We grow a lot of herbs in our garden for a lot of reasons. There are so many uses - culinary, medicinal, companion planting, and just plain pretty. Using the herbs we grow is something we are always working on expanding - learning more, trying more, gaining knowledge and experience.
I love medicinal honey. I don't know about your family, but getting children to drink a bitter and/or strong tasting tincture just isn't going to happen. With honey though, so many of the benefits of the herbs are available combined with so much good from raw honey.
Now, I am not a master herbalist, but there are so many excellent books out there with recipes and information and we often make salves, balms, oils, vinegars and honey. We use the power of herbs for eczema, tummy aches, coughs, colds, allergies, fatigue, headaches, stress and more. Doesn't get better than that!
I have a son who always is very intense and affected by what is happening around him, and he gets tummy upsets often. So, this honey is ginger lemon balm. This is a great honey - and a super easy place to start. This is such a great all around honey that you could make it just for flavor and add to your tea, but it also is good for soothing stomach aches, and helps with stress.
lemon balm ginger honey
1 cup local wildflower raw honey
1 cup lemon balm leaves, fresh (pick in morning, new leaves)
2" nub of ginger, chopped
In a saucepan, gently warm your raw honey and stir. DO NOT boil or overheat the honey. We are only raising the temp just enough to activate the oils in the herbs. Add the herbs and ginger to the honey - keep on very very very low heat for 10-15 minutes. Pour into a pint jar. Stir, and be sure all lemon balm is covered and not sticking out the top (or it will turn brown).
Seal and set in a dark spot for a week or so.
After a week you can strain the herbs out of the honey and store. If your house is cool and the honey is hard, just gently heat again (low! just enough to get fluid) and strain. Or, you can leave the herbs in it, and strain what you need as you go. The smell is wonderful, and my boys love in lemonade. I love it in tea.
Don't forget--children under one year old should not be given honey!!!
There are so many great herbal books out there - the one I have found myself reading and referencing this spring is Homegrown Herbs. It has nice photos, is up to date, and easy to read!
Homegrown Herbs: A Complete Guide to Growing, Using, and Enjoying More than 100 Herbs