FW: elderberry

#ELDERBERRY# START: ELDERBERRIES ARE BURSTING WITH GOODNESS AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. HERE IS A DESCRIPTION OF THE TREE WITH A RECIPE ON HOW TO USE THE BERRIES: (SAMBUCUS NIGRA) Family; Adoxaceae (caprifoliaceae) Temperament; drying & cooling Parts used: Berries when deep purple and ripe Description: It is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 6m (20 ft) tall and wide (rarely 10m tall). The bark, light grey when young, changes to a coarse grey outer bark with lengthwise furrowing. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, 10-30 cm long, pinnate with five to seven (rarely nine) leaflets, the leaflets 5-12 cm long and 3-5 cm broad, with a serrated margin. The hermaphrodite flowers are borne in large, flat corymbs 10-25 cm diameter in late spring to mid-summer, the individual flowers ivory white, 5-6 mm diameter, with five petals; they are pollinated by flies. The fruit is a glossy dark purple to black berry 3-5 mm diameter, produced in drooping clusters in late autumn. Actions; the berries are rich in vitamin A & C. They are diuretic, laxative and promote sweating. Dose; see winter rob recipe Use; Elderberries taken as a winter tonic or/and at the onset of a cold is one of the best preventatives known against the advance of influenza and the ill effects of a cold. Taken hot at night it is a good remedy for promoting perspiration in the early stages of severe catarrh, accompanied by shivering and sore throat etc. Caution/drug interactions; raw and unripe fruit in excess can cause nausea and diarrhoea. Avoid or talk to your healthcare professional if you are taking medications for autoimmune diseases as elderberries stimulate the immune system. ELDERBERRY WINTER ROB A rob is a fruit or vegetable juice that is thickened by simmering. 4 mugs of ripe elderberries removed from their stalks (easiest way to de stalk them is to use a fork) 300g honey 1 tsp cinnamon powder 1 cm ginger grated (or 1tsp dried ginger powder) 5 cloves 1 star anise 1. Put into a pan the elderberries, honey and spices 2. Simmer gently until the juices are thick like honey 3. Strain and bottle whilst hot. This should keep all winter, keep in the fridge. Dose; 1 or 2 tbsp to a cup of hot water. Take as needed. Indications; to bring warmth to the body, to promote perspiration, for coughs, colds and flu. End: