As we know, honey has been used for healing for thousands of years. It’s hydroscopic, meaning it absorbs water-soluble constituents and the volatile oils of the plants. It’s also antibacterial, immune-enhancing, an expectorant, an emollient, contains healing properties, and makes an excellent medium for antimicrobial herbs, (ie garlic, onions, holy basil, thyme hyssop, oregano, and rosemary).
It contains pollen, which is said to be rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and can also be helpful in the treatment of asthma and allergies.
You can create herbal honeys to treat sore throats, coughs, and colds, chest infections, and most upper respiratory issues. They can be used externally to heal or sooth skin problems such as burns and varicose ulcers. While honey is preferred by many to white sugar, due to it being more nutritious and health promoting, however, we ant to keep in mind how difficult it is for bees to supply enough honey for themselves as well as for us. Sugars, or syrups, are an excellent alternative to honey, if you need to use it.
These honeys are typically made by pouring honey over herbs, whether dried or fresh.
**note: dried herbs are preserved longer than fresh when honey is used as the medium**
HERBS THAT ARE WELL PREPARED AS SYRUPS
- Blackberry fruit
- Black Cohosh
- Comfrey root
- Dandelion root and leaf
- Elder berries
- St. John’s Wort
- Uva Ursi
- Yellow Dock
Steps to making Herbal Honey
- Place your chosen herbs, coarsely chopped, in a clean sterilized jar, cover them with runny honey and stir well.
- Seal with an airtight lid, label, and leave to macerate for at least 4 weeks, but preferably several months. (store in a cool dark place or in the back of the fridge) (maceration is softening or breaking into pieces using a liquid. Raw, dried or preserved fruit or vegetables are soaked in a liquid to soften the food, or absorb the flavor of the liquid into the medium.)
- **when using fresh herbs, be sure to finely chop them, and mix with a teaspoon of honey**
- You can also make sweets and throat lozenges by mixing powered dried herbs into the honey to make a paste which can be rolled into balls, and then again into the powder to prevent stickiness for handling and storing them. (remember to keep in a tightly fitting tin).
- Take 1 tablespoon of herbal honey in a little hot water or just simply take the spoon directly.
- DO NOT GIVE TO CHILDREN UNDER 1 YEARS OLD DUE TO RISK OF BOTULINUS (this is a form of botulism that is prominent in children under a certain age)
You try it:
Take any of the herbs from the list above, and put together a formula.
What would you put in your honey or sugar?