Immune Support and Syrup making
Every year we seem to be bombarded with a new group of viruses and flu. Luckily, we herbalists have a wonderful array of plants that can help. I cannot stress enough to be prepared! In the spring and summer, when so many of these plants are in their season is when we should think about preparing our winter medicines. Drying herbs, picking berries, and tincturing the wonderful fresh abundance of the season is not only fun and connects us to the seasons and the land, but gives us the wonderful health benefits of these plants when we need them.
One of the stars in cold and flu prevention and treatment is certainly elderberry. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra or Sambucus canadensis) is both delicious and has anti viral properties. Elderberries are terrific as a tea and a syrup. Here are recipes for both:
Elder Echinacea syrup
1 cup elderberries
½ cup echinacea angustifolia root
2-3 inch piece of fresh ginger (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
4 cups water
2 cups raw local honey
Place 4 cups of water into a pot with the herbs. Simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain out the herbs and add 2 cups of local honey and a splash of brandy or whiskey (if desired). Mix well so that the warm elder echinacea decoction blends thouroughly with the honey. Store in the fridge and take 1 Tbsp. daily during cold and flu season.
I love to make an elixir with the above syrup. Add 2 ounces of the elderberry syrup with 2 oz. of Herbs, Etc. Deep Health formula. The deep health blend contains a blend of both mushrooms and adaptogens. We know that stress can make us sick, it depletes our ability to fight off viruses and infections, so this is my everyday during the cold season support.
Rosemary Gladstars’ Nutritive Tonic Berry Good Tea
2 parts dried elderberry
2 parts dried rosehips
1 part dried blueberry
1 part dried hawthorne berry
Blend all berries together and add 1 Tbsp. per cup of water. I like to infuse this one a bit longer (an hour or so) to get more goodness. I also love to add aronia, goji, and or bilberry to this for extra antioxidant support. If desired, add lemon juice and or honey to taste. Deeelicious!
Apothecary Skills Class Update
A wonderful group of folks have been attending the monthly apothecary classes here at the co-op and so much has been made and shared. I thought I would share some recipes for those of you who were not able to attend. Enjoy!