I am always looking for new home remedies to try rather than buying over the counter medications filled with strange ingredients (not to mention I have strange reactions to said over the counter medications and usually can only take a 6 year old's dose of children's medicine - if even that). Last year, I was thrilled to find out that currant juice can be used for sore throats. I tried it and it worked like magic. And I just happen to have currant bushes in my yard. The problem...what do you do in the winter when the currant bushes are sleeping? The answer - I hope...preserve the juice!
Basically I just boiled the currants until most of the colour was gone from the berries and put them through a sieve. Last year, I mixed the black and red currants, but this year I used only the red because I am wanting to use the black ones in a mixed berry jam. Unfortunately, after I made the juice, I read that it is actually the black currants that are more effective for treating sore throats...I will have to wait and see what happens.
I tried to squeeze as much juice out as possible using a cheesecloth, but I have to admit, I ran out of patience.
Then I just poured the juice into hot sterilized jars. The pH of berries is probably low enough that I didn't need to actually do anything further BUT if you are making currant jelly or jam, I believe you have to put the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, so I did that with the juice just to be safe.
I used small jars because really, I am hoping that the sore throats won't last that long. You take one tablespoon at a time as often as needed (because it is, after all, just juice). Last year, I found that it was effective much much longer than the kids' lozenges I usually use when I am desperate. The three jars above is the whole yield from my bushes this year. Next year, I am hoping the bushes will yield a little more (as they will be older) and I will again mix the black berries with the red ones to go a little farther (and ...if it is actually the case that they are more effective, then I guess that is the smart thing to do).
Note: refrigerate the jars after opening...the cold helps the sore throat too.