As humans, we are all susceptible to feeling the winter blues. Since working in the sector, I’ve noticed that a lot of gardeners or outdoor folk suffer from a type of seasonal affective disorder (SAD); and I certainly know how difficult it can be to get through those last February weeks. One of my personal suspicions is that technological and societal developments, through the ages, seem to have upset a natural routine that is very common in the animal kingdom – hibernation. Alas, in a modern world, playing Persephone and disappearing for 6 months of the year is certainly not practical, so this spring elixir is designed to give you a little pick-me-up!
The focal plant in this recipe is Ribes sanguineum. Holistically, the plant is said to give energy & courage to those who have lost heart; it lifts seasonal blues and helps us to release fear & sadness. The smell of Ribes in the late winter/early spring always makes me emotional in a weird nostalgic way. I can’t quite put my finger on the feeling but i’d compare it to a big hug after a long hard hike – so comforting. Before harvesting Ribes for your elixir, take a minute to breath in it’s fragrance (which, according to folk law, pierced the soul from it’s deep winter slumber).
- Ribes sanguineum
- Blossom of choice (I used Prunus spinosa)
- An orange or lemon
- Vodka or gin
- Grate the orange peel into a jar to create a fine zest.
- Add the petals of, both, the Ribes and blossom.
- Pour in your white spirit of choice to cover the flowers.
- Heat the honey in a pan with some of the left over Ribes flowers.
- Pour the warm honey mixture into the jar with the rest of the remedy and stir.
- Place the lid on the jar and leave for roughly 1 month.
- As your month is nearly up, add some new Ribes petals into a bowl of water and leave to soak in the sunshine whilst setting some positive intentions.
- Combine the elements together and stir.
- Using some muslin cloth, strain the petals from the liquid and rebottle as required!
I hope this liquid sunshine brings you the magical boost you need; try 2 drops under the tongue when you’re feeling blue x
Disclaimer: Introducing wild plants into your life is fun, but you need to be 100% sure of your identification and cautious of your own allergies. These pages serve more as a diary of remedies I have tried rather than suggestions.