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How to Make an Herbal Electuary

Menthol Chest Balm Recipe

Honey herbal electuary

Electuary: just saying it is fun. And after a bit of research, I found out that the word likely comes from the Greek word “ekleikhein”, which means “to lick up.” Or perhaps that’s just one of those constantly regurgitated bits of info that gets passed down from blog to blog. Nonetheless, it’s still a fun factoid worth mentioning. I’ve worked in the herbal industry for a decade now, and over time it’s been fun to see what goes in and out of fashion. Just the other day, my herbalist friend Erika Galentin with Sovereignty Herbs posted on social media about her ginseng leaf electuaries (amazing). I’ve seen a few others post about this ancient herbal tradition over the past few months as well. It occurred to me that after attending countless herbal conferences and taking two herbalism apprenticeships, I’ve managed to never have made one of the simplest of recipes: the electuary. As I explained to one of our photographers here at Mountain Rose Herbs, “It’s basically just powdered herbs mixed with honey.”


Herbal electuaries in spoons

Honey has beneficial properties on its own (buy local if you can!). Combine that with the power of powdered herbs, and you have a potent, shelf stable, and enjoyable way to consume your botanicals, even some of the less palatable ones (see our video of staff trying triphala for the first time). As with any herbal recipe, there are countless ways to prepare an electuary, this is just my take on it. Please feel free to experiment as much as possible and share your results with us. If you’re wondering how to take it, a spoonful a couple of times a day would be a good place to start. Also, you can warm up a bit of water and dissolve some of the electuary into it, creating almost an instant herbal tea. 

How to Make an Electuary

I decided to measure these ingredients in parts. That way you can decide if you want to make a little or a lot. If it’s your first time, I recommend starting with a little!

Ingredients

  • Powdered organic herb(s) of choice (recipe ideas below)
  • Organic honey

Directions

  1. Pour herbal powder(s) of choice into a bowl.
  2. Slowly pour honey into the bowl with the herbal powder and stir.
  3. When it becomes a thick paste, you are done.
  4. Store in a clean jar and cap tightly.
  5. Electuaries will keep in the fridge for 6 to 12 months (this is probably a conservative amount of time).

Pro Tips

  • You can add more honey to the mixture to make a sweeter and thinner product.
  • Feel free to add herbal tinctures to the mix, too. You’ll see I did in a couple of the recipes below. Two to three dropperfuls will probably suffice, but it’ll depend on how much electuary you are making.


Herbal electuary in canning jars

DIY Electuary Recipes


Adaptogenic Herb Blend

Herb Blend for Brain Power

Herb Blend for Lovers

You can also make electuaries with single herbs rather than blends.  Here are some of my favorite single herb electuaries to make:

Herbs for an electuary in a wooden spoon

And now here’s a popular, warming electuary, reminiscent of chai from herbalist Susan Hess (used with permission). She suggests stirring it into some hot black tea with some cream for an instant chai! For the recipe, she recommends mostly fresh ground and roasted whole herbs. I tried it out and I concur! An added bonus: it makes your house smell wonderful.

Susan Hess’s Carminative and Aromatic Electuary

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  2. Place whole spices (everything but the turmeric and sea salt) onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the spices are fragrant.
  3. Remove and cool.
  4. Grind whole spices together in a mortar and pestle, or an electric coffee grinder if you have one, until finely powdered.
  5. Blend in the turmeric powder and a pinch of sea salt.
  6. Stir in the appropriate amount of honey.
  7. The finished electuary should be rich, dark and a nearly paste-like in consistency. 
  8. Store in a clean jar and cap tightly.

Want to discover How Herbs work?

Learn More About Herbal Actions Here


You may also enjoy:

How to Make Herbal Glycerites
Best Herbs for Digestive Function
How to Make Herbal Infusions and Decoctions

Electuaries in jars for Pinterest

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only


Topics: Herbal Gift Ideas, Recipes, Herbalism

Mason

Written by Mason on March 17, 2021

Mason Hutchison is the founder of HerbRally, a podcast and website that promotes herbalism education and events. He has completed herbalism apprenticeships at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies and the Arctos School of Herbal and Botanical Studies. Mason is the Events & Outreach Strategist for Mountain Rose Herbs. His day-to-day work involves organizing community events such as the Free Herbalism Project, as well as attending herbal conferences throughout the country. He is the co-organizer of one of the longest running herbal events in the US, the Breitenbush Herbal Conference. He is also on the board of directors for the Eugene Tea Festival. He has previously volunteered for the Occupy Medical herb team and the Native Plant Society of Oregon – Emerald Chapter. Mason is a proud father, avid basketball and ping pong player, spring water gatherer, and an enthusiast in the art of frugal nutrition.


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