When I was a little girl, I loved to make “potions” in my backyard. I would collect leaves and flowers and berries in a big metal bowl and then add water and magic. Up in our tree fort, we would pretend to drink the potions, and then we would be healed — or enchanted, depending on the potion! It was one of my very favorite ways to spend a morning.
In the Martin & Sylvia Learning Days story “A Science Potion for Halloween,” magical potions save the day. The children have worries about how they’ll feel after the upcoming Halloween Ball. Momma shows them that they can make “potions” with things they have in their pantry and yard, just like herbalists have done for centuries. It turns out, simple plants like chamomile or lavender can have a big effect on bodies, whether they calm nervous minds or settle queasy tummies.
In the story, Momma pulls out all sorts of ingredients — from ginger to peppermint — to make a tea for Sylvia. Together they boil and steep and taste until they come up with just the right combination of things that taste good AND feel good.
Here’s what Sylvia came up with that she “really really really” likes — just the right combination of spicy ginger and warming cinnamon, with a touch of fennel and chamomile. You may like it really spicy or really cinnamon-full. We recommend you start with her recipe and then do your own testing and tasting — just like Sylvia!
How to Make Sylvia’s Magic Belly Tea
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled sliced into ¼” rounds
- 1 Tbl fennel seeds
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 Tbl chamomile
- Filtered water
Optional: honey or maple syrup
Bring 4 cups of filtered or spring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the cinnamon sticks and simmer for eight minutes. Then add the ginger root and fennel and simmer for six more minutes. Remove from the heat and add the chamomile. Pop a lid on the saucepan and steep for 2 minutes more. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer directly into mugs.
Add a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup to each mug. Serve hot. Makes four servings.
More About Martin & Sylvia
Click below to listen to “A Science Potion for Halloween,” the latest story in Martin & Sylvia: Learning Days. Explore the entire Martin & Sylvia series here.
If you aren’t already a Sparkle Stories subscriber, try 10 days of unlimited free listening on us! Sign up for a free trial HERE.
About the Author
Lisabeth Sewell has worn many hats at Sparkle over the years, from Sparkle Kitchen Blogger to Editorial Director to Doer of All Odd Jobs. Her primary role is as CEO.