HAWTHORN BERRY VINEGAR, OXYMEL & ELIXIR

See recipes for ROSE HIPS.

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HAWTHORN BERRY

WHAT’S OUT NOW?

HAWTHORN BERRIES
(Crataegus monogyna)

These beautiful red berries set the countryside ablaze with colour at this abundant time of the year. They are also known as pixie pears, cuckoo’s beads and chucky cheese!

They contain Oligomeric procyanidins and Flavonoids (hyperoside, rutin) . It is a herb with alot of modern clinical research supporting it’s traditional use.

Therapeutically they are a tonic for the heart; increasing the strength of the contractions, opening up the blood vessels and economising oxygen consumption. It is traditionally known as, ’the nurse of the ageing heart’.

It is used medicinally to treat high blood pressure, angina, arrythmias and congestive heart failure. The leaves and flowers are also used to this end.

Other good uses of the tree are berries in Brandy which makes an excellent liquer. The wood was also prized as a fuel, known as the hottest fuel. Due to it’s fine grain, it was also used to make small things such as boxes and combs, which would take an excellent polish.

Pharmacy: The berries can be taken as a decoction dried or fresh (see Recipes on website for method & dosage). These parts can also be dried, ground into powder and encapsulated to take or the fresh or dried berries can be made into an alcoholic tincture to take internally. You can also make Hawthorn berry Vinegar, oxymel, elixir, fruit leathers, brandy, honey, ketchup, chutney and so on!

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HAWTHORN BERRY FRUIT LEATHERS

WHAT TO MAKE NOW?

HAWTHORN BERRY
FRUIT LEATHERS

1kg Hawthorn berries
Juice of 1 lemon
150g runny honey

Pick the ripe hawthorn berries, corseley chop or put in a food processor. They smell glorious! (just like sweet apples). Then place in a saucepan with just under half their volume of water. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes until mushy and allow to cool. Give it an extra mash with a potato masher if needs be, then rub the pulp through a sieve to remove the pips etc. Stir in the lemon juice and runny honey.

Pour this strained pulp into baking trays so that it is less than half a centimeter thick. Put the trays in an oven at the lowest setting to dry for 3-5 hours.

Leave until the pulp is dry and leathery and can be peeled off the trays without being sticky. Slice up into strips and make little rolls by rolling two strips together with a piece of grease proof paper. Store in airtight jars.

Eat about a 2cm square everyday to keep your heart and circulation healthy.

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ELDERBERRY VINEGAR

ELDERBERRY VINEGAR

(QUICK METHOD OR WARM INFUSION)

This delicious vinegar keeps for years and besides being used as a medicine for coughs, colds & flu, it can be used to brighten up a salad dressing, to add sourness to your cocktails or to add something a little different to strawberries and other soft fruit.

  1. De-stalk the berries into a pan.
  2. Pour on enough cider vinegar or white wine vinegar to cover them.
  3. Gently heat on a low heat with the lid on for 30 minutes.
  4. Mash the berries with a potato masher as this gets the juice out.
  5. Leave for 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Strain and pour into sterilized bottles and seal.
  7. If you prefer to sweeten it a little you can….
  8. Strain through a sieve or jelly bag into a clean pan.
  9. Gently heat and dissolve a little brown or muscovado sugar to taste.
  10. Bottle, seal & label.
  11. Enjoy!

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ELDERBERRY OXYMEL

ELDERBERRY OXYMEL

(you can use rose hips or hawthorns or even rowan berries although these can be bitter so best to combine with other things.)

  1. Half fill a kilner jar with elderberries
  2. Cover with organic apple cider vinegar until the berries are submerged. Leave on a worktop (not to warm or not too cold) for approx. 4 weeks, shaking often. Remember to label and date!!
  3. Strain off the liquid and ad the same amount of local runny honey. It’s easier to stand the jar of honey in a pan of hot water for 5-10 minutes first as this makes it even runnier and easier to pour. Mix together ensuring there are no air pockets. Bottle up.

Dose: 1tsp 1-2 times daily as a preventative measure for colds, coughs & flu or 1tsp every 2 hours in acute infections.

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ELDERBERRY ELIXIR

ELDERBERRY ELIXIR

(you can also use Hawthorn berries or Rose hips)

It is worth making lots of this excellent immune system booster and having plenty to give away to family and friends.

  1. Half fill a kilner jar with Elderberries, add star anise, cloves, cinnamon bark and cover with honey.
  2. Prod with a chopstick and mix well to remove air bubbles and then top up with brandy. Stir well.
  3. Shake every few days for a month, then strain, bottle and label.

Dose: Take neat or add to water, hot or cold.

1tsp 1-2 times daily for prevention of colds, coughs & flu or 1 tsp every 2 hours in acute infections.

This is a truly delicious way to take your medicine!

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ELDERBERRY – SAMBUCUS NIGRA

ELDERBERRIES (Sambucus nigra)
Nature’s very own Anti-Viral

Well it’s that wonderful time of the year to be out squiralling berries for winter remedies and Elderberry really does steal the show!
It has a long traditional use as a remedy against coughs, colds and flu and there’s been much modern scientific research done to suggest it’s efficacy as an anti-viral.
The mode of action is to prevent viruses from entering the cell as viruses can’t actually be killed per se.
Viruses are unable to multiply on their own and need to be inside healthy cells to do so. To help them enter a cell some viruses are coated with haemagglutinin spikes. Elderberry is believed to contain an antiviral agent, ‘Antivirin’ which can help neutralize the activity of the haemagglutinin spikes. When these spikes are deactivated the viruses can no longer pierce cell walls to enter the cell and replicate.
In addition to this, Elderberries contain Anthocyanins a type of Flavonoid that act as a powerful antioxidant in the body, also boosting the immune system and protecting the body’s cells from harm. They are a pigment found in purple, dark blue and red fruits. Elderberry has a higher content of anthocyanins than cranberries, blackcurrants and blackberries and five times that of blueberries.
HIstorically, Elderberry wine, Elderberry ‘Rob’ ( the juice thickened by heat )or Elderberry syrup taken hot at night before bed, were used to promote perspiration and soothe the chest. This has been done since time immemorial as a preventative against influenza and colds. The addition of Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves are a common accompaniment. As such, it’s old world associations have created for it a place in the hearts of the English people. Both the syrup and Rob were in the official Pharmocopeia of this country up until 1809.
So get making…it’s FREE!

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ROSE HIP ELIXIR

WHAT TO MAKE NOW

ROSE HIP ELIXIR

(you can use any berry such as elderberry, hawthorn, sloe or any combination of berries.)

Half fill a jar with coarsely chopped or scored Rose hips (add spices if desired e.g ginger, star anise, cloves or cinnamon bark) and half fill with honey.

Prod and mix well with a chopstick to remove air bubbles and then top up with brandy. Stir well.

Shake every few days for a month and then strain through a scalded jelly bag.This ensures that the tiny hairs that are an irritant are removed. (You can even do this twice). Bottle it up into clean bottles and label.

Dose: 1-2 teaspoons daily as a preventative for colds or 1 tsp every 2 hours for sore throats, coughs, colds & flu. You can take it neat or diluted with a little cold water or in a mug of hot water as a drink.

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ROSE HIP OXYMEL

WHAT TO MAKE NOW

ROSE HIP OXYMEL

This is a continuation of the Rose hip vinegar.
An Oxymel is a combination of an infused vinegar and honey.
It’s particularly soothing for sore throats owing to the honey component which is also anti-microbial.

Mix together equal parts of the infused vinegar and local runny honey until blended. It’s easier if you stand the jar of honey in a pan or bowl of hot water for 5-10 minutes first. This makes the honey super-runny and is easier to pour.

Dose: 1-2 teaspoons daily as a prevention for colds or more frequently (1tsp every 2 hours) for sore throats and colds.
For sore throats you can also take it as a gargle, use 1 tablespoon as a gargle before swallowing. It’s also nice taken as a hot drink on cold and damp, drab days. Add 1 tablespoon of oxymel to a mug of hot water and feel the comfort!

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ROSE HIP VINEGAR

WHAT TO MAKE NOW

ROSE HIP VINEGAR

(you can use any berries such as elderberry, hawthorn or sloe or any combination of berries)

Coarsely mince the rose hips either with a chopping knife or a food processor. Almost fill a clean kilner jar with the hips then cover with organic apple cider vinegar. Label and put aside on a worktop for 4 weeks shaking intermittently. After 4 weeks strain the liquid through a scalded jelly bag, this is important to catch the fine hairs which are an irritant. Bottle up and seal.

Take a teaspoon diluted in a little water 1-2 times daily to prevent colds.
For sore throats, mix a tablespoon with a little warm water, gargle and then swallow. For colds, make a drink using a tablespoon in a mug of boiling water and sweeten with honey.
You can also add to salad dressings.

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