Some people run straight to the doctor when feeling ill. I run into the forest. Gather. Return home. Make magic. Today was filled with Kitchen Witchery. Me, in the kitchen…preparing medicine for the winter. It just so happens that Taige was not feeling so well today…at all this week for that matter. I decided upon Elderberry Syrup because it is so yummy and my kids take it easily. This tree has been called “the medicine chest of the common people” because the flowers, leaves, berries, bark, and roots all have been used in traditional folk medicine for centuries. Elder flowers and berries are antiviral and immune-stimulating. There is also a lovely story about “Elda” in one of my herbals and my kids love to hear it over and over.
Our day in photos…as well as the directions for making Elderberry Syrup:
Loading the dehydrator with another batch of applesauce…
The first batch of applesauce fruit leathers turned out beautifully! These are pure…and my kids love them.
My Herbal Formulas…(maybe a real book one day…)
This is my SUPER Immune Formula tincture…it is a vital part of the Elderberry Syrup…like most medicine-makers, I have odd jars of tinctures in dark corners of my home…this one is intense as it has a menstruum of Everclear. It will never go “bad”. I often gift this tincture to friends and family who are in need. Alone, it is an amazing immune booster both for prevention and in acute situations. I mix one ounce of this tincture in with my Elderberry Syrup for these reasons as well as to preserve the syrup.
For today since I was in need of Elder and I needed it right away, I made a stop at the FBFC Ahhh, Elderberries
Herbs galore…I love this room.
Photos of ginger (both whole and then grated -yes…I made that bowl, and I love it…)
To make Elderberry Syrup, you will need these ingredients:
3 cups fresh Elderberries or 1 cup dried, 3 cups filtered water, 1 ounce of fresh grated ginger, 1 cup of local (to you) honey, the juice of 1 lime and 1 ounce of Echinacea tincture (ideally pick this up from a local herbalist…if not, Gaia Herbs makes a nice product).
Just simmer the Elderberries and ginger in the 3 cups of water until the liquid is reduced by half (an hour or so)…if you do not stir it while it is simmering, you will see the original water ring on the pot and can easily tell when it is halfway. Strain it well. Let it sit in the strainer over a glass bowl for a while, really working the juice out of the cooked berries. I have a wonderful strainer that is perfect for straining herbs…here it is:
After you have the medicine out of the berries, compost them. Add the juice of 1 lime (you must strain this too):
Add the honey and stir…and you should be left with this:
Let it cool completely and add the tincture. Stir well and sterilize a glass bottle (I do this in boiling water), fill it with the syrup and refrigerate (it will keep for a year). Now, I sometimes sell this magic potion so I have a nifty label as well as a little herbal business ‘ApotheCareys’…so, I label it and date it. And it looks so beautiful and simple…
The dosage is not tricky but, that you will have to look up. I am an herbalist…not a doctor…and I do not prescribe!
And last but definitely not least…my Spiritual Syllabus books came today. These go along with Kindergarten and they are just amazing. Lono and Coco Boato is the autumn book and we will begin on Monday!
Now, if I can just get Taige feeling better..