Wednesday, April 21, 2010


buddy woke up yesterday a little congested. this morning the congestion is still there and now his nose is runny. mind you, he "doesn't feel bad", but none the less, he looks a little puny to me. perfect morning for some elderberry tea. elderberry is full of antioxidants and bioflavonoids, making it perfect to boost the immune system and fight off both viral and bacterial infections. interestingly enough, in 1995 there was a flu pandemic in panama, and elderberry was used to fight it. that is one powerful little berry!

to make the tea i add one tablespoon of dried elderberries to one cup of water. this morning i wanted enough to make 3 cups, so i used 3 tblsp. of berries. i rarely buy tea bags, i usually just use bulk teas, or rather, components of teas (dried herbs) to make my own blends. you can find reusable muslin tea bags at most health food stores for little ( i think i bought a pack of 3 for under $2).

another use of elderberries is as a syrup. this is wonderful to have on hand. it keeps in the refrigerator for 2-3 months. this recipe is from the herbalist **rosemary gladstar:

elderberry syrup

1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried elderberries
3 cups water
1 cup raw local honey
glass jar with lid

1. heat the berries in the water and bring to a boil. reduce the heat and let the berries simmer for 30-45 minutes.
2. using the back of a fork, mash up the berries, strain them and add the honey. stir up until it is well mixed.
3. pour into a glass jar with lid and keep in the refrigerator.

**have you ever noticed how prominent herbalists change their names to sound more 'herby'? john and i have been tossing some names back and forth for me after i complete my herbalist certification. funny how most of the names end up sounding like stripper names and NOT serious, clinical herbalist names, ie: daisy wildrose, dandelion honeysuckle, etc.
hahaha!!! i'm cracking myself up here!


Aleesa said...

You crack me up!! It was great seeing you Sunday.

Mandy said...

umm...I don't think strippers are looking in botanical guides for their names. But, those are funny for the herbalists. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. I'll just call you Juniper Hawthorn until I hear otherwise.

Nicole Benjamin said...

lol over here : )
Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! xo

Nicola (Which Name?) said...

Mandi, How is he feeling? Better, I hope. I am always sad when the kids get sick!
This is so good for me to know. I have been battling infections for a year now. Where do I buy dried elderberries? Would a normal health food store have them or do I have to order online? And do you mix anything else in or just elderberries? Do you have any thoughts on kombucha and apple cider vinegar for fighting infections and boosting the immune system?
Thanks! Nicola

mandi said...

hey nicola!
do go into the city often? isn't there a store called rainbow co-op, or something like that? i visited there with my sister and LOVED it! i know they have lots of dried herbs. more than i've ever seen at a normal health store. if that is too hard then you can try rose mountain herbs online, or frontier. to up their power you could add in some mint. that might taste yuck though. what i do is a cup of elderberry tea with some honey and up to half a lemon squeezed in.
about kombucha- yes! drink that stuff up! it acts as a second liver for you- major detoxer. at the same time it helps alkalize your system and add healthy gut flora to boost your immune system. so pretty much a perfect drink! i would recommend starting with a small amount and working your way up. that way your body can ease into it. kombucha is relatively easy to make, let me know if you're interested and i can walk you through that process.
apple cider vinegar- i've never taken internally. but i know that it's good for all that ales ya! i give it to my chickens in their water to help with parasites. i'm interested to hear what you've found out about it for immunity function.

Nicola (Which Name?) said...

thanks, mandi!
and hey, i am typing this from the library. our internet at home has been down for 4 days.
sorry for being MIA.