Foraging In August
I took my Son foraging yesterday in my local area, a minutes walk from my house and collected some elderberries which were nice and ripe with only a few unripe berries on some of the trees but the vast majority are ready to collect. I also spotted some Hawthorn berries that I will return and collect at a later date. I collected some nettle seeds, so many of these around right now with the female plants all finished flowering and are producing bunches of seeds hanging down like bunches of grapes, I have these hanging up to dry ready to store for use over winter.
There was an abundance of Blackberries available but my son was intent on eating the ones that I did collect so I didn’t manage to get any of these home.
Today I collected some Rowan Berries from one of the mountain Ash trees behind my house, there are a lot of these available at the moment and out there behind my house are 3 large trees full of berries so the birds will have plenty to eat come winter. These berries are not ripe and won’t be sweet but freezing them will help ripen them which is what I intend to do and then I will make these into a winter tonic using apple cider vinegar and sugar.
The elderberries are at the moment sat in a large bowl of apple cider vinegar and these will sit like this for 5 days before I strain them, add sugar to the liquid and simmer, then bottle ready for winter.
The daisies that I collected have been sat in oil for 6 weeks are now ready to turn into a balm so I will be busy making that this week. There is much to collect and process ready for winter at the moment. I collected some more yarrow last week and this has been hung drying, I stripped the leaves from the stems yesterday and left out overnight for them to fully dry, crumbled them this morning into a powder and placed them in a small amber jar for storage. These will be kept in my first aid kit and used as a styptic when needed, perfect for shaving cuts and other minor cuts and scrapes. The yarrow leaves I collected a few weeks ago are still in oil and these will be a few more weeks before they are ready to make into a healing balm. The flowers are also in alcohol tincturing and will be ready to strain and bottle in a few weeks. My herbal valium tincture will also be ready to bottle early September.
Still lots to collect, I plan to go back out this week and collect blackberries and hawthorn berries and process in apple cider vinegar to make into tonics. I also plan to collect more nettle seeds and also harvest some nettle roots to tincture.
Hawthorne berry tonic is one of the best remedies for treatment of the heart and circulatory system, treating angina and hypertension and helps to keep your heart healthy. Also can be used to treat arthritis, fractures and osteoporosis.
Rowan berries are packed with anti-oxidants, more than blueberries, they also contain more beta-c than carrot and more vitamin c than oranges, so these will make a perfect winter tonic to keep your immune system at peak condition.
Elderberry tonic will be used for the treatment of winter colds, it is also a good remedy for headache and nausea, rhinitis, asthma, croup, hay fever, conjunctivitis, rheumatism, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and stomatitis.
Nettles are natural histamine and the tincture I make will be used to treat my eldest son’s hay-fever next summer, the seeds are also very tasty, almost nutty and have many health benefits, these can be sprinkled onto salads, put into smoothies etc. Nettles are a very good source of nutrients chlorophylls a and b, dietary fiber & protein, nitrates, sterols, tannins, phenolic acid and vitamin A, B2, B5, C, K+, Ca+ and silicon.
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