Sunday, 27 November 2011

Medicinal Alcohol - Work and Play Mixing Again....

Hi Everyone,

It being the sniffles time of year I thought I'd put up a post on my work blog about the use of elderberries for coughs, colds and the 'flu.

Being a natural health therapist, and a qualified medical herbalist, although not practicing as such, I had a bash this year of making my own elderberry tincture (Elderberry Vodka) and these are the pages I made to illustrate the post.

Elderberry Tincture/Vodka

This tincture came out a lot better than the first one I ever made, using hawthorn berries, used for cardiovascular problems. 

I must have got the proportions of alcohol to berries wrong because it became so thick and gelatinous due to the mucilages in the berries the only way to get it out of the bottles was to whack the base, like you would with ketchup.

I couldn't use it for my clients, so after that I stuck to buying in my tinctures, and making my own elderflower cordial until the OH got diabetes, so the cordial-making had to go because the sugar is too much for his blood glucose control.

I have made sloe gin, with sloes we gathered the last day of one of our holidays in Yorkshire, quite a few years ago now. That does have sugar added to make it a liqueur type of tipple and I might make it again if I can find more sloes, as I quite like it, but the OH doesn't care too much for it.

It also makes a very nice present for the festive season, if decanted into decorative little bottles. Hmmmm, ideas for next year; must try and find a source of sloes.....

This elderberry vodka is totally sugar-free, yet still very yummy - it tastes like unsweetened Ribena.

Next summer I might do the same with the elderflowers; make a tincture of them. They are good for hayfever and the like. 

I created these in Craft Artist, as usual, using my own photos of elderflowers, berries and the tincturing process. I even made my own labels for the bottles.




Anonymous said...

Sounds good Karen, I made some blackberry vodka last year and it was delicious. not sure about the health qualities though :)

Karen Lewis said...

Hi Sandie,

Your blackberry vodka was probably quite beneficial as the alcohol helps to extract the constituents of the herb or fruit and thus make them available.

If it was just blackberries and vodka then you had yourself a blackberry tincture. If it had sugar then you are more in the realms of a liqueur, which can still be quite good for you. After all, drinks like Benedictine, using 27 ingredients of herbs and spices were originally designed as an 'elixir' to sustain the monks in their work, and as a probably useless defence against malaria, as they were close to large marshlands, and was the first branded liqueur medicine.