I had a lovely stroll through the dorset lanes with lily ziggy-may and her nana last full moon to harvest the deep purple elderberries.
Steeped in magic, these amazing berries spark the imagination. If you fall asleep under an elder tree it'll bring dreams if death or you'll be taken by the fairy folk. Her character's name is Sam Black from the Latin for elder, Sambucus nigra. She is dark and wise, always there to answer any question.
Hypocrates called them a 'medicine chest'. We've used them in our Immune boost mix for many years now as their immune boosting properties are well recorded.
There has been research to suggest their use in HIV and the herpes simplex virus (which causes cold sores).
There is so much more besides, we'll be doing a piece on elder with Spirit and Destiny magazine next full moon so will keep you posted for further reading. We'll also be bottling up syrup for sale in the next few weeks.
Here's a basic recipe to make you're own...
Stuff you need:
Water to cover
Cinnamon sticks or any other spices
Sugar (a pound a pint of liquid)
1. Pick the elderberries off the stem with a fork and place in a pan. Add any cinnamon sticks, clove, ginger or any other warming spices you fancy.
2. Cover with water and warm through gently until just simmering. Cook for 20 minutes or so like this and mash up the berries.
3. Strain through a piece of muslin laid in a sieve over a big pyrex bowl, and rinse out the pan.
4. Measure the amount of liquid as you return it to the pan and add 1lb of sugar per pint of elderberry liquid.
5. Warm the mix through, again until gently simmering, stirring all the time to stop it sticking to the pan.
6. When it looks nice and syrupy, pour into sterilised bottles.
7. Enjoy a splash of syrup with a squeeze of fresh lemon in a cup with hot water.