Wednesday, 18 June 2014

elder by the brue

The glorious abundance of elders in the summer sunshine along the River Brue near our home in Somerset.

We are using the elder flowers in our recent 'brew' of jun, soon to be released, our favourite flavour so far.  I am very excited to be planning  an elderflower collecting mission tomorrow for the next batch.  My father used to brew his own special elderflower and elderberry wines and beers which were noticeably if mildly psychoactive as well as intoxicating.  He used to give them to us as a remedies for colds too.  On reading Stephen Harrod Buhner's books on Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers this is making sense. Many plants become psychoactive in a good way when fermented.  For most of my life I found it hard to adequately explain to people about the concoctions I grew up on and the impact they had on us.  My father grew up in the Welsh countryside in the 1920's and 1930's, in conditions that we would no longer expect to find in Britain. It is very exciting to be, without even intending to, connecting into my father's legacy of ancient knowledge.

'Both flowers and berries were made into an ointment by boiling in lard and used to cool burns, insect bites or skin wounds and infections. The flower water was used as a skin tonic for brightening the complexion and as an eyewash.

   Tonics from the water strained from boiled leaves and flowers or berries, depending on the time of year, were well proven and relied on to help in cases of fevers, flu’s and colds. Because it's a diuretic, this decoction was also used in cases of intestinal inflammation and kidney problems. Many concentrated modern syrups can be bought as cold remedies. Hot elderberry wine, with plenty of sugar is still used for relief of colds and sore throats.'

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