Fluid medicines-whether infusions, decoctions, or tinctures--often have an unpleasant taste. Thus, it 's sometimes helpful to mask the taste by adding a sweetener. One method is to use a syrup, which is the traditional way to make cough mixtures more palatable for children or to make any herbal preparation more palatable.

   To sweeten an infusion or decoction, it is simplest to add the sugar directly to the liquid. For every 1 pint of liquid, add ¾ pound of sugar. Heat gently until the sugar is dissolved. This mixture can be stored for future use in a refrigerator. Since it is not advisable to consume too much sugar, syrups are best used when making gargles and cough medicines, in which the herbs tend to be rather unpalatable.