Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Preparing for June

 I am always looking for new home remedies to try rather than buying over the counter medications filled with strange ingredients (not to mention I have strange reactions to said over the counter medications and usually can only take a 6 year old's dose of children's medicine - if even that).  Last year, I was thrilled to find out that currant juice can be used for sore throats.  I tried it and it worked like magic.  And I just happen to have currant bushes in my yard.  The problem...what do you do in the winter when the currant bushes are sleeping?  The answer - I hope...preserve the juice!
 Basically I just boiled the currants until most of the colour was gone from the berries and put them through a sieve.  Last year, I mixed the black and red currants, but this year I used only the red because I am wanting to use the black ones in a mixed berry jam.  Unfortunately, after I made the juice, I read that it is actually the black currants that are more effective for treating sore throats...I will have to wait and see what happens.
 I tried to squeeze as much juice out as possible using a cheesecloth, but I have to admit, I ran out of patience.
 Then I just poured the juice into hot sterilized jars.  The pH of berries is probably low enough that I didn't need to actually do anything further BUT if you are making currant jelly or jam, I believe you have to put the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, so I did that with the juice just to be safe.
I used small jars because really, I am hoping that the sore throats won't last that long.  You take one tablespoon at a time as often as needed (because it is, after all, just juice).  Last year, I found that it was effective much much  longer than the kids' lozenges I usually use when I am desperate.  The three jars above is the whole yield from my bushes this year.  Next year, I am hoping the bushes will yield a little more (as they will be older) and I will again mix the black berries with the red ones to go a little farther (and ...if it is actually the case that they are more effective, then I guess that is the smart thing to do).

Note: refrigerate the jars after opening...the cold helps the sore throat too.

Anyone else have a good home remedy I can try?

Linking up with Laura William's Musings for Carnival of Home Preserving
                                                                    Wildcrafting Wednesday at Mind Body and Sole


  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous color, Natalie. I bet those pretty jars look like jewels in person.

    I am always impressed by mothers who put the extra effort into the natural route. Beyond tea with lemon and honey, I have no tricks. Inspired to try this, though.

    What I'd really like, though, is something to quell nausea and hydrate in case of stomach virus. That is my most-feared bug.

    1. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head for nausea is ginger. Ginger candies in the car are great for motion sickness, and I believe ginger tea for at home with nausea would do the trick. I find it pretty strong myself, but maybe I just make it too strong to begin with. Even just mint tea helps a lot.

  2. I had no idea that currants were good for sore throats. Very good to know. :-)

  3. I didn't know this. Great post! Thanks for linking up at the Carnival of Home Preserving!

  4. Great idea. My parents have currant bushes so maybe I could try this. I love home remedies also. Came here from Wildcrafting Wednesday.