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Wonderful late summer Elderberry

This is probably how your elderberry trees will look now after forager's like myself and more common the birds have eaten them all. What does this picture remind you of? If I turn it upside down I see lungs and the little stems look like blood vessels. Elderberry has been used for years by herbalists for symptoms of cold and flu, and a potent remedy for upper respiratory infections (lungs). It is rich in phytonutrients (Phytonutrients are a class of nutrients that are thought to have health-protecting properties and produced from colourful plants.)

Here is the recipe for elderberry syrup from my lovely book called Tonic and Teas by Rachel de Thample which I highly recommend.

So you can either take this syrup as a preventative, 1 tbsp every day over the winter season or when your feeling a little something coming on and then take a tbsp 3 times a day until you feel better. It's not recommended you take it for long periods of time, just when you need it or during the winter season. If you want to make this now, you can use dried elderberries which you can find online.


100g fresh berries or 50g dried

500ml filtered water

1 tsp echinacea tincture or 1/4 cup of dried

echinacea root

3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled

1 cinnamon stick

6 cloves

zest and juice of 1 orange

125g raw honey

Take all your elderberries off of the stalk and put in a sieve

Give a little wash

Place in a large saucepan with the water, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and orange peel

Bring to the boil and then turn down and simmer for 30 minutes, then turn off

Let it cool right down to just warm (remember raw honey will loose it's amazing benefits if you heat it)

Drain the liquid into a large bowl using a fine mesh sieve, muslin or nut bag

Now add your orange juice, echinacea tincture and raw honey and stir until dissolved

Sterilize a bottle or glass container - to do this wash it out and place the glass vessel (not the lid) in the oven for 10 minutes at 140 degrees c/275F or gas mark 1.

Remove (with gloves!)

Wait to cool and then decant your syrup into your vessel.



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