Infusing herbs in vegetable glycerine to make a glycerite is a great way to make medicine that is both alcohol-free and, despite its sweet flavour, sugar-free.
I make the majority of my glycerites in midsummer as I love the way the odorless, slightly sweet qualities of glycerine brings out the delicate sweet flavours and fragrances of flowers in full bloom. Making your own glycerite is a simple process.
To make a rose or honeysuckle glycerite:
Harvest freshly bloomed flowers and a few buds about to burst.
Fill a clean jar with your sweet harvest.
Slowly pour the vegetable glycerine over the flowers to fill the jar and submerge the blooms entirely.
You need to do this very slowly as the viscous nature of the glycerine traps air bubbles around the flowers and these need time to rise to the surface and burst so that the glycerine can seep between all your blooms.
I find it useful to fill my jar in thirds, adding the glycerine to cover each layer of flowers as I go. Doing it this way means the air bubbles are released as you go, rather than having big air bubbles to deal with at the end.
I also have a small wooden spoon I use especially for medicine making. It comes in great handy with glycerine pouring as I can move and stir the flowers so that all the air bubbles in the glycerine are released.
Put a lid on your jar and leave it on a sunny windowsill for 2-4 weeks.
Check on your infusion every couple days to make sure the air bubbles are out and all of the flowers are entirely submerged. The flowers will float to the top. You may want to stir or invert the jar to keep the flowers under the glycerine.
Strain the flowers out of the glycerine by the end of week 4.
If you store your glycerine in an air-tight container in a cool dark place, it will keep for up to two years.
Wild Rose / Dog Rose Rosa canina
Rose actions are astringent, anti-inflammatory, nervine, anti-microbial, vulnerary and slightly analgesic and aphrodisiac.
Rose is cooling and soothing to frayed nerves, calming to the digestion, and a great tonic for womens’ reproductive health. Emotionally, rose is our friend in grief. Her combination of strength and softness allows old grief or trauma to unwind and release slowly. Rose gives gentle encouragement to let the world back into your heart and be vulnerable again after loss.
Honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum / Lonicera caprifolium
Honeysuckle flowers are antispasmodic and anti-microbial. Making honeysuckle glycerite a great remedy for sore throats and coughs.