Compliments of: Beth Shreibman-Gehring, Western Reserve Herb Society
Recipe for Honey Syrup
To make a simple honey syrup just take equal parts honey and water, place them into a saucepan and heat them until the honey has melted into the water. You can make stronger flavored and thicker syrup by using two parts honey to one part water. Honey syrup will keep for up to two weeks in a capped jar. You can also add lemon thyme, lemongrass , cinnamon stick, pink pepper, ginger or star anise to the syrup while it is heating and allow it to infuse for about an hour. Then strain the syrup while it’s still warm and refrigerate. Honey syrup may be used as a drizzle for ice cream, sweetener in ice tea or a cocktail or as a glaze to top a tea cake.
Fresh Herb Tea
Fresh herb tea to simply enjoy is very easy to make. I boil the water, but then use it after it’s a bit off of the boil. For fresh herb tea I’ll use a good handful of leaves and flowers for each cup of water; for dried herb tea, I’ll use approximately one tablespoon of mixed dried herbs. (stronger flavor)
Put the herbs into whatever container you choose and pour the water over them. Steep the tea to your desired strength and strain it into a teacup or mug. Sweeten to your desired taste.
If I’m making the infusion for general herbal health benefits, I’ll do it a bit differently. I’ll take leaves, stems and flowers and I’ll simmer them in a couple of quarts of water for about 45 minutes and oftentimes I’ll leave the plant matter in the pot overnight before I strain it. You know its done when the infusion goes from green to gold brown. This infusion is definitely a stronger brew. Herbal infusions are extremely perishable and I don’t store them any longer than 36 hours.
I like to always remind people that herbs were/are the original medicines. Most of them won’t cause any problems at all but if you are taking any prescription medicines, don’t use herb teas for medicinal purposes until you’ve spoken with your Doctor. Even more helpful is your local pharmacist who is the absolute authority on what herbs can contraindicate with the medicines that you are taking. For example, the simple cranberry is the go to fruit to stave off a urinary tract infection. It can be very effective in that capacity, but if you are taking a blood thinner such as Coumadin, it can also be very dangerous, causing your blood to thin more than it is supposed to.
My favorite skin toner
1 cup of a strong infusion of fresh lavender, chamomile and rose petals, mixed with 2 cups of organic rosewater and glycerin! Put into a spray bottle, chill and mist all over whenever desired.