Recipe: Herbal Spring Elixir
By HWB Member Karin Mecozzi
Taken from her book “Verde resilienza, erboristeria pratica nel cambiamento”, Natura e Cultura Editrice, 2020 by Karin Mecozzi.
Early in the morning, on a dry and windless day, take a beautiful walk in the countryside. Take with you a basket, scissors, and gloves, and as you walk, collect any of the following herbs you may find:
Dandelion leaves, root, or flowers (Taraxacum officinale)
Daisy flower (Bellis perennis)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Poplar buds (Populus spp.)
Bramble leaves (Rubus spp.)
Hazelnut buds (Corylus spp.)
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
Mint (Mentha spp.)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Wild thyme (Thymus serpyllum)
Willow bark or flowers (Salix spp.)
Yellow bed straw (Galium verum)
Cleavers (Galium aparine)
Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)
Hawthorn flower (Crataegus monogyna)
Blackberry flower (Rubus spp.)
Or any other springtime herb in your area with purifying and tonic effects – make certain you review reliable texts or ask a local herbalist.
At home, spread your findings on a white cloth, remove dry parts, pieces of earth, pebbles, twigs, insects. Put the leaves, flowers and roots cleaned on a cutting board, then chop them finely. Do this quickly, so as not to lose the juice or living vibrations of the plants. Arrange everything in a glass bowl, cover with equal parts of alcohol, water and honey and mix until blended with a wooden spoon.
Pour into a glass jar container and close tightly. Soak the jar in lukewarm water at 37 ° C (98.6 F) for one afternoon to help with the extraction of constituents (a crockpot on warm, or a yogurt machine can help with this). Afterwards, put the container in a warm place in the dark, soak the herbs for 10 days, and shake daily to mix.
After ten days filter contents through a cheesecloth and pour into dark glass bottles with dropper caps. Apply a label with the date and the names of the herbs you added. After filtering and bottling, let the elixir rest for at least two weeks, then you can use 20 drops two or three times a day, diluted in a little hot water.
The elixir can be kept for one year and is known as concentrate of “viriditas” (Hildegard von Bingen 11th century) - the vital and regenerating force of nature - given by the plants you encounter when you go for a walk.
This regenerative and traditional elixir can be repeated in the fall. Traditionally, this elixir is considered suitable for elderly people, pregnant women and children over 14, simply by decreasing the doses and diluting the drops a little more.
Please do not self dose, please consult an appropriate practitioner, especially if you are pregnant or if you plan to give a spring or fall elixir to a child.
Contribution by Karin Mecozzi.
Karin Mecozzi, Dipl. Herborist, lives in San Severino Marche, in the Apennines, Central Italy. She is Author of books in Italian and German “Ars herbaria, medicinal plants in the rhythm of the year” and “Green resilience, practical herbalism in times of changing.” Karen teaches herbalism and naturopathy, is a researcher and teacher in Goethian botany and landscape ecology, expert and counsellor in anthroposophic herbalism and naturopathy, biodynamic farming and wild medicinal herbs of the Apennines. www.karinmecozzi.com
Karen is also HWB Italy Coordinator.
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