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The sweetness of honey, the fragrance of rose, the tanginess of lemon balm, and the spicy bite of ginger combine with brandy in this warming, heart-lifting elixir. Be sure to keep the honey below 110 degrees Fahrenheit while heating, so that it stays raw and you don’t lose the enzymes and probiotic bacteria. I usually keep honey just above body temperature and allow it to simmer all day, but this isn’t strictly necessary, although it does give you a little bit of a safety cushion if the double boiler starts to run away on you.
This elixir is safe and appropriate for all ages, with the exception of children under 12 months, and people who may not consume alcohol. Adults can take two full droppers morning and evening, and take an additional dose during moments of high stress, anxiety, or during moments when emotional coping is warranted. Children can take three drops per 10 pounds of body weight, diluted in water or tea, once daily. yield: 9 ounces.
Tip: Dried herbs can be found in the bulk section of your local food co-op, at the farmers market, and from herb farmers in your area. I recommend using local, organic herbs and ingredients for the freshest, safest, most ecologically friendly remedies.
- 6 ounces raw, local honey
- 2 tablespoons dried rose petals, or 4 tablespoons fresh rose petals. Add extra if preferred.
- 2 tablespoons dried lemon balm leaf, or 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon balm leaves. Add extra if preferred.
- 3 ounces Homemade Ginger Tincture
- Double boiler
- Potato ricer (preferred) or mesh strainer
- 1 glass pint jar, a 9-ounce glass bottle, or nine 1-ounce bottles for gifting (available in the wellness department of your local food co-op)
- Waxed paper
- Boil water in the bottom of a double boiler.
- Add raw honey to the top of the double boiler, and turn down the heat.
- If using dried herbs, crumble them between your hands; if fresh, finely chop them before stirring them into the honey. The smaller the herbs, the better. You can reuse the plant matter to make tea, bake it into muffins, give it to your chickens, or compost it.
- Cover and heat on low for at least 2 hours, checking the temperature often. Turn the heat off if the honey rises above 110 degrees. The longer you heat the honey, the stronger the elixir will be. When it’s done, the honey will be flavorful and fragrant.
- Strain out the herbs, using a potato ricer to squeeze out all the liquid goodness into a measuring cup. If extra straining is needed, a mesh strainer will do the trick.
- If your Ginger Tincture is ready, add 3 ounces to the measuring cup and stir. If the Ginger Tincture is still brewing, store the infused honey in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry, until the tincture is ready to be added, and then proceed to bottling.
- Pour the elixir into a bottle, label with date and contents, and store in a cool, dark place. If the lid is metal or if you’re using a canning jar, line the lid with waxed paper to prevent deterioration of the lining.
Juliette Abigail Carr, Registered Herbalist (AHG), RNC, is a clinical herbalist and the proprietor of Old Ways Herbal School of Plant Medicine, which offers various courses on herbalism in person and online. She also offers long-distance appointments specializing in trauma-informed care for women and people with uteruses. Read more and contact her at Old Ways Herbal and on Instagram @OldWaysHerbal.