First things first, I’m probably obliged to say I’m not a traditional medical professional and common sense, precaution and confident ID skills must prevail before making this recipe!

I just know that nature is magic at healing and I enjoy what she has to offer! Below is a recipe for making elderberry syrup, rich in vitamins A and C, flavonoids and anthocyanins, making them this harvest ideal for cold and flu treatment and preventative.

Research has discovered that the compounds in elderberries appear to prevent viruses from attaching themselves in the nose and throat – how amazing is that?! 

🫐 1. After you have picked bunches of elderberry heads when they are ripe, black, firm and shiny in the early autumn, (make sure leave plenty for wildlife and ask permission from the tree first – according to superstition, anyone cutting elder wood without her permission runs the risk of being cursed or injured!) strip from the stalks and pop them in to a large saucepan.

🫐2. Add water to cover, simmer and stir for 20minutes.

🫐 3. Allow to cool, squeeze out the juice using a jelly bag or fruit press and return to the pan.

🫐 4. For every 500ml of juice, add 250g of sugar (I used muscovado sugar), a squeeze of lemon, a stick of cinnamon and a few cloves. Gently simmer for another 20mins.

🫐5. Pour whilst still hot in to sterilised bottles.

🫐 6. You’re set up for the winter season ahead! Take 1 teaspoon full every few hours at the first signs of any sniffles, colds and ‘flu’. You can also make a delicious immune boosting drink by using it as a cordial in a hot herbal tea, or sparkling water, like I did today! 

(I learned this recipe from a combination of nature medicine bibles: Hedgerow Medicine & The Herb Almanac)