The best time to make this syrupy extract of fresh ginger, violets, plantain, and houttuynia is in spring when all these ingredients are growing fresh in the garden. Plantain, violets, and houttuynia are all good expectorants with strong anti-inflammatory properties. Fresh ginger is diaphoretic, and houttuynia, with its orange-like flavor, supports the gingery taste. Try making this healthy and delicious sweet violet and ginger honey.
- 3⁄4oz (20g) fresh violet leaves and flowers (you can also use viola, or heartsease),
- 1oz (30g) fresh ginger,
- 3⁄4oz (20g) fresh plantain leaves,
- 1oz (30g) fresh houttuynia leaves,
- 1lb 2oz (500g) honey.
Makes 14oz–1lb 2oz (400–500g)
- Carefully gather the fresh flowers and leaves and rinse and air-dry them.
- Finely chop them, put in a clean jar, and cover completely with honey. Mix well to make sure all the herbs are entirely covered. If necessary, add extra honey.
- Keep in a warm place for five days, then strain the honey through a clean piece of cheesecloth and transfer it into a smaller sterilized jar. Discard the strained herbs.
- Seal the jar, label with a list of all the ingredients, and date.
- The honey makes an excellent drink mixed either with cold or hot water. Use all in a few weeks.