Preserving herbs in honey is a great way to capture the medicinal benefits of the herbs and combine it with another powerful substance- local honey. Together this has a synergistic effect- creating something that is more powerful than the sum of its parts.
I made a few herbal honey preparations this autumn.
My favourite was the Sage Honey. This year I moved my sage plant into the glasshouse and wow was it happy. Being a Mediterranean plant I’m sure coming in out of the rain combined with the extra warmth in the glasshouse made it feel much more at home. I have friends who have grown large happy Sage plants outdoors in this Irish climate too so it’s not necessary to be in the glasshouse. However I was able to harvest more Sage than I could immediately use this autumn. I was afraid it would all die back over the winter so I harvested about half of the plant.
I chopped the Sage into thin fine slivers and packed this clean and dry (very important- the leaves must be bone dry and have no added moisture on them!) into an empty clean honey jar. I covered the leaves in honey every couple of inches, and pushed a stick down into the honey to get rid of any air pockets. This took a lot more plant material than you might imagine! I filled the jar to the top and it was a lovely full jar of green leafy sage honey goodness.
I put this jar into a cool dark place. I occasionally opened it and made sure the leaves were all submerged under the honey and stirred to dispel any moisture buildup. After 6 weeks it was ready and to serve it all you do is take a large dollop of sage-honey on a spoon and pour hot (but not boiling or you’ll lose all the good effects of the honey!) water on top and let it sit for 2 minutes to infuse before drinking.
I’m sure you’ll agree its gorgeous!
Sage Tea has many health benefits such as that it improves digestion, helps with sore throats and coughs, and according to Wikipedia:
In the traditional Austrian medicine, S. officinalis herb has been used internally (as tea or directly chewed) for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and skin.
Please note that Sage is not suitable for use in pregnancy or for lactating mothers as it has a tendency to dry up breastmilk.