When you think of root beer, “healthy” probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But this homemade root beer isn’t your average sugary soda. It’s immune-boosting and full of medicinal roots and mushrooms.
I used this recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs. Their video and blog post has lots of great information on making root beer.
I was drawn to this recipe because it’s base herbs are burdock and dandelion root — and I have both growing in my garden! I made a few adjustments to the recipe to meet my own needs… adding ashwagandha root, also from my garden, and using honey instead of sugar, since I don’t have processed sugars in my diet. I avoid citric acid, so I eliminated that and added more lemon and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).
The base herbs in this recipe are quite powerful.
- Burdock root has powerful anti-tumor, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties plus fights cancer according to Anthony William.
- Dandelion root supports the liver and is a blood purifier: see my dandelion post.
- Ashwagandha root is an adrenal support and perfect to take when life gets stressful.
- Chaga and reishi mushrooms build up the immune system, and are used in cancer treatment. Their high antioxidant levels make them powerful healing foods.
- Ginger not only adds a fantastic flavor, it’s great for digestion. It’s also immune boosting and germ fighting.
- Honey has anti-microbial properties , is anti-cancer and full of phytonutrients. Local raw honey can also help with seasonal allergies.
This homemade immune boosting root beer feels like a special treat. Here is my recipe and video on making Immune Boosting Root Beer.
Immune Boosting Root Beer
Ingredients4 liters spring water
6 oz. dried organic burdock root
6 oz. dried organic dandelion root
2 oz. dried organic ashwagandha root
2 oz. dried organic reishi mushroom slices
2 oz. dried organic astragalus root slices
2 oz. dried organic chaga mushrooms
2 oz. Jamaican sarsaparilla root
3/4 cup fresh chopped organic ginger root
1 oz dried organic fennel seed
1 oz organic star anise pods, crushed.
3 organic lemons, zest and juice
5000 mg of ascorbic acid (Vit C)
4 oz. molasses
4 1/2 lbs. raw honey = 1 1/2 containers of Costco’s Washington Raw Honey in 3# container
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place the dandelion and burdock roots on cookie sheets. Place cookie sheets in preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring every five minutes until desired roast, the roots should have the color of light roast coffee.
3. Fill crockpot with four liters of filtered water, add all the roots and mushrooms plus the lemon zest. (Do not add the lemon juice, ascorbic acid, molasses and honey.) Set on high for about 2 hours, stir and turn to low before you head to bed. Cook overnight on low (about 10 hours). In the morning it is ready to strain.
4. Strain the roots out of the decoction using a strainer and nut-bag. Let the decoction set for a few hours so sediment can settle to bottom. This is easier to see if you use a glass bowl. When sediment is settled, carefully pour out the concentrated tea, leaving sediment behind. You should have about 10 cups.
5. Pour tea concentrate into a pot and warm. Stir in molasses and honey.
6. Add lemon juice and ascorbic acid.
7. Pour into sanitized glass jars to cool and store in refrigerator. Syrup will keep 3-5 months.
8. To use, mix 2 oz. concentrate to six or eight oz. of bubbly water, stir to mix.