in large batches makes it even easier to have accessible plant medicine on hand.

Download the full recipe and instructions here.


Sugar: This amount is supposed to be higher than listed above to extend the shelf life and create a condensed liquid to be added to drinks for a flavour boost. Many other recipes will call for 4-6 cups of granulated sugar, but I encourage you to experiment with this to see what suits your tastebuds and desired sugar content.

Herbs: As always, make sure that you are researching your herbs to ensure you are able to use these herbs. If you find a plant above is not suitable, exchange it for another! Some other herbs you might consider are peppermint, spearmint, catnip, star anise, chamomile, and yarrow. This is totally adaptable to suit your medicinal needs!

Lilacs: Make sure that these have not been sprayed and that you have identified them correctly. We only want to use fresh, non-browning lilacs for this recipe.

Uses of these plants have not been regulated by the FDA. Regardless of their long term traditional uses it is important to independently research a plant you are considering using for medicinal and nutritional purposes as each individual is different. Please ensure that if you are gathering plants from the wild that you correctly identify the plant before using.


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