Tag Archives: nature

Excellent Elderberries

At the end of the 19th century a sailor accidentally discovered that cheap port wine coloured with elderberries relieved his arthritis. This may have been the basis for a number of experiments on the medical benefits of elderberries.

Sambucus nigra – European or black elder – may be the cultivar most often used for medicinal purposes throughout the world and over decades and centuries of application. Modern research holds that elderberries may have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti cancer properties.

They contain flavonoids which place elderberries in the category of “antioxidant-rich,” capable of preventing cell damage. One study suggested that the elderberry extract called Sambucol could shorten flu duration by up to three days.

Other traditional uses of elderberry flowers are as external antiseptic washes and poultices to treat wounds, and as an eye wash for conjunctivitis and eye inflammation. It’s been used for cosmetic purposes for millennia due to the reputation of distilled elderberry flower water to soften, tone, and restore the skin and lighten freckles. The flowers can also be steeped in oil to make a lotion that relaxes sore muscles and soothes burns, sunburn, and rashes.

Chemicals in both the flowers and berries may help diminish swelling in mucous membranes like sinuses and help relieve nasal congestion. Herbalists still use it to soothe children’s upset stomachs and relieve gas. Elderberries are reputed to have diuretic and detoxifying properties, and therefore considered good for weight management.

Some doctors recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding women avoid eating elderberries.

Elderberries are a very good source of vitamin A, providing 17 percent of the daily value, but that is eclipsed by it’s infection-fighting vitamin C content giving a massive 87 percent – reportedly more than any other plant besides black currants and rosehips. Other prominent ingredients in elderberries include iron (13 percent of the daily value) as well as potassium, vitamin B6, and lots of betacarotene.

The Food Standards Agency recommends cooking elderberries to destroy toxins present in the raw berries – some people find that eating raw elderberries makes them feel nauseous, while others suffer no ill effects.

Looking for things to do with elderberries – here are a few ideas from Wildcraft Vita

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Dieting, Food, Health, Self Help

Welcome to the Weekend

Don’t you just love the start of the weekend?

If you work Monday to Friday then Saturday is a sacred day. It’s your first day of the week where you can do what you want (assuming you haven’t got other responsibilities that create a timetable for you). You can lie in bed till way past the time the alarm will be going off on Monday, or you can get up early and make the most of your free time – it’s up to you!

You can spend the day reading, listening to music, catching up with friends, watching TV, walking in the park, making a great meal, shopping, painting, writing – You can do exactly what you want – and that is a Joy.

The main thing the weekend gives you is time. Time to do what you want. I wonder how we can best use that time to make us feel better in ourselves and for the rest of the week.

For those of you that follow this little old blog of mine, you will know that my main preoccupation is health – more specifically mental health. I think if we can work on positive mental health the rewards it gives us every day, far outweigh any time or effort we put in and the weekend is the perfect time to take steps to keep us going strong.

The thing I would encourage everyone to do this weekend is take a little exercise. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, just a little walk if you can manage it. Take a walk in nature, no headphones, no phone, no internet, no distractions. Take a little walk, smell the air, feel the wind, see the sights, hear the sounds and just be. Exercise is good for your body and mind, pumping blood, oxygenating your cells and clearing out toxins. Being in nature is good for your mind – creating space, being in the moment, taking a quiet moment to just be.

What ever you decide to do, enjoy your weekend, your sacred Saturday. The day when Monday is far enough away to not be a concern and Friday is already a fading memory.

Take care of yourself and those around you.

mental health coventry

1 Comment

Filed under Happy, Health, Mental Health, Relaxation