Tuesday 6 August 2013

elderflower drinks

To avoid any issues here are some links to where I got recipes





I have made these drinks for the past few years starting off with a recipe in a book which unfortunately I lost.

This year we have made all three

For elderflower champagne I used

4 litres of hot water
700 grams of sugar
the juice of  4  lemons
the zest or skin grated off the 4 lemons first
two lemons sliced into the mix (my addition)
the half lemons squeezed for the juice added
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
about 20 elderflower heads in full flower and as cut from the bush with scissors (minus bugs)

The water was poured over the sugar and stirred to dissolve it in a fermenting bucket (any really clean bucket will do). I use sterilising fluid bought from wine making shops or wilkingsons as a powder and made up to really clean mine.

Vicky stirring the mix


                                                                       lemon zest grated

you add the lemon zest lemon juice and in my case remains and slices of lemon to the bucket
add two tablespoons of white wine vinegar
and throw in your elderflower heads

cover with a damp cloth muslin is best but a tea towel works fine
Leave for about a week as it starts to ferment some people add a pinch of wine or champagne yeast after a day but I find the natural yeasts on the flower heads work well

Use a funnel and I find a metal sieve very useful with muslin in the sieve then pour the liquid into bottles .

I use grolsch top bottles **There is a risk of bottles exploding and these stoppers stop that happening**

you should get bubbles its best to leave a small air gap otherwise the drink will leak as it bubbles

Wednesday 8 February 2012


A lectin was isolated from elder (Sambucus nigra) bark by affinity chromatography on
fetuin-agarose. It is a tetrameric molecule (Mr 140000) composed of two different
subunits of Mr 34500 and 37500 respectively, held together by intramolecular
disulphide bridges. The lectin is a glycoprotein and is especially rich in asparagine/
aspartic acid, glutamine/glutamic acid, valine and leucine. It is also the first lectin
isolated from a species belonging to the plant family Caprifoliaceae.

Examples for the usage of glutamine

In catabolic states of injury and illness, glutamine becomes conditionally-essential (requiring intake from food or supplements). Glutamine has been studied extensively over the past 10–15 years and has been shown to be useful in treatment of serious illnesses, injury, trauma, burns, and treatment-related side-effects of cancer as well as in wound healing for postoperative patients.[8] Glutamine is also marketed as a supplement used for muscle growth in weightlifting, bodybuilding, endurance, and other sports. Evidence indicates that glutamine when orally loaded may increase plasma HGH levels by stimulating the anterior pituitary gland.[9] In biological research, L-glutamine is commonly added [10] to the media in cell culture.

[edit] Aiding recovery after surgery

It is also known that glutamine has various effects in reducing healing time after operations. Hospital-stay times after abdominal surgery can be reduced by providing parenteral nutrition regimes containing high amounts of glutamine to patients. Clinical trials have revealed that patients on supplementation regimes containing glutamine have improved nitrogen balances, generation of cysteinyl-leukotrienes from polymorphonuclear neutrophil granulocytes, and improved lymphocyte recovery and intestinal permeability (in postoperative patients), in comparison to those that had no glutamine within their dietary regime, all without any side-effects.[11]

Valine is an amino acid necessary for human health. It is known as a branched chain amino acid (BCAA). This amino acid functions as a stimulant and promotes muscle repair. It was first isolated in 1901 by Emil Fischer, a German chemist. Foods such as fish, cottage cheese, poultry, mushrooms, and brown rice are all high in this amino acid.
Also known as Val or simply V, this is one of the three BCAAs which are required for the human body to function properly. Leucine and isoleucine, in combination with it, account for 70% of the amino acids present in a human body's proteins. Valine is responsible for encouraging normal human growth, repairing tissue, and regulating blood sugar. A lack of this amino acid results in diminished mental functioning.
This substance is known as an essential amino acid, which means that the body cannot produce it on its own, and that dietary sources are necessary. It is possible to be deficient in valine, despite the abundance of natural sources available. Individuals on low-fat diets and those who do a great deal of strength training may need supplements, as they may not be getting enough of it in their food, or may be outstripping its ability to repair muscle tissue. A lack of it in the human body can cause nerve damage by degrading the nerves' myelin coverings, and this can lead to neurological disorders.