17 December, 2017 Charlena Edge 0 Comment

Honey has been used since ancient times as medicine. Along with great skin and wound healing benefits, honey has amazing antibacterial activity which means bacteria and other microorganisms cannot grow or reproduce in honey. Ingesting honey can help prevent common infections especially in winter.

In the spring, my daughter and I use raw, local honey to help our bodies adapt to the pollen in our local floral population, essentially using local honey is a lessor form of an “allergy shot”. By taking in the allergens contained in the honey, our bodies can help adjust to them, therefore, becoming less reactive. Though slow going for me, honey has helped to reduce my response to spring and summer allergens. It doesn’t really help for allergens like grass and ragweed which are carried by the wind.

I use honey in my fire cider recipe. I used to use any off the shelf brand, but I switched to local raw honey a year or so ago. In addition to its antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits, honey can help soothe a sore throat, and though not as effective as cough syrup, has been proven to help a cough.

In winter, I like to add immunity boosting herbs to honey to help ward off colds and flus. Before my classes, I only made infused honey a couple of times. Putting dried or fresh herbs into honey and waiting the four weeks for it to infuse was the easy part. Straining it was a bitch. It could be just me, but I would make one helluva mess trying to strain herbs out of thick ass honey. 

In one of my formulation classes, we were taught how to simply mix powdered herbs into honey. You’d think it would create an off-putting texture but it actually dissolves very well. The key is to heat the honey warm enough to incorporate the herb powder, but not so hot as to destroy its antibacterial action. I heat it no hotter than 104 degrees F, and I never put honey directly in a pan or microwave. I use a double boiler if I’m making a lot, or a jar set in a pan of water for one cup or so.

I recently made Ginger Honey. I like ginger (Zingiber officinale) in winter because it is a warming herb but it also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to help protect against colds and flu.

You can substitute a wide variety of herbs to get a different benefit or flavor. Some of my favorites are Rose hips, Lavender, Rose, and Echinacea. The Echinacea doesn’t taste so great, but it is a powerful immunity booster.

My basic recipe is 1 cup of raw honey to 2 tablespoons of powdered herb. I add it in one teaspoon increments so it incorporates well.

Here’s how to make it:

Powder 2 tablespoons of dried herb in a coffee grinder on the espresso setting, or purchase herb already powdered and measure out 2 tablespoons.

In a small saucepan, heat about an inch of water for two minutes. Use the lowest setting on your stove. Pour one cup of honey in a jar and place it in the saucepan. Once the honey has liquified (about 2 minutes) begin stirring in powdered herb, one teaspoon at a time. Continue to stir until well incorporated.

Once all the herb has been stirred in ( approx 5-7 minutes), remove honey from heat, dry the jar and let it cool slightly before putting on the lid. Label and date the honey.

You can use the honey immediately in tea, on toast, or in recipes. One of my favorite ways to get it into my family is by making salad dressing.

Here is my “go to” recipe:

Charlena’s Salad Dressing

Ingredients

1 cup mayonnaise

¼ cup ketchup

1 heaping tablespoon Dill relish

2 tablespons Red wine vinegar

2-3 teaspoons Herbal honey

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

(measurements approximate, so adjust to your taste)

Directions

Put all ingredients into a bowl or measuring cup (easier to pour) and stir.

That’s easy right?! And…it’s good! Not only is it delicious on salads, but also fresh vegetables. And between you and me, potato chips. 😊

 

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About Me

Charlena Edge

Charlena Edge

Hi, welcome to my humble abode! I’m Charlena, wife, mother of two, pet mommy, full-time worker, sporadic crafter, former floral designer, trial and error gardener, future chicken owner, and wanna be farmer. I have a Master’s degree in Therapeutic Herbalism. In between my disjointed, seemingly unrelated posts, I hope to share some of what I’ve learned. Thanks for stopping by!

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