If you have been using herbal remedies and natural medicine at all, then you already know the power of using honey for many of your health needs.
Honey can be used in daily beauty routines, reduce skin issues, and many other applications. What you may not know is that you can increase the potency of your honey and the medicinal properties it provides by infusing it with different herbs. The trick is, how to do this. It is actually a simple process and can be done at home based on the remedy and need.
Start With Pure Honey
The key point to remember as a first step to making herbal infused honey is to start off with the right honey. You can not simply buy the little plastic bear from the store and hope it works. Most stores bought and commercially processed honey is actually not honey but a mixture of sugar and syrups with only a small amount of honey or honey flavor. For medicinal uses you will need pure honey or raw honey. There are many ways you can determine if you are buying the right honey, but the most common methods are to look for locally made honey with the honeycomb still in the jar or to look for raw honey that has not been processed. The raw honey will have a cloudy appearance and be a little denser than your typical processed honey. Either of these options will work for herbal infused honey.
Heating, Infusing, and Cooling Down
The first thing you may want to do is grab your honey, grab the herbs, then reach for a sauce pan. This is where you need to stop and backup from the kitchen. No actual stove heat is required for this herbal infusion. In fact, if you heat the honey and herbs you could end up breaking down the honey or the herb and greatly reducing their medicinal value for your needs. Instead, grab a mason jar and your herbs. You will only need to place the herbs in the jar, pour the honey over the herbs, and place the herbs in a window that gets direct sunlight for the vast majority of the day. The natural heat from the sun will heat the honey without damaging it. If you want, you can bruise the herbs slightly to release their potency into the honey. The honey mixture should be turned at least once per day to get an even amount of sun on the entire mason jar.
Storage, Filtering, and Bottling
You will need to allow the herbs to infuse into the honey for at least one week. If the herbs swell over the honey, add more honey and increase the time by an additional week. Test the herbal infusion by tasting the mixture. If you can’t taste the herbs in the honey, add an additional week to the curing time. Keep tasting the honey each week until you reach the desired flavor. Once you have reached the desired flavor, strain the honey mixture to remove the herbs and place the honey into a marked mason jar. You can store the honey in your kitchen and use the herbal infusion in teas, directly, or in foods.
These are the three basic steps to making your own herbal infused honey for pain or medicinal remedies. You can make this herbal infused honey as needed or in larger batches. Remember to store the infused honey in a dry cool place to keep the potency.
On the Greek island of Mykonos, Shawn Thomas heads to a local farm to harvest honey and fresh herbs, which he smokes over a beach bonfire before combining the ingredients together for a refreshing two-layer elixir.