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An electuary is an old time-y medicine preparation with powdered herbs mixed with honey to make them more palatable to ingest. The most important thing to remember when using herbal medicine is that you actually have to consume it for it to work. Some herbs are just not very tasty, but a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down! In this case we use raw, organic, local honey whenever possible because this type of honey will have the most benefit. As opposed to sugar, honey consumption is associated with better insulin response, and better blood glucose levels. (1) It also has a positive effect on the gut microbiome! (2)
Making electuaries can be a time to get really creative, you can choose really any plant that is calling to you, and build a recipe out of it.
The electuaries that I chose to make for this recipe are for grief support. Grief is such a timely topic for my family currently as we move through the loss of a loved member recently. However, I think it is pretty easy to sense this on a global level as we all move though the loss of what we may have known life to be, the loss of beliefs we thought we were sure of, the loss of innocence as we face things that I never thought I would face in my life time. The last two years (as I write this near the end of 2021) have been sludgy and difficult for sure. It is not only okay, but its really healthy to sit in that grief and experience it, get to know it, and understand what it is here to teach. As we do so, there are plant friends that we can reach for to lend support, and maybe make the process just a little bit easier.
I made these electuaries for my niece and nephews so I wanted to choose gentle herbs that were really safe for children. Other herb considerations for grief may include hawthorn, tulsi aka holy basil, passionflower, rose, skullcap, motherwort, lemon balm.
Linden- Just about the sweetest little herb with heart shaped leaves. This is a perfect example of the doctrine of signatures, an ancient theory that plants that represent a body part can be used to heal or support that body part. Linden is well known to support the heart both energetically and physically It has been used in traditional practice to prevent circulatory disorders. The sweetness of linden helps you to be with your grief, to clear out old stuck grief, but also to ease the hysteria that can sometimes accompany grief.
Marshmallow- May not be the first herb thought of for grief, but my intuition lead me here for this recipe because of its soothing nature. The It also supports the gut, and during a time when you may actually feel like your tummy is upset because of what is going on around you, marshmallow can be really helpful. It is beneficial for both diarrhea and constipation, but also is rich in prebiotic fiber, feeding the gut bacteria to help them thrive.
German Chamomile-Is a gentle but effective sedative. It can restore peace in the heart and in the mind when grief is presenting as irritability, anger, and anxiety. Chamomile is classified as a nervine herb, meaning it is used to calm the nerves. This is one of the most widely used herb, and for good reason!
Cacao- Cacao has affinity for the cardiovascular system, helping to physically heal the heart, but energetically it is so helpful soothe a broken heart. The Mayans revered cacao as a medicine to connect to the heart and to God. Cacao can feel very supportive during times of grief as you navigate through your heartbreak.
3 oz organic raw or dry roasted almonds
1 oz organic unsweetened coconut shreds
1/3 oz dried organic linden leaf
1/4 oz dried organic chamomile flower
1/2 oz dried organic marshmallow root
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt plus 1 pinch for coating
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw organic honey (local if possible)
1/4 cup melted organic coconut oil
Combine herbs in a spice grinder or a food processor and powder as finely as possible.
Add powdered herbs, and cacao to a bowl.
Pulse a blender or food processor to coarsely chop almonds.
Add 2 oz of almonds to the powdered herbs and cacao, set 1 oz in a second bowl for coating.
Add 3/4 oz coconut shreds to the main bowl with cacao and herbs, set the last 1/4 oz in the bowl for the coating.
Add 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt to the main bowl and 1 pinch to the almonds and coconut coating. Set coating bowl aside.
Mix dry ingredients.
Add vanilla extract, honey, and coconut oil to cacao and herbal preparation.
Mix thoroughly, a mixer will make this easier.
Return to bowl of coating with almonds, coconut shreds, and sea salt. Mix thoroughly.
Place parchment paper on a baking tray.
Spoon a small amount of wet mixture, around a teaspoon, and roll in the coating. The wet mixture will be sticky but easier to shape into a small ball once it has been rolled in the coating.
Place on baking tray.
Once you have used all of the wet mixture, and created small electuaries, place baking tray in the fridge for several hours to firm.
These can be kept in the fridge for several months, but if wanting to store for a longer period of time, they should be stored in the freezer.
If you aren't sure where to aquire these dried herbs, your local apothecary is a great place to start, but if you are in a position where that is not an option, websites like Mountain Rose Herbs are a great resource!
Let me know what type of electuary recipes you create in the comments below!