Herbal Honey in Aromatherapy
An article about herbal honey in aromatherapy. By professional aromatherapist and author Sharon Falsetto.
Food or beauty product? Why not both? Honey isn’t just for eating! In its raw form, honey has various medicinal benefits. Use topically or internally to benefit. Honey is skin healing and anti-inflammatory.
Honey has been used by women for thousands of years, in one way or another. The ancient Egyptians, who used many plants for medicinal purposes, knew about the therapeutic value of honey. The Romans and Greeks also valued honey. In Medieval times, honey was used as a form of payment because it was considered so valuable. So, what can you do with herbal honey in aromatherapy? More importantly, how do you make it?
What is Raw Honey Made From?
Honey is made by honeybees from the nectar of the flowers from which honeybees frequent. Honey varies in color and flavor, depending on which plant it was sourced from. However, the main components of honey are usually the same. Raw honey is made up of fructose, glucose and water.
You should always choose raw honey over the commercial types of honey which you see on grocery store shelves. Raw honey contains natural ingredients and therapeutic properties whereas commercial honey has usually been pasteurized or processed to make it more visually appealing. This process strips the honey of its natural and therapeutic properties. Buy local raw honey where you can, or support some of the small businesses online who ship raw honey.
Infusing Herbal Honey in Aromatherapy
Herbal honey can be infused into aromatherapy products such as scrubs, face masks, and various other aromatherapy body products. You can also use herbal honey in a tincture or on its own to sweeten a more bitter taste or aroma.
Herbal honey is easy to infuse. If you are a “slow road” herbalist like me, you’ll probably want to use the no heat method of infusion. But you can also use the stovetop method for plant parts such as dried berries, roots, and bark, and pods like vanilla (Vanilla planifolia). The no heat method works best for flowers and leaves. Just remember to dry out your plant parts before infusing to avoid introducing mold or bacteria into your honey infusion.
The stovetop method has a number of issues: Overheating the honey, “losing” honey through evaporation, and burning your herbs. My pro tip: Use a yoghurt maker which keeps the heat constant and does its own thing for the required number of hours. Plus, I love the cute little jars you get with the yoghurt maker!
In this article, though, I’m including an herbal honey in aromatherapy recipe for the cold infusion method.
Super Simple Recipe for Herbal Honey in Aromatherapy
You will need:
- 16-oz. mason jar
- Raw honey
- Dried flowers or leaves*
*Examples include lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), melissa (Melissa officinalis).
- Fill the jar with your dried plant material.
- Cover with raw honey (push the plant material down into the honey with a spoon).
- Cap and label with date and contents.
- Store in a dark, cool place for 4 weeks OR place on a sunny windowsill. Just make sure that the sun is not too intense, otherwise it may affect the quality of your honey. Remember to turn each day or so. Add more honey as needed.
- Once infused, strain off the marc (used plant parts) and repour into a clean jar.
- Cap and label.
- Store in a cool, dark place to prolong shelf life.
Cautions: Do not give to babies under 12 months of age.
How to Use Herbal Honey in Aromatherapy
Here are some fun suggestions for using herbal honey in aromatherapy and herbalism:
- Use as a “sweetener” to take bitter or unpleasant tasting tinctures.
- Add to aromatherapy sugar scrubs.
- Add to aromatherapy face masks.
- Use in an aromatherapy hair rinse.
- Combine with vinegar in an herbal elixir.
- Add to herbal tea.
Learn More About Aromatherapy with Sedona Aromatics
About the Author:
The author of this article has been working in the health care industry since the 1990’s and in the aromatherapy industry since the 2000’s. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist®. She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she gardens and distills plants from her own aromatic gardens, surrounded by natural fauna and flora on an original pioneer homestead property.