MAKE AN ELDERBERRY SYRUP TO SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

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Elderberries and I are great friends. My Grandma and I used to pick them at the edge of our property when I was a little girl. Those memories are a bit blurry for me, so I don’t recall what Grandma did with all those berries we picked. But I’m willing to bet she created something very similar to what I’m about to share with you today.

I am a big fan of immunity boosters. Our bodies are under a relentless and consistent attack from toxins that abound in our modern day environment. There are chemicals EVERYWHERE. I try to purge them from my system pretty regularly. I do this in many ways. The two primary ways I utilize are keeping my body and its surrounding environment as chemical-free as possible and taking herbs to enhance liver functioning. The liver cleanses our system of toxins. It’s a hard job, indeed. Poor thing 😦 She can use a little help every now and again!

Providing a little boost to our immune system also assists our bodies in dealing with the onslaught of toxins that come its way.

The elderberry syrup recipe I’m about to share with you is one of my all-time indispensable allies. I have been using it to boost my immune system and combat the cold & flu season for many years now. I prepare a batch of this deliciousness in the beginning of July each year. It brews for about 6 weeks; making it ready for consumption by mid to late August.

I dose myself with this tasty, health enhancing brew 3 times a day until the batch is gone.

And voila! My body is well equipped to repel the cold & flu bugs that try to attach themselves to it throughout the season.

I recently started making another batch of this wondrous brew in late winter. This batch is then ready for early to mid spring. It has proven to be quite an effective home remedy for allergies, as well. So, that’s perfect timing!

All of the ingredients, in this seemingly magical brew, contribute to its efficacy. Each of them carries potent immune boosting properties. Combined they are pretty unstoppable.

Elderberry and ginger are top of the line immune system boosters. And local honey assists the body in fighting off the viruses Mama Nature anticipates to hit the locality it is harvested in. In addition, it is one of the best stand alone herbal cures for allergies that I know. It’s a real superstar 😉

So grab a quart jar Apothecarists …

And let’s get started …

Pour about 1 cup of dried elderberries into your jar.

Add 1/2 cup of sliced ginger root.

Fill the remainder of the jar with plain brandy and shake.

Label the jar with the contents and the date. Either today’s date or the date six weeks from today. I usually write, ‘Brew until ??/??/????’ on my label.

Place the jar in a dark, cool spot. Shake it each day for 6 weeks.

After 6 weeks have passed, strain the mixture using a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or organic muslin. You can place the cloth full of herbal material in a ricer, and press as much of the prized herbal nectar out of it as possible if you like.

Mix this herbal brew with local honey. One part brew to one part honey. This will make a nice syrup, with a pleasingly sweet and fruity flavor. Please try to obtain local honey. And be aware that sometimes a label reveals where a food product is packaged, as opposed to where it is produced. You want to be sure it is produced in your area.

If you are absolutely unable to get your hands on local honey, use store bought. After all, ya gotta do what ya gotta do 😉

Take one tablespoon of this fabulously effective brew, 3 times daily until the batch is gone.

If at any point you feel as though you are coming down with a cold or flu, take 1 tablespoon per hour for two or three days.

If you do get a cold or flu, this remedy will not clear it up. BUT, it will greatly reduce the symptoms and shorten the life of the illness.

If you have made an immunity syrup from elderberries before, please tell me a little about it in the comments. Or, if you make this one, let me know how it works out for you. I’d love to hear your input.

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

LAVENDER ~ LOVELY LAVENDER

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Lavender was one of the first herbs I ever worked with. And, if I’m honest, I have to say we were not very good friends at the start.

I was manufacturing a personal care product line, and selling it both online and at open air markets. I felt as though I needed to carry a lavender line. It is a very popular scent and a well-known therapeutic oil. People love it!

Unfortunately, the oil brought on a mild headache every time I got near it. Ugh!

It was particularly bad when I made lavender soap. The steam that arose when I poured the oil in with the hot soap was quite powerful. It had a profound effect on me.

I remember thinking, “Who the hell uses this stuff to promote rest and relaxation? It’s just awful!” LOL.

But if you ask the average person what lavender oil can be used for, they would likely respond that it provides a calming effect. Aka = rest & relaxation!

Time has passed. My relationship with this botanical has evolved. And her seductive powers have won me over.

I am no longer sensitive to her aroma. I can not only use her for self-care, but I am fond of her. She is now affectionately known to me as Lovely Lady Lavender ❤ 😉 ❤

I am rather an avid fan of a bit of lavender balm rubbed on my wrist just before I lay down to sleep at night. She lulls me. It’s wonderful.

I cannot imagine my home without a bottle of lavender oil in it. I like to have a bag of dried lavender flower buds in the house as well. But the oil is essential (no pun intended). There are just so many ways to utilize this delightfully fragrant ‘nectar’.

Perhaps my favorite use for it is to soothe and heal burns. I make a simple lavender balm, using this plants essential oil, and keep a jar of it in my kitchen for this purpose. In my opinion, it is by far the best way to alleviate the pain and redness of burns. There are many home remedies out there which provide top notch remedial effects for burns, but none compare to lavender.

Simply rub some oil, either diluted in a carrier or brewed into a balm, on the affected area immediately after a burn occurs. This will reduce redness, blistering, scarring, and pain. She is that good 😉

This also works well for sunburns. I’ve used it MANY times.

As if these uses for lavender are not enough reason to keep her around, there are many, many more.

She is one of the best herbal remedies for muscle and joint pain. I remember sitting at an outdoor market one day and talking to the vendor next to me about what types of balm she could use for her arthritic hands. Unfortunately, I was out of the product I was making for this purpose at that time. I made a comment, in friendly jest, about her using my lavender balm instead. I said, “It may or may not take away your pain, but one thing for sure, your hands will smell just lovely today!”.

She chuckled and took some of the balm and rubbed it on her hands. About 20 minutes later she bought 4 jars! She said the pain had completely lifted. This was the moment I learned what a useful ally lavender is for muscle and joint pain. It works. Give it a try.

Taken as a tea, this herb is fabulous for digestive issues. This yummy beverage can also be served to friends and loved ones who are suffering from stress or grief. It will hit the spot and lift the emotional struggle a bit for sure.

Infuse her in your favorite cooking oil and use it to sauté veggies, chicken, or fish. This also makes a great replacement for other oils when baking. I avoid sweets almost completely, but a piece of lavender shortbread will weaken my willpower every time 😉

If you indulge in the sweet stuff from time to time, try infusing this tasty herb in sugar. It’s fabulous on grapefruit! Yep. Yep.

I prefer to infuse mine in pink Himalayan salt, and use it as a rub for chicken. I allow the chicken to ‘marinate’ in the salt overnight, grill it, and then roll it, ever-so-lightly, in a gourmet bbq sauce. YUMMY!

Lavender infused butter is the perfect companion for farm fresh, organic potatoes. This is a must-have. Really. For sure.

AND …

Finally …

She just smells good. Like really very good. Making her the perfect aromatic addition to handmade personal care products 😉

If you have a favorite use for lavender, or have been wanting to try her out remedially, cosmetically, or for culinary uses … tell me about it in the comments! I’m excited to hear your input 😉

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

ELDER ~ AN HERB QUEEN

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“When you settle a share of land, first plant an Elder tree, then make your home there.” ~ T. Elder Sachs

The beautiful Lady Elder is considered a Queen among herbs. She is believed to watch over her fellow plants and the spirits which reside on the property that sits under her charge.

As seen in the quote above, T. Elder Sachs recommends planting an Elder tree on your property before you begin to establish a home there – with that I wholeheartedly agree!

Of course, if you are already settled in to your property – it is not too late, it is never too late, to make a space from which Lady Elder can reign 😉

Her botanical name is Sambucus nigra, and each of her parts is to be used in its own way and understood separately.

Her flowers can be infused and used to treat fevers, severe bronchial and lung issues, chronic congestion, allergies, candidiasis, and ear infections.

Elder flower infusions are also very effective when working with eruptive skin conditions like measles.

They can be used to tone the mucous linings of the nose and throat; thereby, increasing their ability to resist infection.

Start taking a flower infusion a couple of months before hay fever season begins and you will see a decrease in the severity of your hay fever attacks.

The berries from this herbal wonder are used for food, to alleviate allergies, and combat colds and flu. They improve overall respiratory and sinus health. Their anti-inflammatory properties make them suitable as a pain reliever in most cases, and they can help with nausea.

As with all berries, this little lovelies support the normal production of white blood cells.

Because they contain bioflavonoids, alkaloids, vitamins, minerals, and anthocyanins they promote healthy immune system function.

The energetics of the bark are bitter and toxic.

While this part of the tree can be used medicinally, it is best to use a different herb to accomplish that which it does well.

If bark that is aged less than one year is used cyanide poisoning can result.

In days gone by, the bark was used as a diuretic, cathartic, emetic, and purgative.

The leaves of the elder tree can be used to make an ointment that will successfully treat sprains, bruises, and chillblains.

This ointment is a superior emollient as well.

Boil the leaves in linseed oil to create a great remedy for hemorrhoids.

An infusion made with them makes a good diuretic, and they are said to be even more purgative and nauseating than the bark.

The leaves, bark, and berries of the beautiful Lady Elder can all be used to produce dye.

The leaves make a gorgeous green. The bark produces black dye, and the berries create the loveliest purple color. If you prefer lilac, simply add a little salt to the water – and just like magic there it is!

PLEASE NOTE: Red elder is toxic – soooooo as always, proper identification is key!

I’d love it if you shared your thoughts on this post. Along with any input you may have about the amazing Lady Elder 😉

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.