We're in the last few moments of those warm summer days and have winter marching quickly upon us. As we say hello to lower temperatures and wetter days, we also inevitably welcome more colds and flus.
This year I welcome you to try something different! Put aside all those Lemsips, Night nurse's and Calpol's and try some of nature's special medicine .. Elderberries.
If you regularly go on nature walks, you've most likely come across this wonderful tree. In the spring it has beautiful little white blossoms which are a medicine within themselves (especially for hayfever) and at this time of year, the trees offer an abundance of these tiny berries seen in the picture above.
Elderberries are very rich in antioxidants and are great for the immune system. They possess anti-viral properties and are thus great in helping to prevent colds.
You can pick these berries and make a warming tea by boiling it with some ginger and drinking it daily. However to preserve them and have them throughout the winter, try making this easy elderberry syrup.
What you'll need:
300g Raw can sugar or Coconut sugar
1. Place the berries and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn it down to a low simmer and cover and leave for about 30 minutes.
2. Next, strain the berries through a sieve so you're left with just the liquid.
3. Add the liquid back to a saucepan and add the sugar. Place on a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
4. Pour into a sterilised bottle, label and store in the fridge.