Category: Well-Being
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Elder is a sovereign remedy for all sorts of respiratory tract problems, from coughs and colds to sinusitis, chest infections and sore throats.

The berries are ready for harvesting now, and if you make them into a cordial or syrup, they are a useful source of vitamin C in the winter months as well as a comforting and delicious drink when you’re dealing with an infection. Note that the raw berries can be laxative, but this effect is lost when you cook them.

Here’s a recipe for a winter cordial. Add hot water to taste. The spices add their own medicinal qualities (anti-infective, and cloves are a gentle anaesthetic) and they help to preserve the cordial.

You will need:
150g elderberries with stems
650ml water
3 cloves
1 inch stick cinnamon
140g honey

1. Place the elderberries, water, cinnamon and cloves in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for half an hour.

2. Pass the mixture through a muslin cloth or clean teatowel (be warned – it will turn purple!) and press to get all the juice out.

3. Stir in the honey till dissolved. Pour into a bottle or jar, cover and store in the fridge.

It should see you through the winter months.

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