Infused Honey for Winter Wellness and Other Tips
Infused honey for wellness is one of my top picks during cold and flu season. With the flu running rampant throughout the holiday break, I received many messages asking about supportive natural approaches. My family and I use several preventive things, some of which I will share at the end of this blog. But my number one go-to is my personal favorite: thyme- infused honey!
If you've been a follower of this blog for a long, you've probably figured out I'm a big fan of honey! Honey alone has so many wonder properties, which is why it's been used by many cultures over the centuries. The properties that make up honey have been reported to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antimetastatic, antiproliferative, and anticancer effects. There are tons of studies out there; you can wander through the rabbit hole of the history of honey for days!
I particularly like this research article, Honey and Health: A Review of Recent Clinical Research, on the National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information webpage. It gives an excellent overview of honey's use throughout history and modern studies. It is also an easy read with enough scientific charts and jargon to satisfy nerdy folks.
Why Infuse with Thyme?
Thyme is an easy perennial herb to grow that is not only great in the kitchen but also a great herb to add to your medical apothecary. I like to grow the common garden thyme, but my favorite is lemon thyme because the flavor is a great addition to culinary dishes, teas, and the honey infusion we are discussing!
You can grow your thyme at home in a pot or inground. It is a lower-growing herb that will eventually grow to a large size, so keep that in mind when you are planting in the ground or picking out what size pot you need. As long as it is covered well in the winter time. Learn more about Thyme here: Grow, Harvest, & Preserve Thyme
Thyme, overall, is completely safe and non-toxic. It is used as an external and internal disinfectant to help fight off infections. It's commonly used to help ward off colds and soothe sore throats and oral infections/sores.
Making Thyme Infused Honey:
You will want to use your thyme honey when you start to feel that sore itch in your throat. This is not the most potent remedy for coughs and colds, so I like to use it as a supportive measure before that cough or sore throat worsens.
- Use local honey! If you are going to make an effort to use honey as a healthy option, go ahead and add the benefits of honey made from locally gathered pollen.
- Local will also help guarantee you get pure honey and not additives that can sneak their way into big commercial brands. It will also help your local beekeeper keep caring for their hives.
- Use locally grown thyme (I like lemon thyme). Or find some organically grown. It can be fresh or dried.
- You will also need a jar with a screw-top lid.
- One windowsill for sun infusion.
How to infuse honey:
- Fill a wide-mouthed glass jar or jar with an opening large enough that a spoon can reach inside, half full of fresh thyme. You can even throw in the flowers if your plant is already blooming. If you don't have any fresh, see if you can find some fresh, organically grown.
- You will need enough raw, unpasteurized honey to fill your jar. Slowly warm the batch to help extract the properties of the herbs. Do not overheat or boil the honey, and stay under 110º F so you do not kill the honey's beneficial enzymes.
- Add enough of the warm honey over the herbs, covering them completely. Give the herbs a little bit to settle. If you see any herbs sticking out of the honey, take a clean spoon and gently push them into the honey so they are completely covered.
- Now, find a warm, sunny window to place your jar next to so it can steep for two weeks. Mark your calendar so you remember!
- After two weeks, your honey should taste and smell strongly of whichever herb you use. It's now finished!
- You can leave the leaves inside the honey, I do. I like how it looks, and it helps me quickly identify it when looking at the side of the jar when I can't see my label on top. But ALWAYS label! Some herbs look alike, so it's easy to forget afterward. Here is a link to a PDF printable label I use: Lemon Thyme Solar-Infused Honey
How to store your infused honey:
Keep your jar in a cool pantry or refrigerator, where the honey will last several months. I keep mine on the shelf where it's softer to use. Placing it in the fridge will not be as soft and cold.
How to use thyme infused honey:
You can use your infused honey by the teaspoonful. Add it to your teas, coffees, or even some sourdough bread!
As always, please do not use it with children under one year old. Also, practice a slow introduction technique with any new food, herb, or medical product. When introducing something new to or on your body, do a small sample to see how your body will respond. I use this practice with my Latex allergy.
Everyday Prevention Tips:
- Apple Cider Vinegar works for a lot of different things. First, apple cider vinegar must be diluted with water. It will burn your skin or throat if you do not.
- If you feel icky or are at the beginning of a cold, mix a 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar in your infused honey.
- If you have a sore throat, mix a tbsp of apple cider vinegar with a cup of warm water and gargle with it.
- I also drink mushroom coffee instead of typical brand coffee. The particular brand I use contains mushrooms, collagen protein, and nootropics that boost energy, elevate mood, support inflammation, and enhance focus. Here is my affiliate link to find out all about it! Yes, by using my particular code, I do receive credit for them. Link: www.everydaydose.com/WILDWOODWONDER
- This one sounds silly, but it works for my family. When brushing your teeth, also brush your entire mouth. The roof of your mouth, the top and underside of your tongue, and the insides of your cheeks, then rinse your mouth out. We have found that sinus issues are minimal when we do this.
- Make Elderberry Syrup. Recipe here: Make Your Own Cold Syrup
Eating for Wellness:
- One thing that helped my family was adding more whole foods to your diet. This does not mean food from the Whole Foods store, but whole ingredients and cooking from scratch. Less processed food means limiting how many ready-made foods you use from a bag or box. This doesn't have to be a radical change; start slow. Instead of Mac&Cheese out of the box, make it from scratch. Add one fresh, raw, or cooked veggie and fruit to your meal each night.
- A bonus to this one is that contrary to popular belief, you'll also see your money stretch further. I can't tell you how many "grocery only haul- food is too expensive" posts I've seen on Facebook, and 90% of it is ready-made boxes & bags, junk food, and boxes of canned soda: 10% fresh veggies, fruit, and meat cuts.
- Yes, I have been there. I am ashamed to say at one time, I was a Mt.dew addict! The first step was to stop buying it. If it wasn't at home, I couldn't drink it. (This also helps with most foods) After a while, I didn't want it anymore. I eventually tried some, and it tasted like pure syrup. I couldn't even finish it. We don't eat out often, so now, when we do, I will get a regular Coke with lots of ice as a treat.
- Cook with chicken, beef, and vegetable broth instead of cooking your rice or beans in water. Use a broth.
Things to Remember:
I suggest some tips with our Wildwood Wonder Natural Body Care line, but they are also good to remember while using natural wellness.
You can also see how I harvested and made my thyme infused honey here: