Most berries are loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, strengthen the integrity of our blood vessels and capillaries, fight cancer, and improve brain function. Some of them have "star" qualities.
- Black elderberries vend off oncoming cold and flu viruses.
- Cranberries protect against urinary tract infections.
- Lycii berries (aka gogi berries) are loaded with prostate-protective lycopene and may also help protect us from the effects of aging. Cherries decrease pain and gout.
- Blueberries and bilberries are good for eye health, mental cognition, and anti-aging effects.
- Hawthorn berries reduce blood pressure and tonify the cardiovascular system in almost every way possible.
- I often consider dark purple grapes, pomegranates, rooibos red tea, and hibiscus flowers as honorary berries in my repertoire because they have such similar and complementary properties.
Of course you can, and should, eat berries daily. An oxymel serves as a delicious way to preserve berries for daily dosing. We simply infuse dried and/or fresh berries in a blend of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and honey. Think of it as sweet-tart fruit meeting a sweet-tart liquid. Feel free to experiment with different berries depending on what you have on hand. The following ingredients can be found in most natural food stores that sell good, loose medicinal herbs in bulk.
- 1 pint glass jar with a plastic lid
- 1/4 c frozen blueberries
- 3 heaping Tbsp dried hawthorn berries
- 3 heaping Tbsp dried black elderberries
- 2 heaping Tbsp dried rosehips
- 2 heaping Tbsp dried hibiscus flowers
- Unpasturized raw apple cider vinegar
- Honey, preferably raw and local
Loosely fill jar with "berries" according to approximate measurements given, or to taste. Fill halfway with vinegar, the rest of the way with honey. Cover, shake vigorously. Shake daily for two weeks, then strain through a fine mesh strainer or clean cloth, squeezing out as much as possible. Store in glass with a plastic lid. This is relatively shelf stable but is best kept refrigerated and used within six months to one year. Enjoy one teaspoon to one tablespoon one to two times daily just before meals.
About the author:
Maria Noel Groves is a clinical herbalist & health journalist. Visit her online at www.WintergreenBotanicals.com