5 Healing Honey Infusions for a Healthy Life
Honey is one of nature’s miracles. It is a delicious ingredient in many foods, has antibacterial properties, works as a humectant (keeps things moist), soothes a cough or sore throat, and makes your tea about 1,000 better-and that’s just scratching the surface really. Whether you’re using it as a sweetener, or trying to kick a cough, it’s just plain useful. Here are 5 flavors (and a general method) to infuse your honey and make it that much more wonderful.
Formula for infusing your honey: Use 1 cup of honey (raw and organic is best), flavoring to your taste, a saucepan, strainer, and an 8 oz. glass jar with a tightly fitting lid.
Of course this was number one. Lemon + honey = amazing. When you come down with any sort of cold, putting lemon and honey together (in tea or otherwise) is a go-to for making you feel better.
You will need…
-1 cup of honey
-1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
-2 fresh slices of lemon, juice and tossed in (optional)
Pour 1 cup of honey into your pan and add 1 tablespoon of freshly grated lemon peel. Toss in 2 slices for boosted flavor if you like. Heat these together for about 10 minutes, making sure to keep the heat relatively low. Burned honey doesn’t taste as bad as some other things do burned, but you still want to avoid it. Around 115 degrees Fahrenheit releases the flavors nicely, but it will depend on your stovetop. After you’ve heated the mixture, let it sit for 1-2 hours or up to 1-2 weeks. After its infused strain if you’d like, and place in a glass jar with a tightly fitting top. Know the longer it sits for the stronger it will taste.
Good to use: If you have a bad cough or cold, place a healthy dollop of your lemon infused honey at the bottom of a cup. Pour freshly boiled water over the top, drop in a teabag, and give it a good stir. The lemon can loosen phlegm, while the honey soothes irritation. You can also slowly heat the lemon infused honey while adding the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon. When it’s still hot and liquid, sip slowly.
At the state fair one of my favorite things has always been in the horticulture building. It’s the exhibit on bees and honey, where you can purchase just about any flavor honey stick you can imagine (seriously.) My favorite, having a soft spot for cinnamon, was always…cinnamon. This flavorful spice complements honey well not only in taste but in function, being filled with all kinds of healthy benefits
You will need…
-1 cup of honey
-4-6 sticks of cinnamon
-a pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
I am crazy about cinnamon, so I tend to add it generously, but try starting with 4 sticks if you’re unsure. Pour 1 cup of honey into the saucepan, and drop in the cinnamon sticks. Push them down with a spoon to submerge them. For 10 minutes on low heat let the mixture heat up, and then let it sit for around 2 hours or up to 1-2 weeks. Strain if you’d like and store in glass jar.
Good if used: In tea, just like the lemon-honey, or eaten straight off the spoon. It’s also delicious spread on a plain piece of toast. Cinnamon is chock full of anti-oxidants, possesses antifungal properties, and helps break up congestions/clear the sinuses. Even just a half a teaspoon a day has been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
Tasty, but more importantly, good for your health. From colds to sore stomachs, ginger-honey comes with a variety of ways to enjoy its unique composition.
You will need…
-1 cup of honey
-1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger root
-A pinch of ground ginger (optional)
Pour 1 cup of honey into a saucepan and add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped gingerroot. You can add a small pinch of ground ginger if you’d like as well, but it does have a strong flavor. On low heat let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. When it’s done let it infuse for 2 hours or up to 2 weeks in a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid. Strain when it’s finished if you’d like.
Best used: In your tea when you’re feeling ill-especially with an upset tummy, since both ginger and honey are known to soothe your stomach and chase off “bugs.” The added ginger helps circulation, flushing toxins through your systems and helping get rid of aches and chills. If you’re in a pinch and have wound up with a minor abrasion, applying this cooled and then covering with gauze can help it heal , and the ginger fights inflammation.
Not to be confused with clover honey, clove honey is made by infusing whole cloves with honey, whereas clover honey is made from the nectar of clover flowers. Cloves are great at numbing pain (sore throats, toothaches, etc.) and the honey makes a happy, healthy, medium to ingest it with.
You will need…
-1 cup of honey
-5-10 whole cloves
Pour 1 cup of honey into a saucepan, and then add 5-10 whole cloves. On low, heat for 10 minutes before letting it infuse for 2 hours or up to 2 weeks, putting it in a jar with a tightly fitting lid. Strain when it’s finished if you’d like.
Best used: In tea when you have a sore throat or a toothache, or dabbed directly on the gum by a sore tooth. The eugenol in the clove is a powerful numbing agent that was used by dentists before modern painkillers were created, and is so effective it is still used in modern dentistry in an extracted form. If you have a little cut or sore in your mouth, the honey may help it heal faster and keep bad bacteria out while the cloves take care of the discomfort.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar honey:
If you’re worried about taste, this may not be the honey to put on a sandwich and give to the kids (although personally, I think the ACV cuts through the sweet honey nicely.) Apple cider vinegar is a substance that seems to help just about every ailment out there- add this wondrous liquid to the super-hero that is honey, and you have a flavorful spread that’s brimming with healthy benefits.
You will need…
-1 cup of honey
-2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Add 1 cup of honey to a saucepan, and then pour in 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Let it heat over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring well about halfway through. Place in a jar and let it sit for as long as you like-its taste and benefits are all there pretty quickly, and it doesn’t need to sit as long as something like cinnamon sticks or cloves would.
Best:If you make the Braggs apple cider vinegar health drink you can try adding this for an extra kick. While this is subject to opinion, I think it tastes good stirred in to tea or a glass of lemon water in the morning. Apple cider vinegar can help neutralize and correct excess acidity in our bodies (counterintuitive, but often times true) and helps a number of issues from an upset stomach to easing sore throats to showing promise in treating diabetes.
Pooh Bear was on to something when it comes to honey-its probably why he is still around today! It has a plethora of ways to help you get healthy, stay healthy, and heal, all while tasting absolutely delicious. It also opens itself up to a number of other flavors and beneficial ingredients, so get creative, and share what you come up with.
The shelf-life, if stored in a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid, is 6 months. Some people say it can last years, but I have never experimented with that. Even with plant matter, it can go a long time (microorganisms have a hard time surviving on/in it) without needing to be refrigerated. Simply store in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Straining is more for looks/taste, and is easiest when the honey has been warmed slightly after sitting for a few hours so it is runnier. If you want to let it infuse for longer than several hours, pour it into your jar so it’s not sitting out in the open for a super long time. When it’s infused enough, simply re-heat before straining by placing the jar in warm water if you’d like.
Honey Infusion Tips
-If crystals form, set the honey (in its jar) in a pot of gently simmered water. The crystals will “melt” and your honey will be smooth again.
–A nice touch for flavor is to add 3 tablespoons of diced or roughly chopped fruit. Apple-strawberry is one of my favorite flavors for eating on toast with butter. I don’t strain it at the end either.
-Flavored honey makes an awesome gift in a nice decorative jar, and you can actually get “honeystix” at many craft/party stores.
-Freely adjust to taste, and experiment. It’s not an exact science, and it’s all about what you like and what’s good for you.
P.S. Make sure to take a look at the Everyday Roots Book with 350+ pages of the best home remedies, natural beauty recipes, homemade cleaners and diy household products. View Remedies
By Claire GoodallClaire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, playing with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything 🙂 Meet Claire
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Keep a jar of lemon-honey handy at all times! When my family & friends come over, a glass of herbal tea and lemon-honey is pretty much one of the first things they ask for 🙂 It is seriously delicious, good for you, and comforting.
I like to add fresh mint to the lemon and honey. Helps clear your sinuses and thins mucus as well.
It makes sense both honey and lemons are delicious healthy stuff, but I wonder if the lemons slices will preserve into the honey without causing mold?
I suppose one way to find out is to try it, I shall do so and will let you if I have any problem.
Good health to all.
Would fresh mint work if you infused it into honey for tea?
Bill, I make fresh mint tea then just add the honey to it, that way, you’re not using the honey up for just one purpose/flavor
Should this be refrigerated or just left in the pantry?
It can be left as it is up to 6 months. Some people say years, but that’s generally the time-frame I stick to, particularly with fresh plant matter in it.
I have been and probably would still be a beekeeper except for a Hurricane that forces my bees away when the hive fell over and I was away at college. As a beekeeper and someone with a little bit of education and knowledge I remember the archaeologists that did the digging of the Egyptian Pyramids found “Honey” that was still good and edible after thousands of years. This is due in part because Honey as a consistancy is so thick, the things that normally break down a product do not and cannot live in it so it litterally has an unknown but over thousands of years as a shelf life.
That goes for “real honey” not the conventionally produced ones you get from the supermarket.
I even think there’s a difference between regular biological honey and the honey that was made before this bio industrial revolution.
what are you using to strain this with?
I’ve heard that heating honey makes it less effective… what’s your experience?
Great question! There’s quite a bit of debate surrounding this, but here’s my 2 cents-I haven’t experienced any decrease in effectiveness after honey is heated to 115 degrees F. I think that people often simply hear that “heating honey kills the live enzymes” or that “pasteurized honey is heated which removes all the beneficial stuff” and automatically assume that any sort of heating is bad. Indeed, many people think that honey heated even slightly is no longer considered “raw.” Technically, this is true, as raw honey is defined as having had nothing done to it, it’s not heated, pasteurized, filtered, nothing, and because of this good practice, all the yeast and live enzymes in raw honey are still present.
However the yeast and live enzymes that provide a number of honeys wonderful benefits are not killed or deactivated at 115 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature I give in this article. People will use the guideline for yeast used in bread often times for honey, which should not be placed in water exceeding 110-112 degrees F, but yeast/live enzymes in honey are in a molecularly different structure, and therefore respond differently to temperature.
Raw honey is considered the best honey because it retains all of its natural benefits. During pasteurization honey is heated to 160-170 degrees F, which does kill off the live enzymes and can change the molecular structure of honey. A temperature of 115 degrees for a short amount of time does not do the same thing chemically and it does not kill the live enzymes or yeast. In places such as the California central valley and desert region honey experiences temperatures of 115 degree Fahrenheit while still in the hive, and is still sold as “raw” because it has not technically been heated.
While you will still hear that any heating is bad, I personally think that there is still an appropriate time and place, and a proper way to go about it. In this case, the heat-infusion method allows you to get the best of both worlds-the benefits of whatever good stuff you’re infusing the honey with, plus all of the benefits of the honey itself. Also, if you ever find your raw honey fermenting, heating it to 115 degrees Fahrenheit will stop the process of fermentation by allowing the dextrose to return to the solution, and in my opinion, it is better to warm it to an appropriate temperature and keep the good properties than to lose the honey altogether to the fermentation.
In short I am not a beekeeper (although I have studied some) and there are always going to be different opinions on this subject, but I have found that heating honey to a certain level does not get rid of the benefits and can sometimes be a good thing if done properly. I hope this answered your question!
Thank you! I had the same question. I can’t wait to try this! Have you experimented with mixing flavors? When I feel like I’m getting a cold I make a tea with ginger and cinnamon with honey added. It is so yummy and stops the cold symptoms very quickly.
I think since the bees keep the hive at around 94° heating it to only 115° would not damage the honey at all.
I was going to ask this question. How do you suggest to ensure temp stays at 115F? Thanks. Just stumbled on this post, very good info, thanks!
On a warm summer day I placed some jars of crystallized honey outside and let the sun turn it back to liquid gold. It took several hours, but I didn’t have to regulate heat or even open the jars.
Thanks for the great info and site!
I’m interested in the ginger-honey. If you mince the fresh ginger, is it desirable to put into tea or coffee? Should it be strained?
Hmm for the ginger-honey I usually strain it, mostly just because I personally do not like it if I get a piece, but it all depends on your personal taste. It can be quite lovely in tea-anything that has notes of ginger flavor or just straight ginger tea. I will say if you chop the ginger a bit rougher and leave it to settle in the tea without straining the honey it can release a bit of extra flavor. I have yet to try it in coffee, if you do let us know what you think!
Thank you , Claire, for your insight on honey and “heating”.
I have inherited a “sweet tooth” as well as am overly fond of food. So, quite naturally, I ran headlong into a lot of serious health problems (including diabetes). Then I went in for some earnest remedial measures, one of them being that I gave up sugar and all refined starches. I continued to humour my sweet tooth by indulging in fruits and HONEY. Whilst all raw honey is good, as a diabetic, I restricted myself to SEDER honey. Seder (the latin name is something like zizyiphus, I think) orchards can be found in the Gulf countries and also in the Indian subcontinent. And this move, alongwith all the other steps I took, has done wonders for me.
To come back to the topic, I do not heat my honey nor do I put honey in my hot beverages until I have allowed them to cool down to about 100degF, now 115 deg after reading your article. Thank you once again.
P.S. Honey comprises many kinds of sugars, the nasty one, sucrose, ranging from 10 to 15% in most honeys. Seder honey on the other hand has only 1 to 1.5% sucrose, hence considered safe for diabetics as well as weight watchers.
These are great, thanks! One I didn’t see, that according to the master herbalist working with Rose Mountain Herbs is one of the best treatments for colds/flu is onion honey syrup. She recommends slicing a raw onion, covering with raw honey, and heating gently until the onion turns transluscent (she also says you can leave this on the back of the stove in a warm place and use as needed).
Instead of heating it on the stove, could you set it outside on a hot day?
2nd question: To avoid overheating the honey, what about putting it in a mason jar, and setting the mason jar on a candle warmer?
I’m a little surprised that you didn’t say anything about honey-onion syrup. I use that every time I start getting a cough, and it works wonders. The onion adds a delicious savory quality to the honey, and it’s really easy to make.
please how do I prepare the honey and onion syrup
Been hearing about jalapeno infused honey any one ever tried that ! Sounds delish ! Just curious about it
Since Honey doesn’t spoil-I would think th.ese could be stored indeffinately.
You are right Brenda. Honey is the only food that does NOT expire. However other elements mixed with honey will expire eventually. But plain honey with no additives does not expire.
Honey is very effective for acidity, it will cures the acidity if we use 2 months continuously.
Just curious — if you’re going to let this “steep” so to speak for hours to days before using, is the heating part actually necessary? Seems like an extra step to me but maybe I’m missing something.
I wash a lemon (real good), slice it thin to medium, put it in a 1/2 pint glass jar, pour raw honey in to fill 3/4 of jar and add organic ginger powder about a teaspoon. I take a spoon and mix it all up real good making sure the lemon is coated. I put it on the counter and leave it, for 2 or 3 days I mix it and sort of chop down on lemon slices. I put it in refrig so it will get kind of globby. When I want a cu of tea I take a couple table spoons of mixture in my tea. If I have a cold I use 3 or 4 tablespoons in tea twice a day. AS I use it I add more honey and maybe some left over lemon. After 2 or 3 weeks I start putting the lemon in my cup as it is coming apart by that time. I always have another jar in the process. No need to heat it, the lemon mixes with the honey and then the honey thickens the lemon, makes an excellent fusion .
I was always under the impression that you not suppose to heat or cook honey if you are looking for health benefits. Is this not true?
Hello, thank you for nice recipes! But I heard that Vitamin C is destroyed in a hot substance (water etc) and the quality of honey is changing when it is heated up. So is it just delicious honey or it actually has some healing properties ?
None of the above recipes are intended to provide Vitamin C, and you are correct in that the amount can be reduced when exposed to higher temperatures. You lose the most integrity when it comes to boiling your fruits or veggies in water since vitamin C is water-soluble. Then you get the vitamin leaching into the water plus getting degraded by the heat ( you wouldn’t totally ‘destroy’ every last bit of the vitamin, but you can still diminish the amount quite a bit. ) As for the honey losing quality, you can read my response to ‘mullai’ up above in the comments section-it’s a bit lengthy so I won’t copy paste it 🙂
Hi Claire. Could you use fresh lemon juice instead of the lemon zest? I usually mix honey and lemon juice for when my family gets a sore throat and/or cough. Can this be stored outside of the fridge or is it better in the fridge? Thanks!! Love your site!!
While all of these are great recipes in theory thay all have one common fault. Heating honey to any degree destroys most, if not all, of it’s natural antibacterial agents. My favourite iced tea includes cinnamon, orange, ginger, cloves and honey, but the honey is only added after everything is cooled. I then remove the tea bags, leave in the spices, add the honey and put the whole lot in the fridge.
Lydia is right! Agreed! So people…. Please don’t go wasting your money by buying raw organic honey if you are going to heat it in any way, thereby destroying all the beneficial enzymes; hence the reason you bought it in the first place! Just take a cup of fresh lemon juice and add your raw organic honey and shake it up until all the honey is dissolved and you are left with a thick syrup. Then use this to add to your iced tea or water. Simple as that! Sore it in the fridge so you can use it anytime. I make enough at a time to last a weeks worth…. Which for me is a quart Ball canning jar. True, it may take a while for the honey to fully dissolve, just keep going back and shaking or stirring it. Add Braggs ACV or crushed organic ginger if desired, you can find it in a small jar at a Whole Foods store. No straining is needed. Remember…. Do not heat the raw vinegar, either. 🙂 It is unseated for a reason.
I’ve gotten into the oils lately (so has about half the country, I think). What are your thoughts on adding a drop or two to an infusion? What combinations do you think would work well together?
I thought that honey was Hydroscopic, and draws moisture. Which is why it prevents infection in cuts.
I thought heating honey denatures it – and best consumed as is. How come we are heating it up with the cinnamon?
Manuka Honey and Garlic can help get rid of a yeast infection. Insert and/or apply to affected area. Then follow up with a apple cider vinegar and colloidal silver douche to get your ph back to normal.
I would love to learn more on the benefits of honey and cinnamon.
Hi There, it may sound like a stupid question…..but cant we put more than one item? say 3 or 4 things suggested above? wouldnt that be of great use, medically?
How long untill your honey goeskinda firm again… my lemon honey is still like water but it has only been 1 day. .. Thank you loving the post.
I make a paste of 1 tbs each of honey and cinnamon and add the juice of 1/2 a lemon with hot water. I sip this “tea” several times a day when I feel a cold or flu coming on. It’s delicious, soothes my throat and I also find it very relaxing. I also sometimes use the honey/cinnamon paste in my coffee and I find it quite tasty!
1) What are the benefits of having clove cinnamon honey green tea.
2) Can this be had in the night before sleeping.
Love your post! I am hoping to get bees this spring, and as an herbalist-in-training, I am in love with infused honeys. The one marinating in my fridge right now is a lemon/ginger/cinnamon infusion! (I recently read that warm lemon water with honey drank first thing in the am.m helps boost your metabolism – don’t know for certain if that’s true, but hey, why not infuse your honey with all that goodness and give it a go?!) I’ve also made some lemon/ginger/hyssop/thyme infused honey for colds and coughs. And my all-time favorite honey infusion is a chai spice! I used a looseleaf chai tea blend and then added additional cardamom, ginger, clove, etc. It is positively divine drizzled on toast with a smear of almond butter. 🙂
That sounds delicious! I wish you luck with your beekeeping endeavors, goodness knows we need more ‘keepers these days. It’s really a neat experience 😀
Does the chopped ginger in honey need to be refrigerated?
just saw the comment about 6 months – does this apply to ginger? To me 6 months would make sense especially if the ginger pieces are completely submerged in and surrounded by the honey.