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I ordered Elderberries
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  1. #1
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    I ordered Elderberries

    And they arrived yesterday. I ordered from HerbalCom (got the link from another post here) Just wanted to say I got 3lbs of them and they were clean and dry and in good shape. I would definitely order from them again. They have a lot of items I'd like to try. We planted Elderberries this summer but not soon enough to get berries from them. So now I'm making tincture to ward off the Flu and other nasties. I used Vodka for tincturing and its way too strong for my mouth to handle. Can I dilute it? My tincture is already so dark you cant see light through the jar, will it really need 6 weeks before its ready??
    I'd like to make a tea out of the berries when the little ones are sick, does anybody know how much to use per cup? Thanks!! Kat

  2. #2
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    Kat, I missed that link, can you tell me link for Herbalcom? I found a bush in the fall for elderberries but only got enough for eight batchs of brandy wine for the flu. Hubby takes it every day for colds and flu.

  3. #3
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    Hi Kathy, I made some extract too and was unsure just what to do with it. I didn't cook the berries, I just mashed them and let them sit in vodka for a few weeks. I strained it then and bottled it. Mine is dark too and smells really strong. I read that you take 1 or 2 spoonfuls in a cup of juice, but I don't know if that's teaspoons or tablespoons, and I don't know how many times a day. It would be less for a child, but I don't know how much less. I didn't write the info down when I read it, thinking I'd remember it. I should have known better!! I'll try to do a search in a little while and see if I can come up with something.

  4. #4
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    What I found so far is, 1 teaspoon three times a day. A lot would depend on how concentrated the tincture is. I think I might have used more vodka than I should have, so I'd have to take a litttle more. Depending on the kid's age, say maybe cut that amount in half? It might not hurt them to take an adult dose though, except for the fact that they're getting more alcohol. If they're really sick that might make them sleep! Maybe you could compare doses on a bottle of Nyquil to see how a kid's dose compares to an adult.

  5. #5
    I'm currently soaking my third batch right now. You don't necessarily want to dilute the tincture BUT pour it in a sainless steel pan, bring it to a simmer and add sugar to taste, then simmer for about 10-15 minutes. With about 4 cups of tincture I use 1/2 cup sugar you may like more. Much more palatable that way. I take a teaspoon each day as a preventative along with a teaspoon of echinacea twice a day to build up the immune system. By the way I use 4 cups of elderberries in a jar and just cover them, and a little above, with the vodka or you can use brandy. I like the brandy better for the elderberry. I usually soak all my tincture for about 7-10 days in a dark place. You don't need to soak for weeks, folks. The alcohol does an excellent job of extracting the medicinal properties from most herbs very quickly. forgot to clarify that I am using fresh berries not dried which is why I use 4 cups - using dried berries takes a lesser amount,
    Last edited by goatlady2; 10-21-2004 at 04:06 PM.

  6. #6
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    I've been soaking mine for six weeks!

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Dennis, that link goes to a page that tries to sell that domain name. I don't see any products. Am I missing a link within that page?

    edited to add: Is this it? www.herbalcom.com

  9. #9
    Yes www.herbalcom.com is the correct site

  10. #10
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    Last year about this time I bought some tincture from another member here at TB2K. I tried to PM her but evidently she has not been visiting the forum since I got no answer. Tomorrow morning after the munchkin goes to school I'll go back oover all my PM's. One of them had details on how much per dose and other stuff good to know. Goatlady, does it affect the tincture to heat it? I wondered if heat could harm the active ingredients? Kat

    PS--You will never need Metamucil as long as you got elderberry!!!

  11. #11
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    I've bookmarked this page!!! I actually managed to get three little shoots started this fall,hope to keep them alive to plant next spring.

  12. #12
    I don't think the low heat would hurt the elderberry tincture properties, high heat probably would. It's a similar low heat like when you are making herbal salves and poltices, gentle heat on the herbs sometimes helps release more of the medicimal properties to transfer them to the salve/poltice base. Based on what I just typed it seems I should be heating the tincture before I strain the berries out! Duh. I live and learn and remember stuff I have forgotten. Also, Kathy, the usual standard dosage for MOST herbal tinctures is a teaspoon full at a time or 2-3 dropersfull or 1-2 homefilled capsules. As mentioned before, everybody's metaboic system works differently and with herbs there really is no set in concrete dosage. You let your common sense, knowledge of the herb, and your own observations of your body be YOUR guide. Those of us who make and "give" herbs and advise have to cover our liability just like a doctor so we use "suggested" dosage or "usual" dosage amounts EXCEPT for a few herbs that are really powerful and not in common use. Those we are VERY careful with if used at all and never discuss them on public forums anyway and only privately with people we know very well.

  13. #13
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    Thanks Goatlady2 !I've done lots of reading up and a little dabbling with herbs and tinctures. I usually limit my experiments to herbs where multiple resources list it as "safe". I'm just really enjoying the whole learning process as I go. I was wondering if Clary Sage is useful for anything? I started some from seed this year and it is a beautiful plant!! Iplan on keeping it around just for its color. I also have some Catmint. Is it good for anything?

  14. #14
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    Deemy,
    I wanted to tell you that if you know where to find an Elderberry bush you can just dig up a big piece of its root and go ahead and plant that. It will probably give you faster results and you won't have to worry about watering little shoots all winter. My hubby dug some for me this summer. Brought it home and planted it and it really looked completely dead a week later. Left it alone until about a month later I decided to cut it down and try again. First cut I made the wood was green so I left it alone and now its got about 4 feet of new growth. So evidently its pretty tough stuff!! (It survived me!)

  15. #15
    Kathy, Clary Sage rings a bell, just cannot make a connection right now, but it is useful as a medicinal herb I remember, just one of those not commonly used. I'm not familiar with Catmint - catnip is a bushy herb just wonderfully mild as a tea or tincture for gentle calming qualities. Just dry the leaves and steep in hot water for tea or tincture the usual way. Catnip is a really good muscle relaxant especially for cramps. Again, don't know about Catmint.

  16. #16
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    I ordered the elderberries (1 lb. ) a couple of days ago, at herbalcom.com . I also ordered some other things. Here is a list of what I ordered and prices:
    Goldenseal root powder - 1 - $21.50 - $21.50
    001179 - Elder berries whole - 1 - $5.30 - $5.30
    001726 - Echinacea purp. root powder - 1 - $12.25 - $12.25
    009006 - Essential oil, Oregano - 1 - $12.55 - $12.55
    009117 - Flax seed oil gel caps - 1 - $5.20 - $5.20
    009115 - Omega 3 gel caps - 1 - $4.80 - $4.80
    009126 - E-200 gel caps - 1 - $4.85 - $4.85

    Is making the tincture the best way to utilize the elderberries? As for the echinacea powder and goldenseal root powder, I'm thinking maybe I'll use them in tea. The types/forms of echinacea offered varied in price a lot. There was some cheaper and one form $23 or $24/lb. I settled on this mid priced form.

  17. #17
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    Here's some good info I found on the web re-making your own herbal tinctures:

    http://www.kcweb.com/herb/tincture.htm

    Here's some good info I found on the web re-making your own tinctures:

    HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN TINCTURES

    THE ITEMS YOU WILL NEED:

    Dried or fresh herbs in powdered or cut form.
    80 -100 proof vodka or rum (NEVER use rubbing, isopropyl or wood alcohol).
    Wide-mouthed glass jars with lids (mason jar or equivalent).
    Unbleached cheesecloth or muslin.
    Labels and markers.
    STEP BY STEP

    You should plan to start your tinctures on the day of the new moon and let them sit at least 2 weeks until the full moon - this adds a natural drawing power.

    Pour the amount of herb you desire into the glass jar and slowly pour the alcohol until the herbs are entirely covered. Then add an inch or two of additional liquid.
    Seal the jar tightly so that the liquid cannot leak or evaporate. Put the jar in a dark area or inside a paper bag.
    Shake the jar every day.
    When ready to bottle, pour the tincture through a cheesecloth into another jar or dark colored tincture bottle. Squeeze the saturated herbs, extracting the remaining liquid until no more drips appear.
    Close the storage container with a stopper or cap and label.
    ADDITIONAL TIPS ON TINCTURES

    200 grams dried or 300 grams of fresh herbs (chopped) to one liter of liquid is needed.
    Rum helps hide the taste of bitter herbs.
    Distilled water, vinegar or glycerol can be used to make nonalcoholic tinctures.
    Standard dosage is 1 teaspoon, 1-3 times daily, diluted in tea, juice or water.
    Tinctures can last up to two years when stored in a tightly closed container.
    A wine press or juicer may be used to extract liquid from the herbs.
    Several herbs can be combined into a tincture formula.

  18. #18
    Annie, the difference in the echinacea prices comes from the fact/idea that Echiunacea angustafolia is considered much more medicinally potent than the purp. The thing with herbs is like with culinary spices - the finer the spice/herb is processed the faster the properties disappear. Most folks making tincture use as close to the original plant as possible in dried form. You will find trying to make a tea from powder may not work to your satisfaction - the powder probably will not dissolve well and may taste grity. Trying to tincture powder is a mess - the powder settles out into a messy lump in the bottom of the jar. I personally have never pressed or squeezed the herbs when making tincture and I have found over the years tincture stay medicinally potent done in alcohol for far longer that 2 years. Just my personal experience on all the above points.

  19. #19
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    I respect your herbal knowledge so much Goatlady and appreciate you taking time to try to explain some things to me. Hope I didn't blow it on that choice of echinacea. Not only the type, but it's also a powder. Would all these powders I got best be used by putting into capsules do you think? I'll definitely make a tincture from the berries. Thanks, Goatlady!

  20. #20
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    Here's a tip girls. Never, never buy herbs in a powder form. The powder lasts only 6 months where as the whole herb will last a year for good potency. You can always invest in a grinder to make the whole herb into a powder yourself.

    You have the elderberries. Just soak them in water overnight
    then heat them (simmer very low heat) for a couple of hours *uncovered*.
    Pour them into the blender and add juice of lemons and raw honey to
    taste--then add some vegetable glycerine.

    This you can use immediatly. When heating herbs with vodka, you slow the infusion process. You now have removed the vodka from your tincture. It is the vodka that extracts the active ingredients from your herb.

    Using heat to make your formula is usually only used when making an herbal oil. This is ok and used when you do not want to wait the 4 to 6 weeks. It's ok for external application but will not be potent enough for internal unless it is elderberry. Elderberry is very potent and does not break down as much in heating situations.

    When purchasing elderberry's:
    Look for dark purple color.
    Berrys should be about the size of small peas and no smaller.
    The berrys should be very fragrant. If not they are at least one year old.
    Last edited by Herbmountain; 10-24-2004 at 12:59 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnniePutin
    I ordered the elderberries (1 lb. ) a couple of days ago, at herbalcom.com... 001179 - Elder berries whole - 1 - $5.30
    Are these dried vs. fresh?

    Also, is there a decent way to use elderberries in a recipe that also doesn't destroy the medicinal properties? And are wild blueberries good for anything except slurping and staining things?

  22. #22
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    Anjou, I'm new at this so will defer to one of our very knowledgable posters here re-working with herbs. I'm guessing they are dried. Can't imagine they would be fresh, but this is the first time I've ordered them. Perhaps they can also comment on using elderberries in recipes (while maintaining medicinal properties) and the possible uses of wild blueberries. I'm trying to learn here myself. ;-)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by goatlady2
    Kathy, Clary Sage rings a bell, just cannot make a connection right now, but it is useful as a medicinal herb I remember, just one of those not commonly used. I'm not familiar with Catmint - catnip is a bushy herb just wonderfully mild as a tea or tincture for gentle calming qualities. Just dry the leaves and steep in hot water for tea or tincture the usual way. Catnip is a really good muscle relaxant especially for cramps. Again, don't know about Catmint.

    Just have to comment on catnip. We buy "Cosmic Catnip" for our cat who recently adopted us. My son decided to eat some with him, and he also made a little pipe out of tinfoil and smoked it (teenagers, what can I say). He said it was very relaxing and made his nasty headache go away. Wanted me to try it, but I said no. Will remember this though.

    And thanks for all the elderberry tips.

    So when's the Revolution? God or Money? Choose.

  24. #24
    Annie, yes putting the powder into capsules would work very well. For the really novice folks as far as I know ALL herbs ordered or bought in a store are DRIED even the powders are dried before grinding. You only get fresh one if you grrow them or wildcraft (gather).
    Blueberries are a relative of Bilberries and both are excellent for the eyes.

  25. #25
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    Update---

    On Saturday we took our 6 year old to his Karate tournament. Right before he was scheduled to fight he sat down and said mommy I don't feel good. Felt his head and he was burning up with a fever. To make this long story short, I wanted to take him and go straight home. He wanted to fight so we ended up staying but running out for Ibuprofen. When we did get home I started him on a big dose of Elderberry. He was warm all night and he sweated all night. The next morning he looked awful but the fever never came back. I continued Elderberry for 3 days and now hes on a maintenance dose every day. So, that makes twice where I feel I've proven to myself that it does work. The other time was last year when we all had the flu so bad and my parents and brother ended up in hospital. I think we should keep notes on how long were sick, how much Elderberry we take, how long till we see improvement etc... I'm really impressed so far!!! Kat

  26. #26
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    Thanks for the tip on where to order dried berries, Kathy! My 3 pounds just got here. I'm off to do some soaking! Dang, there's a lot of them!

    Think I'll try some in rum, some in vodka, and some in brandy. I also just ordered a bunch of amber bottles. Great thread!

  27. #27
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    You're very welcome but please thank goatlady2!! Shes the one who posted it originally! I just posted earlier on another thread about doing my elderberries in Vodka (100 proof). Man is it ever harsh stuff, you might be better off doing it all in something smoother like Brandy or Rum cause the Vodka is really killer strong. Have fun with your berries!! Kathy

  28. #28
    About vodka or EverClear vs any other (flavored) liquor.

    The coloring and flavoring agents in other forms of booze are taken up by the alcohol- and leave less "room" for the alcohol to absorb the active principles of the herb you are tincturing.

    If you're really concerned about flavor (just dilute the tincture enough in tea or juice when taking it and that isn't a concern) consider adding another herb in small amounts when you are making your tincture. Mint or lemon balm (or both) are very strong flavored- but very good flavored. My "recipe" which is a tincture of peppermint and lemon balm, and which I use as a potent muscle relaxant, is actually tasty enough to drink nearly straight. (Not completely straight because I make it in 160 proof vodka, and I like the lining of my esophogus intact, thank you very much!)

    Anyway, adding some mint leaves to your elderberry tincture isn't going to change the formulation enough to hurt... mint is a relatively innocuous herb- but it might "smooth" out the harshness a bit.

    Summerthyme

  29. #29
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    Summer. You just gave me an idea and reminded me why licorace root is added to so many bitter formulas. How about a little licorace root? It is smooth, coats the throat and might make a harsh formula a little sweeter. I had a cold and now have a dry throat. I went to the herb room and pulled out some licorace root and it took care of the dryness and scratchy throat. Stevia is also sweet.

  30. #30
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    Reporting my findings ...

    The nurse at DS's school called me on Monday - he was in the office along with 6 other kids, all from band. Nurse was calling it a stomach virus. I got DS home, and we discovered that he has chicken pox. At first we thought he'd already had it, just couldn't remember, what with 3 kids and 5 years in between each one. We stripped his bedding, thinking we had a bug problem. Anyway, conclusive info came through about a kid with CP in school a couple weeks back.

    I started him with colloidal silver, which I give him a couple times a week anyway, then some Canada Dry ginger ale with three full droppers of elderberry extract - really yummy, guys! Twice a day for a few days and after just the first day, his yucky feeling was gone and the bumps stopped appearing. They're almost all crusted over already (as of last night when I got home) and I think he'll be back to school on Monday.

    Seemed like it stopped really quickly! Coincidence? Maybe not!

  31. #31
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    Fantastic and especially for DS. In a recent post I did say that while you still might get a bug while taking herbs, they do shorten the duration. Now start healing that skin with aloe vera gel and a little vitamin e so he does not scar.

  32. #32
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    We're going to use my colloidal silver cream and see what that does. I have an ample supply!

  33. #33
    Herbie- yeah, licorice root would work really well. I didn't mention it because of it's known effects on the adrenals... not in the tiny amounts that you're talking about, surely, but the only time I've EVER had trouble with water retention was when I went on a licorice candy binge! Seriously- I gained about 12# of water weight, even my fingers were stiff and puffy. I cut out the licorice and took dandelion for a few days, and it never came back.

    It gave me a healthy respect for licorice, I can tell you! Oddly enough, I've taken powdered licorice root capsules for gastritis without the slightest problem, though. It definitely was dose related. What I get for being a pig, right? LOL!

    But licorice is a potent soother and anti inflammatory and would probably be wonderful added to any teas or extracts you're using for a sore throat. I add it to the milk on calves who have had "scours" (diarrhea) and it seems to heal them amazingly well. Too often, a calf who has had severe scours actually ruins the lining of their intestines, and never grows well afterwards. Their ability to absorb nutrition is ruined. Licorice seems to prevent that from happening.

    Aren't herbs amazing?!

    Summerthyme

  34. #34
    Perhaps you would like the recipe for licorice spice tea that I posted here:

    http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/showthread.php?t=125849

    Very tasty and versatile.

    spinner

  35. #35
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    Summerthyme. I just went out and chewed on the root and it helped wonderfully. About the licorace candy? Was it true licorace or anise flavored candy? It is very hard to find true licorace candy now a days. The use anise as it is cheaper and very tasty.

    The only time I have heard of anyone having a problem with licorace was a women who was drinking 8 cups a day to replace her coffee jones. She also retained water like a cow.

    Im so happy your calves recovered. How interesting. Thanks for the info.

    Also thanks to spinner for the recipe. I have a special tea I make. It is for cooling heat. I get real heat from my Pita Nature. Fire nature, temper, very type A personality. Just have to be in charge. You know the type. I do not allocate very well as no one can do it better (in my pea brain mind). I cook up some hibuscus tea. It is the most beautiful garnet color and really quenches my thirst. Beautiful red blossoms.

  36. #36
    Herbie- yeah, it contained "licorice extract". I never even thought about it, because I'd always heard that it was all anise flavoring these days. I don't even remember the brand, but it was some I bought when I was in Canada. I never looked at the ingredients until I started trying to figure out what was causing all the water retention.

    I really messed up my stomach one time with heavy doses (prescribed by a doctor) of NSAID's. I mean, I was doubled over in pain from my gut nearlly 24/7, and antacids only worked for an hour or so at a time. I took licorice root capsules after several scripts from the doc (for acid control, etc) did absolutely nothing. And was completely painfree within 1 week. That was when I decided to try it on the calves...

    We rarely get a sick calf at all, but when we do, I don't even need antibiotics any more. Colloidal silver, cinnamon, licorice and electrolytes cures them every time. (and colloidal silver is one thing I NEVER thought was worth anything. Until I started experimenting with it on animals. Amazing stuff)

    Summerthyme

  37. #37
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    I was given a recipe for elderberry tincture with the finals steps beginning to fill pint jars then put in a water bath for 25 minutes. Why would you need to put this in a hot water bath?

    Country

  38. #38
    You might need to do that IF you did not use alcohol and wanted to keep the stuff a long time, but never heard of water bathing any herbal anything. The alcohol is the preservative. Sounds like just a juice not a tincture you have instructions for.

  39. #39
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    Were you to add glycerine in the final recipe? If so the water bath is used to cook down the alcohol to "Extract tincture", making the final recipe just glycerin with no alcohol.

    Like Goatlady I have not heard of this done much but it is done to change an alcohol tincture to just glycerine. Many who cannot have alcohol do this to remove the alcohol.

    This is how it is done. Say you have one ounce of tincture in your final batch. You then add one ounce food grade glycerin and now you have 2 ounces. Add the batch to a hot water bath and let cook down to just one ounce of liquid again and now you have a glycerine tincture with about 10% alcohol left.

  40. #40
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    Just a note for what it's worth. I've got a supply of Sambucol, but was really interested in the Elderberry wine. Other than having the berries and making it yourself, it's really hard to find. There are some wineries in France and England and I found 2 in the USA, but are limited on either; can only ship to a few States or you just have to go there and buy(Oklahoma), but have limited supply. Finally found a winery in Three Lakes, WI. I ordered 4 bottles

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