One of the best family remedies to help fight off winter colds is elderberry syrup.
I have found this to be amazing at the onset of any cold or flu virus. The elderberries encourage the body to eliminate toxins via the skin through promoting sweating. Delicious and efficacious.
- Harvest the berries, including stalks.
- Place them in a big pan with a cinnamon stick, a few cloves, a knob of dried ginger or any other spices you fancy, and cover with water.
- Bring the water to the boil and gently simmer for 20 minutes. Mash the berries until the liquid looks a dark purple.
- Strain the liquid through muslin.
- Return it to the pan with 1lb of brown sugar (essential for preserving) per pint of liquid.
- Gently warm the liquid through again, stirring all the time.
- When it has started to go syrupy (after another 10-20 minutes), remove it from the heat, pour it into sterilised bottles and put the lids on.
- Label each bottle with the date.
To use, place a dash of syrup in a mug with a squeeze of fresh lemon, and top it up with hot water. Use slightly less for children.
Fiona Heckels is one of the Seed SistAs, herbalists, eco-activists, writers, performers and speakers. Authors of The Sensory Herbal Handbook and Poison Prescriptions, they travel far and wide teaching about plant medicine, while running the community interest company Sensory Solutions Herbal Evolution. Join them for courses, sign up for their newsletters and follow them on social media. seedsistas.co.uk and on Instagram @seed_sistas
First published in issue 25 of JUNO. Accurate at the time this issue went to print.