Sarah from @momentsofmanna is a homeschooling mama to 7 (2 grown and flown, 5 still at home), who loves to create with her hands, dig deep and learn new things, wife of 20 years.
She doesn’t have all her ducks in a row, and her type B personality means flying by the seat of her pants most of the time…. But, she has a passion about sharing knowledge of all things herbal, homeopathic, homestead and doing life in the chaos that is life, with others, has a love of thrifting and handmade pottery, and is always searching for the Manna Moments.
Let’s make something fun, beginner friendly, that’s super easy and nourishing too! Remember Mary Poppins and her song about how a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down? It’s so true, for kids, and just about anyone else I know. Wouldn’t we all prefer to have “medicine” be sweet whenever possible, plus you get the extra nourishing benefits of the honey, on top of your dried medicinal herbs as well for a double packed punch.
So, what is an electuary?! It’s a concoction (mix) of honey mixed with dried, powdered herbs that otherwise may be bitter or not taste great on their own! You can make it thick like a paste, or thinner like a syrup (less herbs to honey ratio), but for most a paste is preferred it seems. Plus, if you choose, you can make the paste thick enough to spoon into lozenge form and stick in the fridge to then use for things like sore throat etc! Raw, local honey is the way to go for this if at all possible, and organic, dried herb matter is what you need!
Raw, Local Honey
Dried, Powdered Herbs….don’t have powdered form? You can stick your dried herbs into your blender, (clean) coffee grinder, food processor, or even break out a mortar and pestle if you have one laying around….or always wanted one and need an excuse to buy one!
You add your herbs to your jar and slowly pour over honey until its the consistency you want (typically the goal is to aim for peanut butter or thick frosting consistency) and mix well! Then store in a cool dark place, or the fridge works especially when it’s summer! With dried herbs being shelf stable and honey as well, if stored properly, this means you can have it on the shelf for at least 6-12 mos, likely even longer, before you run the risk of mold on top etc meaning it’s spoiled. Then, when you go to “dose”, start with a small amount, more isn’t always better, and these herbs can be powerful, so I always recommend to start with even less than most would say, then wait and evaluate and go from there!
Before we get into various herbs to try in your electuary, always be sure to do your research on the herbs you want to use, and ask your provider (especially if you have a medical condition, are preggo or nursing) about starting any new herbal regimen to make sure it’s right for you… herbs are powerful, and it’s always a good thing to (once you are cleared by your provider) start small with any new herb, as more isn’t always better. Also have to mention, honey before age 1 isn’t recommended. Do your research and make your own decisions, don’t just follow what someone else says is fine online!
That’s it! Want some ideas on what types of herbs to try for a few different reasons?
You can totally just do one powdered herb, such as ginger for tummy aches, slippery elm or marshmallow root for gut health, tulsi or ashwagandha for brain fog, chamomile for relaxing, turmeric for inflammation (but add freshly ground black pepper to help your body use it well, and stick the final honey mix in some warm milk or take with a healthy fat for better absorption), echinacea for fighting off illness, red clover or cramp bark for that time of the month for us mamas, mullein for respiratory illness…. Really it’s just researching what herb(s) will help with the ailment you are wanting to work on and going from there! If you are sensitive to things, you might start with one herb at a time if you haven’t tried it before, to ensure your body tolerates it well before moving on to combining them in one electuary!
Once you are ready, you can start combining herbs (and even other things like fruit powders, root veggie powders, raw cacao etc) to create your own mixtures. You could combine things like mullein and/or fennel, rose hips, cacao and ginger with cinnamon to help with respiratory issues and inflammation that also packs a whole food vitamin c punch to boost your immune system. Roselle, red clover, cramp bark and chaste tree powders in your honey if those are indicated for troubles around your cycle. Ginger, marshmallow root, cinnamon and maybe even mint for tummy troubles…. The sky is really the limit!
If you don’t have funds to purchase dried medicinal herbs (though many dried culinary herbs you have on hand also carry many medicinal benefits and can be used) you could forage things like dandelion in the spring and dry it in your oven on the lowest temp, dehydrator or just hang it from a string. Then, grind it up and you have something that has antioxidant properties, boosts the immune system and more for little to no cost. Same with goldenrod, yarrow, mullein, burdock, and so many others depending on your region. You can forage for these (just make sure they haven’t been sprayed with any pesticides etc) and you have free plant matter to dry and work with! Find a book on foraging or medicinal herbs that grow in your area at your local library, or google is an awesome tool as well. Start where you are, do a bit of research and try it out. We are all more capable than we have been led to believe.
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