Thyme HoneyI absolutely love honey, locally produced and raw! While it can certainly be used to sweeten food, it is also a useful solvent and preservative for herbs. I keep a small number of herbal honeys in the pantry and medicine cabinet. Honey alone, or when infused with herbs, can be used to help mend minor burns and wounds. Studies confirm that honey has direct antibacterial activity, draws fluid out of the wound and helps enhance the healing of tissue.
Honey can also be a very useful cough remedy. In a review of six controlled trials involving 899 children, honey was superior to no treatment, placebo or diphenhydramine, and equivalent to the most common cough suppressant, dextromethorphan for relieving cough. It also shortens the duration of a cough better than placebo and salbutamol. Impressive for something so sweet that is probably in your kitchen cupboard already.
Cover fresh cut thyme with honey until covered then allow to sit in a warm place for 2-3 weeks. Then strain out the herbs and you have the thyme honey for use.
The recipe for a Thyme honey preparation is great for a dry, tickling or wet cough. Using a jar, herbs and local raw honey yields a medicinal honey that you can use when you feel congestion coming on or in marinades and recipes. You can also make a tea by adding the honey to hot water or take a teaspoon to help with a cough. Herbal honey should only be used for children over one year.
When you take all that goodness in honey and add some of your favorite herbs, you have absolute magic! Thyme is still approved as a traditional herbal medicine for the relief of cough associated with the cold in Europe. It can ease laryngitis and viral sore throat, and it has potent antibacterial activity. I use thyme (Thymus vulgaris) honey in hot water with lemon or straight off the spoon for coughs and colds and topically for minor wounds. I love basting baked carrots in thyme honey, too! Herbal honeys have a very long shelf life. We make them in small batches every summer when the herbs are fresh from the garden, and it never fails-we run out every single spring!
Some other pretty amazing herbal honeys that I keep around:
Sage (Salvia officinalis) honey: delightful for cooking and for soothing a sore throat.
Lavender (Lavandula spp) honey: delicious drizzled over Manchego cheese and served with a pinot noir!
Note: Honey should not be given to children less than 12 months old due to the rare but dangerous risk of infantile botulism. Maple syrup can be used as an alternative, but it must be stored in the refrigerator.
For ingredients for these herbal honeys go to npscript.com/theherboctor