Here are 5 easy-to-make, no cook, naturally flavored honey syrups that can be a home remedy to soothe a sore throat or cough. They're also a tasty way to add natural, nutrient-rich flavors to hot tea or water.
A home remedy that works! Combinations of honey, lemon, and tea are age old remedies for soothing a cough or sore throat. Turns out there's actually some science behind them; these old remedies can really work! What luck that they taste good, too--way better than those drug store cough syrups.
Studies have shown that honey can calm a cough as well as, or even better than, over-the-counter cough medicines. Honey has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and can fight bacteria. Combine it with the nutrients in lemons & other citrus, herbs, and spices, and you've got a natural, delicious way to treat cold and flu symptoms. Blends of honey and citrus can be swallowed straight from a spoon or stirred into hot water or tea. The steam and warmth of hot tea and water are also soothing to sore throats and can relieve stuffiness.
Honey, lemon, & cinnamon may help with weight loss, too. There is so much conflicting information out there about using honey vs. sugar as a sweetener. It's hard to sort it all out. I have heard & read frequently that honey is metabolized in the same way as sugar, and that they have basically the same effect on the body. However, some recent studies in Nutrition Research and Scientific World Journal conclude that natural, unprocessed honey can help with weight loss. They recommend honey as a healthier sweetener than sugar. Lemon and cinnamon have also been found to contribute to weight loss. Combining the 3 in a honey lemon cinnamon tea can be a winner for both weight loss and calming a cough or sore throat. Source: Livestrong
A great gift for a sick friend or tea lover! I always want to do something for a friend who is under the weather, but never know how to help. A jar of one of these syrups is just the thing. They are such delicious stir-ins for flavoring hot tea or water, that they make a great gift for tea loving friends, too. I have a printable gift tag you can attach to the jar. You'll find it further down in this post.
My kitchen laboratory. After seeing a variety of honey and sore throat concoctions on Pinterest (see links at bottom of this post), I've spent some time over the past couple of months experimenting with infusing honey with different blends of citrus, herbs, and spices. My goal was to create combos that taste good and are thought to have healing powers.
Here's a peek at some of the samples that have been hanging out in my fridge that combine a variety of citrus, herbs, spices, and honeys:
I settled on 5 favorite flavor combinations that I'm sharing today. Truth is, they're not just for soothing a sore throat or cough. These syrups taste fabulous stirred into hot water and tea even if you aren't sick. I've loved having them on hand for flavoring my afternoon cup of tea.
Step-by-step photos for making
5 Honey Citrus Syrups
Ingredients (all chosen for their nutrient-rich qualities, along with good flavor):
Organic, washed citrus recommended. Because the fruit isn't peeled, I highly recommend using organic citrus in these syrups. Wash it well, too, to remove any possible contaminants.
What you should know about honey. Well, there's a lot. You'll find a good summary here. For the purpose of making these syrups, here are some tips:
Slice the citrus into rounds. I quarter the rounds of larger citrus like oranges, and half the rounds of limes, lemons, and clementines.
Using ginger. I tested these syrups using both fresh and ground dried ginger, and ended up preferring the ground dried version for the best & easiest flavor punch. Plus, I didn't have to worry about the dried ginger spoiling. (You still get the nutritional benefits of ginger in it's dried form.) If you prefer to use fresh ginger, I recommend grating it rather than slicing it. In my samples using sliced ginger, I could hardly taste the ginger--grating it helped.
How to stack and mix the syrup ingredients. I'm assembling a lemon ginger honey jar in the illustration below:
From thick to thin syrup. Within 3-4 hours the syrup is ready to use. The honey draws the juices out of the citrus, so give it a stir to combine the honey and juice. The result is that the thick honey transforms into a thin syrup consistency. If you prefer a thicker consistency, increase the ratio of honey to citrus in your jars.
Another way to thicken this is to heat & simmer the mixture for approx. 15 minutes; the honey and pectin in the citrus will naturally gel as it cools. However heat destroys many of the nutrients. Personally, I'm happy with these in a thinner syrup consistency so that I benefit from as many nutrients as possible.
5 Citrus Honey Syrup Flavor Varieties:
These are my favorite combinations of the ones I tested.
1. Lemon Ginger Honey
2. Clementine Cardamom Honey
3. Lime Mint Honey. (Note: After about a week the delicate mint leaves begin to darken and should be removed to avoid decay and spoilage. The mint flavor remains infused into the honey.)
4. Lemon Rosemary Honey
5. Orange Clove Honey
(cinnamon may be added to this one, too, if you like)
3 honey combos. Below are the Orange Clove Honey Syrups made with different honey combinations.
all regular light honey (mine was an orange blossom honey)
half regular honey and half buckwheat honey -- a nice blend of mild and strong flavored honeys; this is my personal favorite for enjoying good flavor along with the nutrients in buckwheat honey
all buckwheat honey -- honestly, I didn't like the flavor of this one at all--way too strong for my palette.
Storage and shelf life. These should be covered and stored in the refrigerator. As you use the syrups, you may continue to add more honey to the jars to keep them full. They are good for at least 2-3 months, maybe longer. Honey is a natural preservative; and citrus has a low pH (high acidic) level that gives it preservative power, too. If you add other more fragile fresh ingredients (like mint leaves), the syrup may not keep as long. I haven't tried using food-grade essential oils in these, but that may be another option for adding flavor and nutrients that won't spoil.
How to use these syrups:
A great gift for an ailing friend or tea lover!
Print a sheet of these tags for adding the finishing touch to a gift jar of honey citrus syrup.
To use the tags:
If you don't have a printer or specialty papers, you can have a store with printing services download and print them for you.
Click on this image to download a printable sheet of tags:
These make a unique, thoughtful get well gift. Or, an "any time" gift for tea lovers.
I've been fortunate not to have caught the flu that's been going around. Nevertheless, I've been stirring these tasty syrups into my hot tea regularly. They give it just enough flavor and sweetness.
Make it a Yummy day!
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