Aug. 19 Cook, Eat & Talk: Preparing an herbal medicine cabinet for winter wellness

6 – 8 p.m. Monday August 19
Sherman Street Church
1000 Sherman St. SE, Grand Rapids

Join herbalist Lisa Rose Starner to discuss the benefits of using honey and garden herbs that can be used for year-round wellness and everyday ailments. Participants will be introduced to the traditional medicinal uses of honey and the plants —  tips on harvesting and making herbal preparations will be shared.

Infused Herbal Honey

Infusing honey is a very simple process. Gather herbs, flowers then add them to a jar. Then cover with honey and let infuse for at least a few weeks, taking the time to occasionally turn the jar upside down to stir up the plant material. Some herbs that work well in infused honey include: Chamomile, Lavender, Rose, Jasmine, Orange flower, the invasive (and loved by me Honeysuckle), Lovage, Osha, Bee Balm (any Monarda), Vervain, Mint, Sage, Thyme, or Elderflower — these are just a few. Onion and garlic are also great choices and make for an excellent base for a cough and cold syrup. One can use fresh plant material in season, supermarket herbs and dry herbs (though will be less aromatic).

During the infusing process, because of its anti-microbial and preservative qualities, raw honey with the herbs will not rot in those several weeks of infusing — especially if stored in a cool, dark place.

Uses of infused honeyInfused honeys can be added to herbal teas or hot water with lemon to help support the body’s immune responses to illness and can also be eaten regularly as added immune support benefit (NOTE: eating honey is not a replacement for foundational immune strengthening — diet, exercise, stress reduction and sleep are core elements to staying healthy).  Infused honeys can also be bases for making herbal elixirs — I use mine to make my delicious Elderberry Elixir. It adds not only the medicinal power of the plants & honey, but a nice flavor profile to this important apothecary staple.

Additionally, both plain and infused raw honey can be used topically in wound and burn healing, It’s antimicrobial and antibacterial properties can support the skin & membrane’s healing processes — it can also be used topically in instances of MRSA.

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