Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Garlic Honey and Nourishing Comfrey Infusions

Today I spent a good chunk of my afternoon with Iolair (aka - Ben) and we decided to wander around in Olmsted Falls in a quaint little shopping area called Grand Pacific Junction.  They had a couple of little places I'd heard about, like a tea shop and a yarn store as well as an apiary peddling local honey and bee-related products.

Jorgensen's Apiary in Olmsted Falls, OH

Jorgensen's Apiary opened it's Olmsted Falls location in 2004 and sells a variety of honeys made locally in Oberlin, OH.  I was really excited to purchase some locally produced honey and to support a small local business, so Iolair and I each walked out with 16oz of honey and a bunch of honey sticks for munching on. (On that note... I can really only tolerate buckwheat honey in small quantities, as Ben will attest to, because it is quite potent and dark.)

Since I've been on an herbal sort of a kick lately (due to all the time I spend reading things by Susun Weed) I decided to make a garlic infused honey with my purchase.

Garlic Honey is used to help resolve colds,coughs, sore throats and sinus infections.  It is very simple to make and has a shelf life of up to a year. (To me, the 'shelf life' is really just common sense: if it looks, smells or tastes bad/different after too long, it probably is bad...)

Freshly made Garlic Honey

I really like Susun Weed's approach to garlic honey, which is to make it in as few steps as possible.  For this batch I used a whole bulb of garlic, separated the cloves and brushed off the flaky outer skin.  Some people suggest peeling and chopping the cloves... but if it works without all that, why bother?  (And I can then pop whole cloves of honey infused garlic into my mouth, instead of little pieces!)  I added this to a pint mason jar and filled with 16oz of honey (the whole bottle)  -- I was a little disappointed it didn't fill to the very top, but next time I'll buy a bigger jug... Evidently, the honey is good to go in 24 hours but I think I'll let mine mellow until the garlic sinks to the bottom.  This should be good for me as I have a tendency to catch seemingly random summer colds, so I am quite excited!

Today, Ben and I also strained and sampled the Comfrey Infusion I made last night.  Comfrey, also called "knit bone" is rich in proteins, folic acid, vitamins and minerals and is a really nourishing plant all around. I learned how to make nourishing herbal infusions by reading some of Susun Weed's books (really, this post should be titled "I made some herbal things Susun Weed teaches people how to make.") and they are absurdly simple.  For any infusion the ratio is simply 1oz (by weight) of the dried herb to 1qt of water, steeping the herb for 4 hours or overnight.

Comfrey Infusion before straining.

After it has steeped the infusion should be strained (unless plant parts in your drink is something you like... in which case, have at).

The straining process.

We abandoned the actual strainer because me trying pour liquid through that seemed like it could turn pretty messy pretty fast.  Instead we opted for a funnel and a coffee filter (no cheese cloth on hand, but that would work too).

Strained and ready to drink.

Once it was strained we sampled it... It is indeed a very astringent sort of brew, so we threw in a peppermint teabag for taste and it was not unpleasant to drink.  we managed to collectively get through half the quart in seemingly no time at all and could easily get through a quart in a day together.

Comfrey Infusion v2
We ended up making a second quart to get through the rest of the week (though it may just end up being consumed by me... who knows what Iolair's schedule is going to do to him for the next few days), this time we added the peppermint to steep overnight.

Looking back, this post isn't exactly 'witchy' but Comfrey and Garlic both have some magical correspondences and properties, which I didn't really feel like researching before writing this.  They can easily be looked up, which can make the process of fixing these nourishing herb goodies more magical than they already are.

Also, we were in a picture-taking sort of a mood when we got home (can you tell?), this is probably due to the fact that we didn't have a camera earlier in the day when were in this neat little park and really wanted to take photos...


  1. So I just want to say that I needed today like you would not believe. These past two weeks have sucked and our adventure lifted my spirits quite a bit. We need to do these things more often, and find ways to make the comfrey infusion taste even better.

    p.s. You better not drink it all without me.

  2. I won't drink it all without you... :P And we will do lots more things similar to this in the upcoming months.