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, to reduce skin issues and plenty of 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 process is simple and can be done at home.
Start With Pure Honey
The critical point to remember as a first step to making herbal-infused honey is to use the right honey. You cannot use the little plastic bear from the store and hope it works. Most store-bought and commercially processed honey is not real honey, but a mixture of sugar and syrups with only a small amount of honey or honey flavor. You will need pure or raw honey for medicinal uses. There are many ways you can determine if you are buying the right honey. However, 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 prepare the ingredients. Grab your honey, grab the herbs, and then reach for a saucepan. 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 significantly reduce their medicinal value. So, grab a mason jar and your herbs, place the herbs inside and pour over the honey. Place the jar beside 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 slightly bruise the herbs to release even more of their potency into the syrup. The honey mixture should be turned at least once a 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 syrup, add more honey and increase the time by another week. Test the herbal infusion by tasting the mixture. If you cannot taste the herbs in the honey, add another 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 necessary steps to making your herbal-infused honey for pain or medicinal remedies. You can make this herbal-infused honey as needed or in larger batches. Remember to store it in a dry, cool place to keep its potency.
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