Cold and flu season is here and it seems they are especially bad this year. Kids love sharing (especially germs!), the flu vaccine seems to be hit or miss, and our busy lives leave us little time to take care of ourselves. That’s where this medicinal honey comes in…
Just as water or alcohol can be used to extract medicinal constituents of plants, so can honey. Honey’s medicinal value is almost miraculous. Jars of it were found in pyramids in Egypt – more than 3,000 years old – still in perfect condition. That is because it is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, and anti-fungal.
In a lab, honey has been shown to be effective against E. coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus, but there haven’t been enough studies to show if it does when ingested by humans.
It’s my personal go-to when treating wounds in my animals – it keeps the wound clean, promotes healing, and reduces the risk of granulation tissue from forming.
In addition to wound healing, it is a potent prebiotic, and regular consumption of honey has been proven to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and some types of cancer. It promotes eye health, lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol, lowers triglycerides, and is as effective as a cough suppressant as over the counter cough medicines – without the scary side effects.
Honey has also been proven scientifically to help suppress coughs. In several studies involving children, honey was more effective in suppressing coughs than dextromethorphan (a common cough suppressant found in drugs) and diphenhydramine (an antihistamine).
WARNING: do not give children under 1 year of age honey.
Making an herbal honey could not be simpler. Simply fill a pint or quart-sized Mason jar halfway with the dried herb of your choice. Fill with honey. Sit on a warm window sill and turn the jar over once a day to encourage the honey to cover every dry bit of herb. Steep for at least a week, but three to four weeks is better.
Medicinal Benefits of Lemon
The medicinal properties of lemons is due to the high concentration of Vitamin C. One lemon contains roughly 50% of your daily recommended amount of Vit. C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps boost your immune system, and even prevent cancer.
Lemon also aids in settling stomach issues and improves digestion.
Medicinal Benefits of Ginger
Another great stomach soother, is ginger. Ginger has been a natural remedy for motion sickness, morning sickness and other digestive issues.
In addition to comforting an upset stomach, ginger reduces pain and inflammation. Reducing pain and inflammation is vital in reducing the symptoms of colds and the flu.
For more info on making your own herbal remedies, sign up and check out my free library of herbal and other homesteading resources including checklists, printables, courses and eBooks, click on the image below:
How to Make Your Lemon Ginger Honey
- slice a lemon and about 2 Tbsp of ginger root thinly
- pack tightly in a pint mason jar
- pour honey on top of lemon and ginger slices, moving them around gently with a knife or chopstick to remove any air pockets
- keep in a dark, cool place for at least a week (this base does not go bad, and you can continue to add onto it as you use it)
How to Use Your Lemon Ginger Honey
I always keep a mason jar of this honey in my fridge at all times. If I feel a cold or a flu coming on, I’ll add a Tablespoon or so to my herbal tea.
I’ll also add it to the kids’ water if I feel like they aren’t drinking enough or getting dehydrated.
A sip of it directly is perfect for calming a cough. In fact my littlest calls it “medicine” and will fake a cough just to get an extra sip or two.
Add some to hot tea and whiskey for a hot toddy.
Or add it straight to your whiskey for a delicious evening cocktail.
EXTRA: a pint of this also makes a delicious and welcoming hostess gift!
If lemon and ginger aren’t your cup of tea (get it!) than check out Herbal Academy’s intro course – they have an entire selection on herbal honeys including recipes!
As an added BONUS, if you enroll in an Herbal Academy course, forward me the receipt at hillsborough.homestead[at]gmail.com and I’ll send you a complimentary copy of my Beginning Herbal Remedies eBook!