Herbal potions!

Earlier this week I went for a walk along the canal and picked some elderberries. The birds had beaten me to it on quite a few bushes, but I found some. Nearly fell in the ditch at one point….

elderberries in margarine tub

Here they are waiting for me to use them.

Elderberries are very good for colds and flu, both prevention and reducing the severity of symptoms. I decided to make a herbal tincture by covering them with vodka.

elderberry tincture in jar

Here they are sitting in the jar. Now I just have to put them in a dark place, shake them every day for about three months then strain off the elderberries, rebottle it and put it in the medicine cabinet! Hmm, that reminds me, just off to give them today’s shake!

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  1. Hmmm… the vodka part sounds really good. Lol. I think Elderberries are what we call Chokecherries here. Are they very tart and kind of dry your mouth out? We make Chokecherry jelly from ours.

  2. Sounds yummy! And lovely dyed fabric too from your last post.

  3. can you please email me. i try to email you but the email come back to me. i have a private question to ask you.

    thank you.


  4. oooohh sounds gorgeous! we just make plain boring old elderberry wine …………:-)

  5. Oh it did bring a silly grin to my face to see evidence of somebody else using recycled jars for their tincturing brews! “just like grandma (mind, anyway) used to make”.

  6. I love it that you do these things! It makes me want to go out and find some so I can have a go too.

  7. Gee our Elderberries are red. They don’t look anything like those you have. Yours look a lot like the Pokeberries I used in Michigan for dying fabric with. Our Elderberries are considered inedible unless cooked for jam or wine, & the seeds can actully make you sick.

  8. Hope you don’t mind I linked to your post from my site… great photos, and you lit a fire under me to try making a tincture myself!

  9. black elder is more common where I live, and they are definitly not chokecherrys, fine to eat raw if you like them(a bit tart), but best for wine or jelly or medecine.

  10. OH, and pokeberries are toxic, so don’t confuse the two

  11. we have many chokecherry bush/trees here in northern new york but we have always been told not to eat them

  12. Hi, I followed the vodka and elderberry recipe. My jars keep flowing over, it seems the mixture is fermenting. What do I do? H

  13. Those look like pokeberry (nightshade) to me are very poisonous. Elderberries are much smaller and chokecherries are grown on trees. I have seen chokecherry jelly for sale. I have eaten wild elderberries and my mom had made elderberry pie from them. I was always told not to eat the berries of the pokeberry also called nightshade because it was poisonous.

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