Elderberries (Sambucus nigra)
The berries are rich in Vitamin C and anthocyanins, reported to be significantly antioxidant and antiviral.
Elderberry syrups are a popular traditional cold remedy:
- Remove elderberries from their stalks by pushing them off with a fork.
- Weigh the ripe berries, then simmer them in half their volume of water for about 20 minutes.
- Strain through muslin or a jelly-bag.
- Cool, then squeeze out the juice.
- Measure the juice and add half the weight of sugar.
- Simmer for another 20 minutes, then pour into warmed sterilized jars or bottles.
The syrup can be taken either 1 tsp every couple of hours during a cold, maybe mixed with other tinctures or remedies, or boiled water added to make a drink to help fend off a cold.
This sounds like an acquired taste, but is surprisingly palatable, made very quickly and uses ingredients found readily to hand.
At the first sign of a cold coming on:
- Chop an onion.
- Layer (alternating) the onion pieces with honey (or sugar) in a jar.
- Finish the layering with honey (or sugar) on the top.
- Place the jar in the 'fridge.
- Within hours the honey (or sugar) will have drawn fluid out of the onion.
- Take a teaspoon of the fluid (ie. syrup) every couple of hours.
A chopped up garlic clove can be added in with the onion - if you don't mind repelling friends and visitors as well as your cold!