October 20, 2017 ~ Meghan J Paterson
As the darkness of Autumn begins to fall upon us and we draw into our unique hibernation rhythms we tend to transition during this time with a variety of alignments that can take a lot out of ourselves and our little ones.
I wanted to share my love for a herbal remedy that I make myself with Elderberries. Elderberries are one of my most-used go-to remedies for cooler months. The dried berries of the Sambucis Nigra plant are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that are specifically shown to help beat cold and flu illness's more quickly. They can be used to make a variety of remedies, and my favorite is this simple elderberry syrup.
Be sure to wait until the fruit is a deep purple and juicy when squashed. There is a fine line when harvesting. You want to get them just before they are ready to fall off the bush by themselves because they are so ripe. Seeing the birds at the elderberries is another good sign that they are ready to harvest.
The easiest way to harvest them is to simply cut the entire bunch of berries from the bush. Wait until you’re back home to remove the individual berries from the stems.
Once home, there are a few ways to remove the berries from the stem. Some people like to use a fork to remove the berries. I prefer just using my hands. If the berries are as ripe as they should be, they will drop right off.
Both the flowers and berries are edible. One of the most important things to remember about elderberries is to never eat them raw.
According to the Botanical Safety Handbook:
"The raw and unripe fruit, the seeds, the bark, and the leaves of S. nigra and related species S. racemosa contain the cyanogenic glycoside sambunigrin, ingestion of which may cause vomiting or severe diarrhea."
I offer you this recipe to try and please let me know in the comments below if you have used Elderberry in the past to support your family and if you try this recipe be sure to share your thoughts on how it went.