Sweet & sour. Cooling & compelling. Vinegar & honey.
This all started because I skipped my period one month and was a hormonal mess the next. And it was the beginning of rose season. And roses and hormones go together forever. Plus, the word oxymel was too good. Enter DIY herbal syrup.
The greatest thing about herbs and motherhood is that making these things doesn't rub up and chafe against my too-many commitments. I never say, "oh well shit, I have to go gather rose petals." I was always a potions girl and that hasn't changed.
Oxymels have been used since Ancient Greece as supportive concoctions for the respiratory system. Put simply, it is a mixture of acid and honey. In this case, apple cider vinegar (which touts numerous of its own health benefits) and local wildflower honey (again, health magic). We go one step further and infuse both with fresh wildcrafted rose petals.
Here are my steps:
1) I collected a bunch of rose petals from the sweetest smelling roses I could find. Any type is fine - I love beach roses (Rosa rugosa), personally. I harvest gently, leaving lots for the bees and I make sure I am away from any chemical spraying. I use a mesh something or other to collect them in and try to shake out the bugs, if any.
2) I took them home and spread them out on my screen for a bit of drying. You can use fresh or dried for this. I left out to dry a bit to reduce the water content but still have the freshness.
3) I filled a pint mason jar loosely with slightly dried petals (or 1/2 of a jar if totally dried). This part isn't too specific.
4) I filled half of the jar with honey and half with apple cider vinegar. Then mixed it and covered with plastic and capped.
5) For the next 4 (ish) weeks, I let sit in my cool cupboard and tried to remember to shake or flip it every few days.
6) The strain, bottle and refrigerator for up to a year! (If you use dried hers you don't have any water content, so technically don't need to refrigerate.)
7) Enjoy by the spoonful for coughs, congestion, sore throat, PMS and more. Or mix with sparkling water for a summer treat!
Feel free to play with the ratio of honey to vinegar and to add other herbs to try. I read about one with roses and ginger that might me next on my list. Or maybe bee balm.
Note: As with any herbal recommendations, please consult a physician if you have any questions, this is only a blog, people!