Every year about November I would get a nasty respiratory infection that runs a course of inflammation and aggravation that cycled through February. The last few years have been different. Not only have I cut many nasty toxins out of my life (including toxic people), I’ve added some lovely alternatives to OTC medications and Rxs.
I’ve a bit of a cough right now, but I chalk that up to the inevitable congestion that comes with my persnickety immune system and the stress I’ve been under for the last six months (merh, toxins) but the dryness of the weather. I try to keep a humidifier going (with lovely things like Tea Tree Oil, Citronella Oil, or Eucalyptus Oil) but in order to keep the cough from beginning the circumlocutions of inflammations that end in a round or steroids, I’ve decided to OD on honey.
I’d been consuming more honey (and royal jelly and propolis and bee pollen—something that was a real energy-boosting favorite back when I was a dancer *jazz hands*) this year than ever. In mead. In my coffee (in place of sugar). In my hair.
Side note: Back in July, I told you about the “beekeeping extravaganza” many of our kindred took part in.
It was so delightful that four (or five, maybe five—I’m working on it) of us signed up for a month long class with the Saugahatchee Beekeepers Association. Last night was the first meeting—which due to a zany day in various meetings (again, merh, toxins) and my husband’s impossible late-January work schedule, I decided to forgo and just chat with the teacher over the phone. We met over the summer, so it was no big deal. I’ll be back in class next week with my kin.
So, yes. We are planning to have bees.
And given what bee venom does for RA? I might just be doing some jazz hands again soon!
Another thing that I’ve been consuming is a cough remedy that the old ladies used to talk about when I was a kid. Honey and onions. Sounds gross, no? Well, it kinda is. But try it anyway. It soothes the soreness of a raw throat and calms the coughing so that the inflammation doesn’t begin (thereby causing more coughing). What’s really funny is that I thought the old ladies were, you know, “old.” Now I see a variety of this cure floating around the newfangled Internets. (I haven’t found one with all the bells and whistles I have here, so know that you can skip anything aside from the basics and get away with it.) It’s too simple. You can make a batch in less than 20 minutes while puttering around the kitchen.
A sterile Mason Jar–any brand actually
1 cup chopped onion—I prefer red onions
About 1/2 cup raw honey—it has to be raw, so this is not for behbehs under a year old
1 tsp. freshly crushed cloves—but I bet you could use powdered in a pinch
Cloves are good for pain relief if the sore throat is your problem.
½ Tbsp. dried slippery elm
Slippery Elm will also soothe your throat.
½ Tbsp. dried Mullein
Mullein is an expectorant, good at clearing up hacking coughs and congestion.
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped Ginger root—again, in a pinch you might be able to use 1 tsp. powder
Ginger makes everything better. It increases circulation and gives that warm tummy feeling.
I’ve seen some folks simmer the onions in the honey for about 20 minutes and then store the concoction in the fridge. But, I’ve also seen some folks plop it all in a mason jar raw and leave it tightly sealed on the counter (honey is naturally sterile). I always prefer raw. It will take a little longer for the herbs and onion to infuse into the honey but it’s worth not cooking anything out.
This time around, I’m adding a tincture of propolis, one of the most amazing natural anti-fungal/anti-bacterials out there. Go honey bees!
Aside from all of the wonderful benefits of having honey in the home, I can’t not think about human dependency on bees. We all know how integral they are to our eco system, how they are dying, and how private beekeepers can’t seem to get a leg up over corporations that endanger bees (and therefore humans). It seems a reasonable part of my resolution to “live intentionally” to dedicate a space on my land to a creature who is as practical is it is magical.
As magical folk, we need to carve out more of our consciousness to the consumption of—not *just* honey—but those things which are making honey more and more scarce by endangering bees. I’m not going to preach at ya—just thought I’d mention it.
Honey has not just mundane benefits, you see. The hoodooist uses honey almost as much as anything else in the cupboards. I’ll write s’more about that latter. Milk and honey is a traditional gift to a number of pantheons. And let’s not forget beeswax.
And then—there’s mead.
Mulled with apples, cloves, and anise? Yup, that’s what I’m serving my kin this weekend.
Wæs þu hæl,