Honey lends itself well to a variety of infusions, and the end result is a special little concoction easy to bottle up and save for a rainy day or give to a friend who's feeling under the weather. Honey has many antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, useful for fighting off bad bacteria and boosting our immune system. Combine those healing properties with a range of medicinal herbs and you've got yourself one naturally delicious and easy DIY universal remedy.
Historically, honey has been used medicinally to harmonize the liver, remedy allergies, neutralize toxins, regulate blood sugar, and relieve pain. The health benefits of a particular honey depend on its processing as well as the quality of the flowers the bees utilize when collecting the pollen. Raw honey is honey that has not been pasteurized, clarified, or filtered, and this form typically retains more of the healthful phytochemicals lost to the standard processing of honey.
When selecting honey, look for a high quality, local, raw honey from your local Co-op, health food store or farmer’s market. This honey is unstained, unheated and unprocessed, so it contains healthy live enzymes and especially pollen. The majority of honey on store shelves is highly processed and has had all their pollen removed. Raw honey contains the most nutrients, making it more effective at boosting the immune system and warding off viruses. If you can’t find raw honey, try an organic honey harvested without pesticides or pollutants.
Raw honey can be infused in two different ways, yet, as tempting as it is, it should never be done by a quick stove top infusion, as any heat (even low heat) begins to destroy the nutritional value and properties of raw honey. Heating up to 98.6 °F causes loss of nearly 200 components, some of which are antibacterial. Heating up to 104 °F destroys invertase, an important enzyme that helps us digest and metabolize sugars. The alternative method is to let your herbs steep without heat. The flavor takes a little longer to permeate the honey, so we recommend a minimum of a month to soak your herbs. For strongly flavored herbs, two weeks may be enough.
Depending on what herb you use, this extra hint of flavor can add the most wonderful nuance to dishes or teas. More flavor infusion inspirations include: rose petals, mint, anise, thyme, basil, lemon peel, jasmine, vanilla bean, cardamon, ACV, garlic, chili peppers, rooibos.. even preserve your edible flowers from the garden with your honey in full plant form. The possibilities of herbal infusions for both health and flavor really are endless. Just be sure to research your herbal choices carefully as some herbs are not intended for internal use!
Bedtime & Relaxation
Cold & Flu
Herbs/Spices/Flowers of your choice
Tupelo Honey or any light, mild flavored honey
Jars any shape or size
Trick: Add one part brandy or vodka to one part honey and you've got yourself an herbal honey elixir!
1. Chop the herbs up into small pieces.
2. Stuff them into the jar, leaving an inch of space at the top.
3. When you can’t fit any more herbs in, start pouring in the honey. Once the herbs are covered with honey, put the lid on it, label it, and leave it somewhere cool and sunny for 4 weeks. The longer the honey sits the more fragrant and flavorful it becomes.
4. When it’s done, hang a cheesecloth over another clean jar, and pour the honey to strain all the herbs out. Seal tightly and use within 18 months.