How to Make Forsythia Syrup: An Herbal Recipe for Cooking, co*cktails, or Medicine — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (2024)

Inside: This article is about the benefits of forsythia and how to use the early spring blossoms to make a golden herbal syrup for fun or for health!

There are a few beautiful harbingers of Spring, but the sunny yellow blossoms of the forsythia are one of my favorites! When those happy blooms start showing their faces, it just makes the whole world brighter....Spring is on the way! But did you know forsythia as a medicinal herb is actually very useful? And that the flower is edible? I made some golden forsythia syrup to use in recipes, and here are the super easy directions!

After reading about forsythia and making this tasty and healthy syrup, be sure to check out my recipe for Forsythia and Cherry Scones….perfect for Mother’s Day!

"Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia." Anne Morrow Lindbergh

How to Make Forsythia Syrup: An Herbal Recipe for Cooking, co*cktails, or Medicine — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (1)

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What is Forsythia (Forsythia spp)?

We first saw our new homestead when it was still blanketed in snow (3/2018). We moved in just a month and a half later (4/2018), and what a big difference in the plants!

I had no idea that this dormant and rather large shrubby tree would bloom so beautifully. I discovered it was a large Forsythia plant, and I was intrigued and so gladdened by its joyful nature.Forsythia is truly the first indication that spring has arrived in many areas.

Forsythia is a lovely plant that is covered in bright, sunshiny flowers in the early spring. It can be a small shrub or a large scrubby tree. It needs to be pruned after it has flowered completely to maintain a less spindly look. The flowers grow on the older twigs and less so on the new growth of the season.

There are around eleven varieties of forsythia, and although they all contain valuable chemical constituents, it's the Forsythia suspensa, which is a "weeping" species, that is one of the 50 Fundamental Herbs in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).

One of the cool things I have discovered about forsythia is that you can bring the branches inside, place them in a vase of water, and watch them bloom for a very long time, sometimes for more than a month! What a great bouquet!

In fact, when I stripped the flowers off the stems for this forsythia syrup recipe I'm going to share with you in a second, I couldn't bear to compost the stems, as I could see green growth on them. I placed these in a Mason jar vase....and enjoyed more new blooms in my kitchen!

What are Benefits and Uses of Forsythia?

Forsythia is quite an interesting plant. The primary species used medicinally is Forsythia suspensa, and it happens to be a relative of the olive tree. Like the olive tree, it flowers first, then produces a fruit. This fruit, along with the bark, is what is used as plant medicine.

There are other species of forsythia, and they all contain pinoresinol, which is a plant lignan. It's a great antioxidant for the body!

Stay tuned this spring and summer, because I will be experimenting with the forsythia fruit in creating medicinal herbal creations. Here's a preview:

The fruit is useful for skin conditions and is often included with other spring flowers, such as honeysuckle and dandelion. You can be sure I'll be making a great salve very soon!

When the fruit is decocted, it can help alleviate nausea and vomiting, and is useful for flu.

It also may help with heart conditions, as it supports the body in maintaining healthy blood pressure. I'll definitely be adding this to my arsenal for natural heart preventives!

NOTE: If you are interested in learning more about botany and wildcrafting the plants in your area, take a look at this Botany & Wildcrafting Course from the Herbal Academy!

How to Make Forsythia Syrup: An Herbal Recipe for Cooking, co*cktails, or Medicine — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (4)

Folklore & Magic of Forsythia

Did you know that forsythia has been an important plant used in some spiritual ceremonies of old? In fact, some believe placing a few sprigs of forsythia in a Mason jar of water will bring love to you as the flowers bloom.

There's even a legend from Korea about how a man left his wife. When he returned, he found her waiting for him by the forsythia bush. He was so taken with her loveliness, he never left her again.As legend goes, it was the beauty of the bush that enthralled him.

How to Make Forsythia Syrup

So...what are the forsythia flowers useful for? How about making some golden Forsythia syrup to use in recipes and even on your pancakes?

And are you wondering what forsythia syrup tastes like? Well, it's got a slight hint of honey flavor that is like the mild scent of the forsythia flowers. It's subtle and pleasant. And I LOVE the color. It's golden and very pretty.

Ingredients for the Forsythia Syrup:

1) Forsythia flowers, about 3 cups

2) Filtered water (I just used our well water), about 3-4 cups

3) Organic sugar, 3 cups

Directions for the Forsythia Syrup:

Step 1) Gather the Flowers

I just cut about six or seven sprigs of Forsythia about two feet long. I then plucked the flowers from them.

The reason I didn't decide to stand by the plant and pluck the flowers is that there were yellow jackets buzzing around my head, and honestly....I wanted to scream like a little girl.

(More on natural repellants for yellow jackets coming soon!)

I felt bad about "wasting" the sprigs, so I put them in water and was rewarded with lots of new blooms over the next few days!

How to Make Forsythia Syrup: An Herbal Recipe for Cooking, co*cktails, or Medicine — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (5)

Step 2) Steep Overnight in a Water Infusion

I boiled about four cups of water and poured it over the flowers. Then I steeped it overnight (covered) for a nice strong tea.

Step 3) Make Your Simple Syrup

Forsythia syrup is really a simple syrup---SO easy. Pour about three cups of the Forsythia tea into a pan, and add three cups of organic sugar.

Simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Cool down and bottle it up! I used a quart Mason jar, and this recipe yielded a full Mason jar of syrup, plus this little extra glassful.

How to Make Forsythia Syrup: An Herbal Recipe for Cooking, co*cktails, or Medicine — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (6)

How to Make Forsythia Syrup: An Herbal Recipe for Cooking, co*cktails, or Medicine — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (8)

Final Thoughts on Forsythia and Easy Forsythia Syrup

What an absolute joy this plant is! You can't help but be happy when you see the bright yellow blooms out your window! I'll be attempting to root some more of this plant, you can be sure. I'd like to have it growing in a few more places around here!

I feel very blessed by this unexpected treasure in our new home.

If you have forsythia around your area, I hope you'll give this syrup a try! You won't be disappointed---NOTE: If you do, though, be sure it's not growing in an area that's been sprayed. You can find out more about the Safety Basics of Foraging and Wildcrafting in this article.

You might also enjoy these related articles:

Recipe for Delicious Forsythia and Cherry Scones

How to Forage Rose Hips and Make Rose Hip Syrup

How to Make Elderberry Syrup

There are lots more foraging and herbalism articles over on the blog too! So head over and explore!

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Hugs, Health, and Herbs,


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P.P.S. You may also be interested in these heart-related articles: 8 Easy Things to Do Every Day for Heart Health and 8 Powerful Herbs for Your Heart.


I am NOT a medical doctor or professional. The statements made here are for informational purposes only. Please do your own research and speak with your medical doctor before using any herbs or essential oils. In no manner, stated or implied, is any statement made by me meant to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.


, Recipes

Heidi Villegas, MA, CA, Herbalist

forsythia, syrup, forsythia syrup, herbal syrup


How to Make Forsythia Syrup: An Herbal Recipe for Cooking, co*cktails, or Medicine — All Posts Healing Harvest Homestead (2024)
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