HERBAL NOTES FROM ALL OVER

From Wales: WORKING WITH ANCIENT RECIPE TO RECREATE “SUPER” MEAD

”Back in the sixteenth century, there was a Welsh drink called metheglin. Metheglin translates into ‘healing liquor’ basically, it’s mead… alcoholic mead that we drink… combined with medicinal herbs. What we are trying to do is identify those medicinal herbs that we could add to the mead to make a drink that was antibacterial.”  – PROF LES BAILLIE, CARDIFF UNIVERSITY

From the U.S.: COFFEE – GOOD OR BAD?  “Coffee has a long history of being blamed for many ills,” writes the Mayo Clinic on its website, “from stunting your growth to claims that it causes heart disease and cancer. But recent research indicates that coffee may not be so bad after all. So which is it—good or bad? The best answer may be that for most people the health benefits outweigh the risks.”

From the U.S.: BUMBLE BEES ARE PICKY EATERS! Researchers at Penn State found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets. The plants with highest visitation by bumble bees in this study included American senna, spiderwort and Culver’s root. “Our findings may guide the selection of plant-species for habitat restoration for bee conservation,” said Vaudo. “We could select the plant-species that provide the nutritional resources that bees need and prefer so that we can improve bee survival, health, reproduction and the size of bee populations.”

From Australia: Recent research from Australia supports what I’ve always said: taking European elderberry extract may result in a shorter duration of a cold with less symptom severity. Elderberry is an excellent tonic for the whole body; I take 1-2 tbsp. daily, and use it as an elixir when suffering from influenza, colds cough, rheumatic aches, congestion and sore throat – take ¼ tsp 6x/day. Here is my favourite tonic using elderberries:

BASE RECIPE FOR ELDERBERRY TONIC SHRUB

2 cups of dried berries

32 oz. apple cider vinegar

32 oz. local honey

Wash and pick over berries.  Put in a non-reactive pan.  Pour vinegar over berries, cover and bring to a low simmer.  Remove from heat and let stand overnight or up to two weeks in the fridge. Mash the fruit vinegar and strain through cheesecloth.  Add honey and blend well.  Bottle in dark glass, sterilized jars with non-metal lids, and label.  Keep out of reach of children.  Store in a cool dark place.  Use within one year.