Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Monday, September 19, 2016

Bilberries ~ Eye Tea, Tincture, Vinegar, and Syrup

The older I get the more research I have been doing on all sorts of fruits and vegetables, in relation to a healthy body, good eyesight, fighting off illness and diseases, and so forth.

I originally started researching bilberries due to the amount of goodness it can do for your eyes and veins (varicosities)

A few years back, when I was looking at all sorts of herbal tea infusions, I found one for "eye health" and have a jar in my pantry all year long.  I still felt it wasn't enough of the bilberry, so I started doing more.

Here is the recipe I use for "Eye Health Tea"
~ 1 Tbsp. each, dried bilberries, Buchers Broom root, Freshly grated ginger root

Add to 3 cups cold water and bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes and drink hot or cold.

Note:  I mix my bilberries and buchers broom in a jar, and have it ready to simply add the ginger.   

Next, the tincture.  Bilberries can be a quick remedy for diarrhea and other issuesThis is one more tincture to prepare for flu season (the kids can bring home some very nasty germs from school). Mountain rose Herbs explains how to make tinctures very well.  Check them out online if you do not have access to books from your library.

You can read all about the health of bilberries here:  Bilberry: A True Blue Friend.

With cataracts an issue with both my parents (have no idea if bad eyes can be inherited), but I decided to jump on the bilberry "band wagon" just as a precaution.  Also, I have varicose veins and decided, after finding this out, that I would like to add them to my diet, other than just hot teas.

So.....I made a jar of bilberry vinegar (left in the photo).  This can be added to my salads and used as you would a fruit or balsamic vinegar.  I believe the recipe is in the link I shared as well- 1 cup of berries to 1 quart of apple cider vinegar.  However, I found out that infused vinegar will last about 5 months.  They also, are not as potent as the tincture.

A food blogger made the vinegar adding sugar:  For Forks Sake blogspot. 

Mine is simply vinegar and bilberry.

What else did I make?

I also made the syrup the article talked aboutHowever, I made it using the recipe Mountain Rose Herbs has online:  How to Make Elderberry Syrup (you can substitute the berry).  We do not eat pancakes or waffles every week, and this syrup will last 6-8 months in the refrigerator.  I think I could also use it to sweeten a smoothie or keifer naturally as well.  Or yogurt maybe. Or even iced tea.

I did not have enough bilberries, so I made up the difference with elderberries.   

Oh my gosh it is good too.  Made with berry juice and honey, a bit of cinnamon and freshly grated ginger.  The family loves it. 

I topped our sausage patties with the Grit Magazine BBQ sauce recipe.  Oh  my gosh!  So good!  Loved, loved, loved it all, and finally found a healthy syrup that benefits us all, and helps prevent premature aging due to stress (according to the linked article).  We all know we all have stress at some point in our lives.

I had to purchase my bilberries.  I am not sure that I can grow them here, since we cannot grow blueberries, but I will have to give it a try next spring.  Hopefully, my elderberry tree will finally have berries next year too. 

I hope you enjoyed my bilberry experience.  I will update if the tincture is used on anyone sick.  I will be tickled pink if the tincture works as well as Imodium AD.  That would be one less over-the-counter drug I'll have in my medicine cabinet.  I'm already intrigued with another food item.  I'll be back soon to share that one too.



Susan said...

Mountain Rose Herbs is a great source - almost as great as you are! That is interesting about bilberries. My blueberries are so-so, so I'd have to really think about growing bilberries. I'm trying to stock up my herbal medicine cabinet for this winter.

RB said...

Wonder what Bilberries taste like, and do you drink the eye tea or put it in your eye?
We got about 1-1/3" of rain today for which we are very greatful as we'd gone over a week with nary a drop of rain before this.
Prayers everyone has a GREAT week, and a SAFE one too.
God bless.

Kristina said...

Susan, we've already used our mullein tincture due to germs the kids get at school and bring home. I can only buy dried blueberries, but the syrup was very good.

Kristina said...

RB, you drink the tea. It has a similar flavor to blueberries, but has different health benefits.

Sam I Am...... said...

I learn something from you every time! Thank you! It all sounds delicious and healthful too!

Kristina said...

You are welcome!