Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar
This recipe also works well for other fruits such as blaeberries, blackcurrants and raspberries.
Remove the elderberries from their umbels using a fork or place them in the freezer and remove the berries easily while they are still frozen. I accumulate berries in my freezer in dribs and drabs throughout autumn then make a big batch.
Weigh the berries before placing them in a suitable container then add 500ml of white wine vinegar for every 350g of fruit.
Leave covered for 3-5 days, stirring occasionally.
Strain off the liquid (discard the berries) and add 350g of sugar per 260ml of liquid.
Simmer for 10 minutes then bottle.
The delicious sweet vinegar will keep very well. Keeps well until next years crop, if it lasts that long!
Garlic & Onion Honey
Crush, chop or squash 4 or 5 garlic cloves (there’s no exact science to this). Chop some onion, add some chopped fresh chilli or dried chill flakes. Cover with Honey. Mix it round. Leave for at least a few hours (shake occasionally) before starting to use. You can take a spoonful of the honey after a few hours. But best to leave overnight, then strain and Keep in fridge. Should last a few weeks, you’ll start to taste when it’s time to make a new one, it goes a bit stale.
Sabines Cough Syrup
Soothing, Antiseptic, expectorant. Thins out mucus and opens bronchi. Use for chesty, deep cough, tightness and sore throat.
15g dried thyme
8g dried sage
2 teaspoons fennel seed
1 teaspoon aniseed
2 garlic cloves
Pinch cayenne or ginger
450g honey or sugar
Put herbs and water into a pan and bring to boil. Cover with well fitting lid and reduce heat. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Allow liquid to cool slightly then strain into a pan. Press herb to extract as much liquid and goodness as possible. Discard herbs.
Return liquid to the heat and simmer until reduced to 200ml. The slower the reduction the better.
Add the sugar/honey to the pan. Dissolve slowly and simmer for a few minutes. Stirring all the time until you reach a syrupy consistency. Pour syrup into clean bottles and label with date, name and dosage. (Adult 2-3 teaspoons 3-6xdaily, child 1 teaspoon 3-6x daily) 
Geoff’s chest oil
Use for dry irritable and infected coughs, chest tightness, shoulder tension and asthma.
Rub all over chest, front and back, especially between the shoulder blades, before bed and in the morning.
8g Dried Thyme
8g Dried lavender
3 cloves crushed garlic or 1 sliced onion
1 chamomile teabag (optional if restlessness an issue)
Pinch ground ginger
300ml vegetable oil
Add half of each ingredient to all the oil into a container which has a tight lid (jam jar etc), put this container into a pan with water (double boiler) and simmer for 2 hours. You can put 2-3 jars in the water together. Double boiling allows prolonged heated without damaging the oil. Allow mixture to cool slightly then strain.
This is half way through the process- at this strength the oil can be used for infants, elderly, directly on the skin or as a bath oil.
Discard spent herb.
Put remaining ingredients into jar, add infused oil, replace lid, and return to double boiler. Simmer for another 2 hours. Check water levels. When jar cooled enough, strain again.
If using fresh herbs there may be watery liquid at the bottom of the oil, this must be thrown away otherwise it will deteriorate and quickly spoil the oil.
[Hedley, C. Shaw,N. 1996.Herbal Remedies-A practical beginers guide to making effective remedies. Parragon Books. GB]