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.
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.