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As the season's change

Updated: Oct 26, 2019

How to stay healthy this winter and boost your immunity naturally with the wonderful things growing near you.

As the long summer nights draw to an end and the cooler weather of autumn arrives, seeing the trees and hedgerows full of tasty delights spurs me on to make a winter tonic to boost immunity and the keep circulation flowing through the cold nights of winter.

Hedgerows bursting with blackberries are ready to be picked, in time with clusters of glistening elderberries and the bright red hues of hawthorn berries. What a delight! There is nothing complicated about making this winter syrup and your body will thank you as the days and nights get colder still.

All that is needed is a large bowl to fill up with these 3 delightful berries. I usually pick a ratio of 2:1:1 elderberries: blackberries: hawthorn berries. However, depending where you are and which berries are in greatest abundance, pick any quantity that you are able, as all will serve you well.

Hawthorn and blackberries growing side by side in many parts of Gloucestershire.

Immune Boosting Syrup

Wash your harvest of berries and place in a bain marie and cover with water. Let it gently simmer for 30-45 minutes, then pour through a sieve. I use a spoon to help push through all the juicy goodness and what is left behind are the pips. At this stage weigh the juiced berries, then add an equal amount of raw honey. Choosing not to use sugar, adds extra benefits for immunity and health. However, this recipe may also be made replacing the honey for sugar. Be sure to refrigerate once bottled to extend its shelf life.

Berry Benefits!

Sambucus nigra or Elderberries are well know for their immune boosting and flu relieving properties. They are also antiviral, antibacterial and full of vitamins and antioxidants. Blackberries are of a similar nature and high in antioxidants and vitamins. Just the thing to help you through the winter months.

Hawthorn berries are exceptionally good for the heart and circulation. Hawthorn berries enhance the effectiveness of some cardioactive medications, so checking first with a herbalist is advised if you are taking heart medication.

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