Herbal medicine is one of the most ancient forms of treatment known and the medicinal use of plants is common to all cultures and peoples of the world.
Elderflower -Sambucus Nigra. Across many cultures, Elder has several magical and sacred associations. Medicinally, elderflower is used for catarrh and congestion in the upper respiratory tract. It can be used for colds, sinusitis and sore throat. For feverish colds and flu, mix equal parts of dried flowers with peppermint and yarrow and make a tea. Currently in flower, it’s creamy, pollen laden flower heads are used to make elderflower wine, cordial and champagne. Collect flowerheads on a dry day, ignore blooms that have started to brown. Leave plenty of flowerheads (for insects) and to develop into berries in the autumn. For Elderflower champagne: Dissolve 700g sugar in 5litres of water. Add 15 flower heads, and 2 chopped and zested lemons. Cover with a muslin cloth for 3-5 days stirring occasionally. Strain, then bottle into flip top bottles or preferably plastic ones designed for fizzy drinks. Should be ready to drink after a few days. If it is very fizzy, make sure you let the gas escape every few days to reduce risk of explosion. As a fermented drink, this will also benefit digestive health by replenishing gut flora.