What a beautiful remedy is the elderberry. It has been used since ancient times for all manner of ills, indeed throughout England it has been a valuable hedgerow medicine and revered as “the medicine chest of the country people”.
Today, scientific studies have shown that the berry does indeed stimulate our immune system, it is antiviral and significantly shortens the duration of cold and flu symptoms. It also has the ability to ward off these viruses if taken in large enough doses, early enough. Add to this its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it is a herb truly suited to the winter months….
I have left a fair amount of rubber on the road in my time due to a true foragers eye. I drive my family insane by screeching to a halt next to a fertile roadside crop of something wonderful like elder, rosehips and most recently hawthorn. This find was the perfect opportunity to make a stash of Hawthorn and Apple Fruit Leathers – a great staple for your pantry through the winter months….
Healing herbal gummies never last long in our house. I started to make them when my first child was small, they are an excellent vehicle for smuggling in all manner of herbs and nutritionals when they are sick. The kids love them so much that I now make a “general tonic” version, they have become a bit of a staple and there is more often than not an assortment in the fridge for the family to snack on….
There is a big pot of Aloe vera that sits just outside my kitchen door. I cannot tell you how many times I have popped out and torn off a little of the leaf to squeeze out the cooling gel to soothe a minor burn or a mozzie bite. When autumn comes I always try to remember to keep a stash of this wonderful plant as the frost really knocks it around over winter. The best way I have found to preserve its magic is to freeze it….
At the moment my kitchen smells DIVINE – I have been scenting a batch of bath bombs for our mums for Mother’s Day. They are infused with a gorgeous relaxing blend of essential oils including ylang ylang, rose geranium, petitgrain and oakmoss. Not only do they smell divine, they also look so pretty as we have been pressing dried rose petals and lavender we have saved from the garden into the base of the moulds….
The bulk of commercial burner melts tend be pretty toxic, they are made with petroleum derived waxes and are artificially coloured and fragranced. So what I have done is come up with an alternative that keeps the ingredients pretty much homegrown, local and most importantly natural. Once you have mastered the recipe and experimented and found the oil combinations that you love you will have a ready stash of these lovely things for yourself and for gifts….
I could not live without infused oils. I incorporate them into my lotions and potions and they are also perfect for adding zing to stir fries, salad dressings, roast veggies and also as a garnish for soups and dips. Infusing herbs and spices allows the oily constituents of the plants to impart their own unique aromas, flavours and therapeutic qualities to the oils. …
I got my hands on a huge golden orb of beeswax at the farmer’s market! I am going to enjoy chipping away at it and sharing some great ways you can use beeswax in body care preparations and around the house. One of my favourite recipes is a gorgeous golden lip balm scented with raw honey and with the healing and protective properties of calendula. Not only does the beeswax and raw honey give the balm a beautiful scent, they also make it taste yummy!…
OK, this stuff really looks like a witches brew! Even so, kombucha is my ferment of choice. I love tea in all it’s incarnations. Kombucha is a fermented tea and really showcases the flavour with a funky edge. You can do a second ferment to introduce new flavours such as fruits and spices however the naked “booch” is really good!…