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Make Your Own Autumn Herbal Honey with Goldenrod, Cinnamon, and Cloves

Fall brings with it falling leaves, cool nights, and the first hints of winter’s chill in the air. To help keep you warm and boost your immune system during the change of seasons, try making your own herbal honey to use in tea or to flavor your snacks with its delicious combination of flavors from goldenrod, cinnamon, and cloves. Here’s how to do it.

Making the Most of Autumn Herbs

As summer makes way for autumn, various new herbs become available to us. If you’re interested in autumn foraging, here are some herbs to keep an eye out for. The flowering tops of New England aster, goldenrod, and yarrow. Roots of plants like burdock, chicory, and dandelion. The seeds of milk thistle, anise, and fennel. Then there are nuts galore, such as chestnuts, hazelnuts, acorns, walnuts, and hickories. The list could go on and on! 

Goldenrod is one such autumn herb. Not only does it look like a rod of gold, as its name suggests, but it grows prolifically on roadsides and in meadows in the eastern United States in late summer to early autumn. If you aren’t lucky enough to have goldenrod growing in your local area, you can always order it from a reputable online herb supplier or pick it up in a local herb shop where you live. If you’re interested in foraging for this autumn herb, you can learn more about how to identify, harvest, and prepare goldenrod in the YouTube video below.

Autumn Herbal Honey Benefits

As I mentioned, I’m going to share one of my favorite ways to use autumn goldenrod today by sharing a recipe for an autumn herbal honey made with goldenrod, cinnamon, and cloves.

Before I get to the recipe, let me briefly share some of these herbs’ wellness benefits.

Goldenrod is a wonderful autumn herb to have around. It’s not only often used to calm fall allergies through its inflammation-modulating properties, but it also helps to tighten and tone the tissues it comes into contact with, increases urine output, calms digestive upset, stimulates the gallbladder to release bile, and discourages microbial infections. 

Cinnamon has a variety of wellness benefits as well. It is often used to ease pain, stimulate circulation and warm the body, balance blood sugar, thin mucous in the lungs, calm digestive upset, and promote healthy digestion. Additionally, it’s highly aromatic and often used as an antimicrobial herb to discourage bacterial and viral infections.

Clove is quite similar to cinnamon where its wellness benefits are concerned. In addition to many of the things cinnamon does, clove also helps to discourage parasitic and fungal infections!

Autumn Herbal Honey with Goldenrod, Cinnamon, and Clove

Now, when I make many of my herbal preparations, I let my knowledge and intuition of herbs guide me. If you want to learn more about how to grow in these particular areas, let me encourage you to check out my course, The Art of Simpling, as it’s all about growing your herbal knowledge and intuition, one plant at a time.

With that said, I like to take a clean glass canning jar and fill it 3/4 full with fresh goldenrod. If you’re using dried goldenrod, you can fill it 1/2 full. Next, I take one cinnamon stick, break it apart, and add it to the jar. Then I toss in 5-6 whole cloves into the mix. Lastly, I slowly pour raw honey over the plant material, stopping ever so often to stir the mixture to ensure that the honey thoroughly covers all the plant material and there are no air bubbles trapped inside. Finally, I cover the jar with a piece of unbleached parchment paper, label the jar, put the lid on, and set this aside to infuse for 2 weeks. It’s important to flip the jar daily (or as often as you can remember) to ensure the herbs are well mixed with the honey. 

Click here to see a video of this process over on Instagram!

When the two weeks are up, I taste some honey to see if I like the flavor. If I want a stronger flavor, I leave the mixture to infuse for another week or longer before testing it again. 

Once the flavor is where I want it, I transfer the contents of the jar into a small saucepan and heat that up over very low heat. This helps to thin the honey, making it easier to strain from the plant material. Once the honey is warmed in the saucepan, I filter it through a fine-mesh sieve positioned over a clean glass canning jar that I’ll be using for storage. I like to use wide-mouth canning jars for herbal honeys. You can either compost the herbs at this point or save them for an herbal infusion (more on this below). Be sure to label your new autumn herbal honey and set it aside in a cool, dark place for storage. Herbal honeys made with fresh herbs are shelf stable for 3 to 6 months, depending on the water content of the herbs. Honeys made with dried herbs are shelf stable for 12 months or more.

Click here to see another video of this process over on Instagram!

*Note: Herbal honeys made with fresh herbs may ferment a bit while the herbs infuse into the honey due to the water content in the plant material. This is normal and very healthy for you!

How to Use Your Goldenrod Herbal Honey

This goldenrod-infused herbal honey is a delicious way to enjoy autumn flavors while using herbal remedies to help you stay healthy. 

I like to use my autumn herbal honey to sweeten teas or baked goods. You can also enjoy it drizzled on toast, pancakes, yogurt, ice cream, or fruit. Lastly, you can mix it with powdered herbs to make herbal pastilles, sore throat balls, or electuaries, or you can mix with other herbs when making sweet herbal preparations like elixirs, syrups, or oxymels.

And if you want to get a bit more mileage out of the herbs you infused into your honey after you strain them, you can transfer them to a quart-sized glass canning jar and pour some just boiled water over them, filling the jar 3/4 full of water. Cap this and let it sit for 30-60 minutes so any remaining properties of the herbs will transfer to the water. When time is up, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, compost the herbs, and reserve the sweetened liquid to drink throughout the day.

Happy herbing around, friends!

Love and light,

Meagan

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