Harvesting Elderberries

Here’s the way some of my elderberry bushes looked this summer. The elderflowers are especially good for treating fevers, respiratory and sinus problems.

Now the flowers have turned to berries and some are ready to harvest!  I can’t wait to gather enough elderberries to make my elderberry syrup!

The berries are not ready to be picked until they are a deep purple color.  Some of the berries are still red, but some have turned purple.  Be sure to get the purple ones before the birds do! :-)  I gather the purple ones as they ripen and store them in a covered container in the fridge until I have enough to make my syrup.  They can also be dried or frozen for longer storage.

As you can see on the cluster below, some of the berries are still a green color.  I plan to check on them often to get them as soon as they are ripe.  Elderberries are the perfect remedy for treating and preventing the flu.  They are an amazing immune booster to help any and all sicknesses too!  For prevention, I administer elderberry syrup once a day.  For sickness, I normally give hourly; for severe sickness give doses every 15 minutes.  You will be amazed at the results!!  If you don’t have your own elderberries, you can purchase them at the Bulk Herb Store.

Do you have your own elderberry bushes? How do you use them?

This post is linked to:  The Better Mom    The Modest Mom    What Joy Is Mine    A Mama’s Story    The Prairie Homestead 
Far Above Rubies    Growing Home

Elderflower Cordial

My friend, Erin, made some Elderflower Cordial recently and shared some with me!  She really is such a sweet, sharing friend!  :)  I try to always have Elderberry Syrup on hand all year round, but this is the first time I’ve taken Elderflower Cordial.
Elderflower Cordial is basically like a syrup.  Many people make it, add it to fizzy water and use it for a refreshing drink ~ and a healthy drink it is!  It is effective to use for respiratory, sinus problems and fevers.  A few weeks ago I used fresh elderflowers to help reduce my baby’s fever: this cordial can be used in the same way!
Elderflower Cordial is highly concentrated, so it is recommended to add 2 Tablespoons of cordial to 1 cup of water or other beverage.  I tend to just take it straight from the jar, though. I would add it to some other liquid if I was enjoying it as a beverage, but I normally save this for medicinal purposes. :)  My suggestion is to take 1-2 tablespoons 3 or 4 times a day for fevers and sickness {cut the amount in half for children}.  
Elderflowers are normally only in bloom for about 3 weeks in June, so June is the time to stock up on cordial!  If you add citric or tartaric acid to the recipe, the cordial will last 3-4 months in the fridge.
You can find Elderflower Cordial recipes at Ashridge Nurseries and Good Food Channel.
I’m not sure if I’ll get around to making the cordial this year since my friend has shared hers with me and spared me the trouble {even though it is easy! :)}.  I’m definitely adding this cordial to my list next spring when I plan my medicine-making days! :)
Have you ever made this cordial?  How do you use it?

How To Use Elderflowers To Reduce Fever

You may have read my post on using elderberries as an excellent immune booster.  Do you know you can use the elderflowers as well?
Besides helping sinusitis and pollen allergies, elderflowers can also reduce fevers.
A few weeks ago, my baby ran a fever of 102.  In the past, I’ve always given tylenol if the fever got this high – you know, that’s what we’re taught, isn’t it?  It was embedded in my brain!  Work with the fever as long as it doesn’t get over 102.  This time, however, I was determined to bring her soaring fever down naturally.
Outside I went to grab some elderflowers.  I washed them, pulled the tiny flowers off the stem
and steeped them in hot water.  Be sure you don’t boil the delicate flowers and kill many of their healthy properties.  I brought one cup of water to a boil and let it sit off the burner for a few minutes before adding the flowers.  Let it steep for 5-10 minutes.
How many flowers do you add?
Typically you use 1-2 tsp. of dried herbs per cup of water, so you would double that amount for fresh herbs.  Use 2-4 tsp. of fresh herb per cup of water.
Elderflowers generally only bloom for 3 weeks in the month of June, sometimes they bloom in May if the weather turns warmer earlier than normal {like it did this year!}.  You can dry elderflowers to have them on hand all year round for fevers and other ailments.If you don’t have any elderberry bushes nearby, you can purchase dried elderflowers here.

The suggested dosage for adults in drinking medicinal tea is 1 cup 3 times a day.  The dosage is cut in half for children, and for the baby, I gave her 1/4 cup at a time.  I’m happy to say that the elderflowers worked with her fever to help bring it down and fight the sickness in her little body!
(photo credit)

Now the tylenol issue ~ that’s a post of necessity for the near future.  Tylenol is not mama’s best friend like we’ve thought!!

This post is linked to:
Growing Home    Far Above Rubies    Time-Warp Wife    Raising 4 Princesses
Raising Mighty Arrows    Feminine Adventures    The Purposeful Mom     Like A Mustard Seed