Fighting a cold, locavore style

Elderflower tea

For the past three days I have been knocked out with a cold. Between feeling sorry for myself over cancelled weekend plans, and watching the entire first season of the US remake of the Danish crime drama The Killing (great program, by the way), I remembered that I had dried some elderberry blossoms for tea last May.

Elderflower tea is an old home remedy against common cold and fever. The formulas vary. I used 1 heaping teaspoon of dried elderberry flowers per cup boiling water, steeped it for 10 minutes, and sweetened with local honey from our neighbor. In grey chilly January weather, sipping the hot tea from blossoms collected on a beautiful sunny day already feels good.

Hot elderberry juice with lemon juice and honey is also an excellent cold remedy but I don’t have any elderberry juice this year, and can only hope that the elderberry bushes transplanted last fall will love their new, less wind-beaten location in moister soil and produce lots of berries in the future.

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