News Roundup 12/15/17

The FCC voted to repeal Net Neutrality regulations. [Link] Regulations Fyle The Walt Disney Company is attempting to acquire 21st Century Fox. [Link] In 2017, the US sold 58% of all global weapon sales. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle Nick Turse explains how Trump has expanded on the Obama policy of using more special operations forces. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle US Amb. […]

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Tuttle Twins and the Food Truck Fiasco Review and Discount

Some background on Tuttle Twins and the Food Truck Fiasco The Food Truck Fiasco is based on the concepts found in Henry Hazlitt’s “Economics in one lesson”. This fantastic book is itself based, in part, on Frédéric Bastiat’s book ” The Law”. Hazlitt was an extensive writer in the classical liberal tradition and an admirer of Ludwig […]

The post Tuttle Twins and the Food Truck Fiasco Review and Discount appeared first on The Liberty Parent.

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News Roundup 12/14/17

Omarosa Manigault resigns her position in the Trump administration. [Link] Trump Fyle Trump’s 60-day deadline for Congress to act on the Iran nuclear deal has passed. [Link] Trump Fyle Tina Smith has been appointed to replace Al Franken in the Senate by the Minnesota governor. [Link] Doug Jones wins the Alabama Senate seat over Roy Moore. [Link] […]

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A Primer On Direct Primary Care

Direct primary care also known as concierge medicine is simply the modern way to have an actual Doctor-patient relationship. One that focuses on the patient and their needs rather than the wants of the insurance company. Direct primary care providers or concierge Doctors cut out the middlemen i.e. the insurance companies, and provide service directly to […]

The post A Primer On Direct Primary Care appeared first on The Liberty Parent.

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In Praise of Patreon

Join the MusicPreneur.Community 50: Sell What People Are Buying By Le Maestro de MusicPreneur | Dec 11, 2017 1 2 3 … 55 Next » Anyone who knows me or who follows my podcast knows that I'm an advocate unequivocally for the free market when it comes to economics. I know... Music and economics are…

The post In Praise of Patreon appeared first on MusicPreneur.

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News Roundup 12/13/17

James Bovard explains how the FBI is American’s secret police. [Link] The US Coast Gaurd is operating secret floating prisons in the Pacific Ocean. [Link] The US is using more special forces to mask the true scope of US wars. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle Trump signs the 2018 NDAA. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as […]

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News Roundup 12/12/17

A man with a pipebomb injured himself and three other people in an attempted terror attack against the New York subway. [Link] 100,000s remain in LA county jails because they are unable to pay bail. [Link] Nikki Haley, “We don’t need other countries telling us whats right and wrong.” [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle The White House […]

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Bacon-Maple-Sage Sweet Potato

As some of you may remember from this POST, we had an abundance of sweet potatoes this year.  This Thanksgiving, I decided to try a new recipe (actually, I will be trying several new recipes with the sweet potatoes that I will be sharing with you).

One of the large potatoes we grew

This recipe was inspired by Cave Girl Cuisine’s Bacon-Maple-Sage Hassleback Butternut Squash.   One of my favorite things to do, is use recipes as a spring board and put my own twist to it.  So when I didn’t have butternut squash and having an abundance of sweet potato, well….here ya go.  Enjoy!!

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Sea salt
  • 2-6 slices of bacon depending on how large the sweet potato
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, cut in thirds (you can used dried as well)
  • 1-2 tablespoons ghee or butter, melted
  • 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Brush the sweet potato with oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap the sweet potato with aluminum foil. Back until the sweet potato is just soft.
  3. Cool the sweet potato so that you can handle enough to make slices about 1/4-inch apart, cutting partially through without slicing all the way.
Sliced sweet potato. I should have sliced it a bit thinner.
  1. Cut bacon slices into about 10 pieces per slice. Randomly tuck the bacon and sage leaves into the squash slices. Brush with melted butter, ensuring it gets in between slices. Brush with maple syrup.
  2. If you are using dried sage, you can melt the butter then mix the sage and maple syrup together with the butter and brush the butter mixture on the sweet potato.  This is what I did since I did not have fresh sage.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes or until very soft and crispy.  Serve immediately.

News Roundup 12/11/17

The Trump administration has made three moves against Saudi Crown Prince MbS in the past week. [Link] Trump Fyle Max Blumenthal on Russiagate and the Flynn plea. [Link] Trump Fyle House ethics panel finds evidence of intelligence agencies abusing spying programs. [Link] Body cam video shows a police officer executing a man who was following their commands. The […]

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Jason Stapleton Program: Jason Stapleton explains the 5 Principles of Liberty

A snippet from The Jason Stapleton ShowJason Stapleton Promoting the 5 Principles of Liberty; Peace, Tolerance, Individualism, Limited Government and Free Markets. JasonsStapleton.comView on YouTubeDon't forget to follow the Unofficial Jason Stapleton Recommended Reading List Twitterbot @JasonSuggestsPurchasing your Amazon items through this search box supports libertyLOL and doesn't cost you a penny more at checkout!MORE FROM LIBERTYLOL:View RSS feed [...] ...

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The Cake-Baking Supreme Court Decision could Create new Class of Slavery

Ultimately, there are only two possible outcomes facing the American people after the Supreme Court rules in this case:1 - Some Americans will be offended.Or...2 - Some Americans will be forced into involuntarily servitude at the point of the federal government’s gun.This is really not complicated.SCOTUS will, by judicial fiat, create a de facto new “amendment” to the Constitution, allowing offended persons to enslave those who offended them, or they will simply tell the offended persons t [...] ...

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NET NEUTRALITY: Who Do You Trust More?  Government or Free Markets?

FREE BITCOIN! When you buy $100 Bitcoin through this link, you'll earn $10 of FREE Bitcoin! (IMMEDIATE 10% ROI!)Do you trust "The Government" or "The Market" more?​I have no doubt that Comcast and other large Internet Service Providers do not have MY personal best interests in mind. Not exactly.They have this thing called 'profit motive'.But in a Free Market, if they continue to screw someone over or charge too high of prices, people will stop using their services and it’s an oppor [...] ...

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News Roundup 12/8/17

Congressman John Conyers announces he will not seek reelection. Conyers endorsed his son to replace him. [Link] Senator Al Franken announces he will resign in the coming weeks. [Link] The Philadelphia government is moving forward with a bill to ban built proof glass in convenience stores. [Link] The police officer who killed Walter Scott has been sentenced […]

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News Roundup 12/7/17

The Trump Administration plans to keep 702 spying program going with or without Congressional approval. [Link] Trump Fyle Robert Perry explains how the Russiagate believers continue to push the Russia hacked the election narrative after it has been proven false several times. [Link] Russia looks to expand its influence over North Korea. [Link] Kevin Drum […]

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Tis’ the Season for Colds and Flus-Propogating and Using Elderberry

Creating a homestead that is self sustaining is one of our major goals here at Chosen Weeds.  I am very purposeful about the plants that will be growing on the farm.  They need to fill multiple purposes including, but not limited to;  medical, food, attracting beneficial insects and other animals,  good for the soil, and if they are aesthetically pleasing,well, that is just icing on the cake.

Plus I am always reminded of the clip from Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail:

Now that you have had a good laugh, let’s get down to business.

Elderberry fills many of the above qualifications.   The berries and flowers are the the edible parts of the plant (the leaves, branches, and twigs contain trace amounts of cyanide). The berries are black or very dark blue and have a sharp, sweet flavor (the berries need to be dried in order to dissipate a volatile chemical that has a rather off putting taste and can cause diarrhea and vomiting).  This makes them highly preferred for desserts, syrups, jams, jellies, spreads, and as the base for various cocktails and beverages.  The flowers attract many beneficial insects including bees.  While this is all well and good, the main reason we have started growing elderberry is for its medicinal purposes.

I will get to that in a second, but I found the history of elderberry quite interesting and is worth a mention.

History of Elderberry

Elderberry has a long history in Europe and is associated closely with the Celtic fairy lands and other mystical lands well known in the European tradition.  Thus it holds a place of respect.  The “most popular among pagan traditions modern and old is the myth of the Elder Mother, a spirit who inhabits the Elder tree and holds the power to work a variety of magics in this world [2].”  It is said to have “the ability to protect; induce vivid dreams, particularly of the Faerie realms; to heal; and to exorcise or remove negative spells and influences are among Elder’s pagan attributes[2].”

In the Christian tradition, the elderberry is said to be the tree that Judas Iscariot hung himself from.  It has even been said that it was the tree used to crucify Christ.  Thus, it has become a symbol of sorrow and death.

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek known as the “father of medicine,”  described the plant as his “medicine chest” because of the wide array of health concerns it seemed to cure.

Want to learn more about this mystical tree?  Click HERE

Medical Uses

Elderberry  has been a part of traditional medicane for hundreds of years.  “The flowers have a long-standing reputation as a treatment for all kinds of inflammatory and congestive conditions of the respiratory system, especially when these are accompanied by fever [3].”

Elderberry extract, when used within the first 48 hours of onset of symptoms,  has actually been found to reduce the duration of the flu with symptoms by an average of four days. While researching for this article I found out that during the 1995 Panama flu epidemic, the government actually employed the use of the elderberry to fight the flu [4].

Elderberry is chock-full of antioxidants and flavonoids, more so than blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, and blackberries [4].   It is these “flavonoids in the extract that bind to the H1N1 human influenza virus as well as the H5N1 avian influenza virus. A 2009 study randomized patients into two groups: One group was given four doses of 175-milligram proprietary elderberry extract daily, and the other group received a placebo daily for two days. The extract-treated group showed significant improvement in most flu symptoms while the placebo group showed no improvement or an increase in severity of symptoms. Researchers conclude that the extract is effective in controlling influenza symptoms [5].”

How to Use Elderberry

Colds and the flu/reducing fevers

“An infusion can be made to treat coughs, colds and flues, asthma and hayfever. The diaphoretic action helps to reduce fevers and thus it has often proven useful in cases of measles, scarlet fever and other infections [3]”

Dried Elder Berry Infusion:
Put 1-2 ounces of dried berries in a quart jar and fill to the top with boiling water. Steep overnight. Drink it, a half cup at a time [6].

A homemade syrup can be made to boost immune function and help recover from the flu (via Wellness Mama).

  • 2/3 cup dried black elderberries (about 3 ounces)
  • 3 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh or dried ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves or clove powder
  • 1 cup raw honey

Instructions

  1. Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey!)
  2. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
  3. Discard the elderberries (you can compost them or I give them to the chickens) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
  4. When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a quart sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
  5. Standard dose is ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

It will last about 2 weeks in the fridge.  Whatever is not used can be frozen.

Skin Irritations

“Externally an infusion of Elder-flowers can be added to the bath-water for a wonderfully refreshing bath that soothes irritable nerves and relieves itchy skin [3]”.

Eye Inflammation

“ A cool infusion can be used as an eyewash for sore or inflamed eyes[3].”

Earaches

“Earache may be relieved by means of a poultice made from the flowers. For this purpose a small linen bag is filled with flowers, briefly dipped in hot water and squeezed to press out any excess liquid before it is applied to the aching ear[3].”

Foraging for Elderberry

Many may not be aware that elderberry grows wild in many parts of the US, including here in Southeast Texas.  Stands of elderberry are most common along streams and other moist areas.  When foraging any plant, it’s important to know what you are picking and the look alikes.  There are three plants that are often mistaken for elderberry.  The first two are, “Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinense) and Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum). Chinese Privet is slightly toxic and has simple rather than compound leaves though they are all lined up so as to look a little like the compound leaves of elderberry, but smaller and not pointed at the end. Chinese Privet fruit appears in the fall/winter in grape-like clusters of dark, purple, somewhat football-shaped berries instead of the umbels of elderberry berry clusters.  Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum) produce umbel-shaped clusters of small, white flowers that look just like elderberry flowers but as with the Chinese Privet, Arrowwood leaves reveal its true identity. Arrows leaves are simple, oppositely-opposed along its branches and have toothed edges. After the flowers pass umbel-shaped clusters of grayish-purple, football-shaped berries ending in little dried flower bits appear. These fruit are edible but tasteless. [1]”

(elderberry, Chinese Privet, Arrowwod)

The third is Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata).  For a full description of Water Hemlock (the most deadliest plant in America), click HERE.

(Elderberry leaf vs Hemlock Leaf)

Propagating Elderberry

While I love foraging, I want elderberry readily available on the homestead, so when I found a bush growing, I took two small green twigs to propagate.  There are two ways to propagate from the green twigs, either with water or soil.  Either way, you want to make sure you are getting a good cutting. Focus on stems that are very green in spring [here in Southeast Texas, they have growth all year round and I was able to get a cutting in October], those that are sturdy but thinner than the older canes at the center of the clump, choosing ones that are about as big around as your little finger [7].

Water Method (this is the method I chose)

Place your trimmings (cut side down) in a mason jar and add water until they are halfway submerged. Place the jar in a sunny area for 6-8 weeks, changing the water often. Roots grown in water are more fragile than ones grown in soil,  so wait until they look sturdy before transferring. When they’re ready and there is not risk of freezing temperatures, plant the elderberry bush into quality soil.[8]”

Soil Method

Place your trimmings (cut side down) in a mason jar and add water until they are halfway submerged. Allow them to soak for 12-24 hours and then transfer them to pots filled with good, organic soil.  Keep the pots moist so that the cuttings don’t dry out. They need a humid environment to encourage growth, so either:

  • Place them in a greenhouse
  • Place a plastic bag over the top to trap moisture and create a greenhouse-like effect, then set the pot in a sunny area.

The trimmings will send out leaves and then grow roots – it can take six to twelve weeks to see significant root growth. Once it reaches the 6-8 week mark, gently tug on the cutting to assess root development. Once they’re well established and there is not risk of freezing temperatures, plant the elderberry cane (roots intact) into the soil [8]”.

Elderberry is not fussy about where is grows and so it makes for a good starting plant for the beginner homesteader.   Transplant into rich, humus soil with good drainage and adequate sunlight.  Dig a planting hole and place the new elderberry shrub into the soil with the base of the stem level with the soil line. During the first year, pinch off the flowers so that it can devote all it’s energy to establishing a good root system.

Don’t throw the flowers away though,  They can be used to make a lemonade or tea!

Sources:

  1. http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/08/elderberry.html
  2. https://www.thepracticalherbalist.com/holistic-medicine-library/elderberry-myth-and-magic/
  3. http://www.sacredearth.com/ethnobotany/plantprofiles/elder.php
  4. https://draxe.com/elderberry/
  5. http://omicron-pharma.com/pdfs/ElderberryClinicalOJPK_Published.pdf
  6. https://www.facebook.com/susun.weed/posts/10153898890169198
  7. http://gardenmama.com/article.aspx?aid=310
  8. https://www.mommypotamus.com/growing-elderberry/