Holiday Crafting ~ Herbal Honey

Herbal Honey…yum! This is by no means just a holiday treat, but for any time of year, and it’s especially nice to use some of that herbal harvest towards the end of the growing season before everything gets too cold. Herbal honey can be therapeutic, imparting the power of the herb into a honey to produce a useful and flavorful syrup to use for cooking, with tea, with plain yoghurt, and in myriad other ways. My daughter Maeve loves “honey yoghurt” and mom likes to control the sugar and provide some extra benefit as well!

Many aromatic herbs, or herbs that have a high concentration of essential oils, are carminative, which means that they aid digestion by helping to expell or reduce gas and reduce stomach spasms. These herbs are ideal for helping with indigestion and are great to utilize before or after a meal. A lot of these herbs are also mildy anti-viral and are therefore great for regular use during the cold/flu season and  a great addition to lemon & ginger tea when you do have a cold.

Some herbs you can use:
Cinnamon (carminative, spicy, flavorful)
Lemon Balm (emotionally calming, antiviral, carminative)
Spearmint or Peppermint (carminative, stimulating)
Orange Peel (carminative, flavorful)
Ginger root (carminative, anti-nausea, antiviral)
Lavender (calming, antiseptic, analgesic -pain-relieving, relieves headaches)
Rosemary (antiseptic, stimulating, carminative)
Thyme (antiseptic, anti-viral, carminative)

Take between a half cup and a cup of fresh herb and 2 cups of honey. Red clover is an especially therapeutic honey. It’s also a good idea to try to buy raw, natural honey from a local source, as bees are under a lot of distress right now and I personally feel as though sick honey comes from sick bees. Not only that, but commercial honey comes from bees who are often fed sugar water ~ not healthy for little bees.

Bring the honey and herbs to a slow boil over low heat. And watch that pot! It won’t take much for it to suddenly boil over and make a BIG mess (believe me). As soon as it starts to bubble around the edges and you believe it’s coming to a boil, remove the honey from heat. Let it cool down and then repeat this process again, bringing it to a boil or near boil. Heating it gently in this way will not alter the benefical enzymic content of the honey, so don’t worry.

Repeat again if you want (for a stronger honey) or feel free to strain the honey at this point and pour into clean, sterilized (boiled for 10 min) glass jars. I find it is easiest to pour the honey while it’s still hot. I also like to stick a spring of the herb in the jar before pouring it when appropriate. This is easiest to do with cinnamon or rosemary but not so much with the more fragile herbs of lemon balm or mint.

Stick on a pretty label, tie a ribbon around the jar, and there you have it! A wonderful home-made gift that is also something with herbal benefit and flavorful taste.

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3 Responses to Holiday Crafting ~ Herbal Honey

  1. [...] in the sore throat/cough tea will make the infusion more viscous. Also feel free to add a touch of herbal honey, especially a honey made with immune-boosting, antiviral [...]

  2. desiree fawn says:

    Oooh, I would love to try these!

  3. [...] Raw, unprocessed honey is ideal for treating oily, blemished skin. Even better, an herbal-infused honey can add more ‘punch’ to the already wonderful qualities of raw honey. Generally [...]

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