It was my husbands birthday at the weekend and we had planned a magical mystery tour along the Michael-Mary ley lines down to the tip of Cornwall to celebrate. Yet more miserable soggy weather and a brush with a summer virus put us off our little camping trip. Instead we did a few day trips which included visiting the Rollright stones, reportedly the eastern-most standing stones in the UK.
Whilst enjoying a break in the weather and taking time to wander around the stones, I began to feel the glands in my throat start to tingle. I had spent the previous few days nursing my husband with combinations of yarrow, lungwort & oregano tea, sage leaf gargle, sloe syrup, so I knew where this tingle was potentially leading. At first I was annoyed with myself for not partaking in plenty of immuno-stimulating yarrow before the virus got to me. I felt a little foolish as I always recommend to others that they start with yarrow as soon as a member of the family shows signs of a virus. Still there I was, stood in a windy field an hours drive from home and my healthy patch of yarrow. I looked around, what could nature offer to boost my immune system until I got home? I scanned the hedgerows, straight away there she was, elder (Sambucus nigra) offering a potent remedy.
Elder is flowering particularly late this year, some not yet in full bloom, how lucky for me. I went straight for the nearest elder and asked permission. I was directed to a particularly polleny clump of flowers which I began to eat. If you have never done this before I recommend it, what a taste sensation! I worked my way along the hedgerow getting called several times to stop and take a nibble before I knew I had had enough and gave my thanks to the generosity of elder. It seemed to do the trick as I have managed to hold off from developing the full symptoms of the virus, although how much was down to the man-flu symptoms exagerator I guess we will never know 😉
If you want to learn more about the amazing healing power of Elder look in a copy of The Medicine Garden!