Now that my son is a little older and I have a bit more free time to explore my craft and career, I’m experimenting with new remedies that I’ve never made before. I’ve spoken in the past about how my education was a little tincture biased; so for many years tinctures and salves were the only remedies I made. Now that I’m a mom to a young one I am seeing the limitations that tinctures can sometimes pose. It’s a lot easier to get a syrup into my kiddo (and my husband for that matter) than it is a tincture.
I’ve got a lot of sage in my garden this year (three plants total) and when I saw how prolific they were this year I decided to expand my herbal range. I’ve preserved some for cooking later in the season and I’ve dried some in bundles for incense burning and spiritual offerings. Even after these projects my sage bushes were FULL of leaves just waiting to be harvested. After a brief search through some of my go-to books and websites I came across a few recipes for sage honey. I absolutely love the healing powers of honey and herbs combined, especially for the cold and flu season, so here I am with a sage honey recipe for you!
About Garden Sage: Salvia officinalis
We’ve all had the experience of the never-ending runny nose. The dripping faucet of germs that hits the back of your throat just right, causing not only an irritated and red nose, but a relentless cough.
It is in this nasty arena where Salvia shines best. A potent antibacterial and antiviral, sage is also one of the best anticatarrahals us westerns herbalists have access too. That means it works extremely well for runny nose symptoms for both colds/flu and sinus infections. In addition it’s also antispasmodic and a stimulating expectorant.
Like many of the culinary herbs that we also use for herbal medicine, sage also excels in the digestive area, helping with gas, bloating and indigestion. Last, but certainly not least, Salvia is one of my favourite herbs to use for nervous system conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress-related conditions.
Cautions About Salvia
Salvia’s powerful medicine does not come completely side effect free. Sage does contain thujone which is a potent neurotoxin. If used in excess it can impact the neurological system presenting with restlessness, tremors, convulsions, nervousness and vomiting. Long term use of this plant can also cause kidney and liver damage. It’s for these reasons why I would only recommend for acute conditions and short terms use. Examples of this would be sinus colds, coughs, sinus infections etc. For more complicated chronic conditions it is wise to see a qualified herbal practitioner.
This syrup should not be used in pregnancy, lactation, for children under 3, seniors with depleted constitution (basically unwell) or anyone with significant liver/kidney pathology.
And for the nursing mama who is oh so tempted to try this because your nose has been running for a week, no jokes, you need to stay away. Salvi is such a powerful anticatarrhal that it will dry up your milk!
How to Harvest It
The leaves are the part of the plant we use when making medicines of any kind; tinctures, syrups etc. Harvest the top 25-30% of the plant and discard any stalks that are extremely dense and woody.
If you are making a tincture with sage you will want your measurements to be precise. For example for 500 ml of tincture you will want 87 grams of fresh herb. If you are making the honey syrup recipe along with me, you will need enough sage to fill your mason jar about half full once you’ve chopped the herbs.
Sage Honey Syrup
- 1 x 500 ml mason jar
- Freshly harvest sage
- enough to fill the jar halfway
- fill the jar 1/4 of the way full if you are using dried sage
- Honey (raw and local preferably)
- Chop your freshly harvested sage into small pieces ensuring that you work fairly quickly (but safely)
- Fill your clean/sanitized halfway with chopped herbs
- 1/4 of the way full if you are using dried
- Fill the rest of your jar with raw honey
- Stir with a chopstick or spoon and top up the rest of the jar with honey
- Label and set aside in a cool and dark location for 1-3 months
- Strain your herbs and store your sage honey in the fridge
- Ensure everything in properly labelled
I recommend that you use this remedy acutely (only when sick) and take 1 tsp as needed.
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Until next time,