Medicinal Herbal Honey – Pedicularis densiflora

 

Herbal honeys are one of the most simple and enjoyable botanical medicines one can make. They are sold for top dollar in specialty shops, so it’s great to know how to make these medinical treasures in your own kitchen.

My comrade in herb-nerdery Taylore visited recently, and lovingly gifted me with some Pedicularis densiflora blooms. Pedicularis honey is one of my most treasured herbal concoctions, so I immediately earmarked the bag for this recipe.

Pedicularis densiflora (also known as Indian Warrior) is traditionally used as a muscle relaxant and sedative. I like to make a honey out of the herb because it’s much less potent, and is just the right thing to add to a bedtime cup of tea. Honey has a wonderful drawing quality for extracting the plant’s medicine without damaging heat.

This is a very standard recipe and can be used for any herb of your choice. They need not be medicinal, either. Lavender and Mint honeys are delicious on toast or in baking.

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Medicinal Herbal Honey - Pedicularis densiflora
 
Ingredients
  • 1-4 parts fresh or dried herbs
  • 4 parts honey
  • 1 very clean glass jar with honey-safe lid
Instructions
  1. Herb quantity is variable here. You want the honey to cover your herbs, but beyond that it's entirely up to you. More herbs will make a stronger honey. For a light Pedicularis honey, I like to use 1 part herbs to 4 parts honey.
  2. Grind or chop your herbs to desired consistency. The more your process the herb the stronger your honey will be. Pour a little bit of honey to the bottom of your jar (this will help your herbs move freely once covered). Add your processed herbs, and cover with honey.
  3. Cap tightly, and turn the jar a few times. Turning is key to a good herbal honey as the movement helps draw out the flavor and medicine. Let your honey sit for 1-2 weeks, or until you've reached your desired flavor. Turn your jar several times a day. I like to put my herbal honeys in the sun to warm them up a bit and speed up the extraction process.
  4. Once your honey is ready, gently heat your jar in a sinkful of hot water and strain it through some cheesecloth or muslin. Press as much honey as you can out of the herbs. Cap tightly and store in a cool, dark place.

Herbal Honey

Herb quantity is variable here. You want the honey to cover your herbs, but beyond that it’s entirely up to you. More herbs will make a stronger honey. For a light Pedicularis honey, I like to use 1 part herbs to 4 parts honey.

Any honey will do, but I’m in love with Grants Pass’ own Singing Bird Farm

Grind or chop your herbs to desired consistency. The more your process the herb the stronger your honey will be. Pour a little bit of honey to the bottom of your jar (this will help your herbs move freely once covered). Add your processed herbs, and cover with honey.

Cap tightly, and turn the jar a few times. Turning is key to a good herbal honey as the movement helps draw out the flavor and medicine. Let your honey sit for 1-2 weeks, or until you’ve reached your desired flavor. Turn your jar several times a day. I like to put my herbal honeys in the sun to warm them up a bit and speed up the extraction process.

Once your honey is ready, gently heat your jar in a sinkful of hot water and strain it through some cheesecloth or muslin. Press as much honey as you can out of the herbs. Cap tightly and store in a cool, dark place.

 

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Comments

  1. Yasmin says

    Hello:

    Just came across this very nice blog of yours. Thank you for the pedicularis densiflora honey recipe. I would really like to try it, but I am wondering if it is legal to purchase this herb in my State (Virginia). Do you happen to know where I could find that information?
    Also: do you have a dependable source to obtain good quality pedicularis densiflora?
    Thank you.

  2. Ash says

    Yasmin,
    I honestly don’t know about particular state laws, at least on the East Coast. All of my typical suppliers do not carry this herb, but it can be found with a google search. You might try checking with a local herb shop. A variety of this plant may even grow wild. A local herb shop may have more information on plant walks, harvesting, etc. Thank you for your interest and good luck!

  3. Carolyn says

    How safe is this for children? We give our son, who is 2 1/2, a spoonful of honey every night before bed to help combat allergies. Would there be a different herb that is good for a child his age?

    • Donna says

      Catnip and fennel are very good remedies for digestive issues, which go right along with the allergy problems in most children. You can make your own, or I know of a very good liquid formula that is made in a glycerin base.

  4. kai says

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m blessed to have grown up in a place with wild Pedicularis, so I have fond memories of finding patches hidden in the manzanita. I found a large stand yesterday on a hike, and harvested a few flowers to make honey. Maybe I’ll try some in rosehip/hibiscus tea once the summer arrives!

  5. Wendy says

    thanks for this! I was going to put lemon balm (which has taken over the garden) in vodka, but honey sounds MUCH better!

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