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Medicinal Honey

Honey isn’t a great solvent, but it certainly tastes delicious. Honey makes a lightly medicinal extract that can be enjoyed simply for pleasure – by the spoonful, added to hot water for instant tea, and in dressings, dips, and marinades. Honey itself eases coughs and sore throats, even better when combined with herbs. Fresh plants taste great in herbal honey, but are more prone to fermentation and spoilage because of the water present in them. The cooked method works better here (and can also be used for dried herbs) to quickly extract the herbs in honey and help evaporate the excess moisture. However you will lose the benefits of raw honey if you cook it.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs or 1/8 cup dried herbs
  • 1 cup of honey
  • Pot with lid, metal strainer, heat-safe pouring vessel, spoon, jar with lid.

Directions:

  • Coarsely chopped fresh herbs (if using) or put dried herbs into the pot.
  • Cover herbs with honey
  • Gently bring to a simmer, stirring regularly. Keep on as low a setting as possible. Once the honey begins to simmer, shut the heat off. Do not let the honey boil. Let it cool. Repeat the process at least two more times. You can do this the same day, or cover the honey once it’s cooled and extend the process over several days.
  • After your last heating (when the herbed honey tastes good), strain it while it’s still warm and pour into your jar. Once cool, check its viscosity. If it’s watery, store in the fridge and use it within a month. If it’s thick, or thicker than the original honey, this should be shelf stable for at least a year. Crystallization is fine, but watch for any signs of mold or fermentation.

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