Want to learn how to use sloes, namely how to make sloe syrup, sloe juice, and sloe jam? Continue reading.
Sloe or blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is a thorny shrub with white flowers. The fruits, when ripe, are blackish-blue, like blueberries, have a sweet-astringent taste, and contain a large seed, like cherries.
What Are Sloe Berries Good For?
Sloe berries are especially good for stomach problems. The main health use for sloe berries is for stomach aches, especially gastritis (including chronic gastritis). The antiseptic and astringent healing properties of sloe berries help heal stomach wounds. They are also popularly used in old folk remedies for colitis, dysentery, food poisoning, and intestinal worms. These natural berries stimulate the immune system similar to mistletoe and can help the body recover faster after surgery. In gemmotherapy, blackthorn is a natural metabolism activator, an excellent tonic, and a fortifier of the whole body, with multiple uses.
Can You Eat Raw Sloe Berries?
Sloe berries are edible, have no contraindications, and have no side effects. They can be consumed as such, but you can also juice them, make sloe syrup, or make them into compote (like cherry or tart cherry compotes) or make a natural jam with them.
When To Pick Sloe Berries
Ideally, sloe berries are harvested right after the first autumn frost. That is somewhere around October-November, depending on your area. The reason is that fresh sloe berries are rather unpleasant to the taste, as they are very astringent. Only after the first frost are they really ripe. This was the time when, people from Eastern Europe harvested them to make syrups, compotes, and jams, or to dry and make tea with them, or eat them dried.
Use a pair of scissors and thick gloves, as the sloe bush is filled with spikes. Once harvested, wash them and spread them onto a clean sheet to dry. Leave them to dry for 3 weeks in the open air and in full sun (ideally). They are fully dry when they are no longer sticky when you squeeze them between your fingers. Then store the dried berries in paper bags in a cool place.
How to Make Sloe Berries Tea
Pour two cups of boiling water over two tablespoons of well-crushed sloe berries and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the decoction and have 100 ml, three times a day, before the main meals. If you have intestinal parasites, continue drinking the sloe berries tea for 10 days, pause for 10 days, and resume once again. Or, put a teaspoon of sloe berries in a cup of cold water, and then boil for 20 minutes. Drink 2-3 cups a day. This version of the sloe berries tea fights cough, and also works for colds and flu.
For kidney failure or kidney stones infuse a spoonful of crushed fruit in a cup of boiling water. Simmer for 15 minutes, then strain. Drink 2-3 cups a day. Or boil 4 spoons of crushed sloe berries in half a liter of water for 3 minutes. After the composition has cooled, strain and drink the entire quantity throughout the day. This is an old remedy from Russian monks.
How to Use Sloes for The Winter – 3 Healthy Ways
1. How to Make Sloe Syrup
Pour boiled and chilled water over the crushed sloe berries (you can use a meat grinder for this step), at a 10:1 ratio (100 milliliters of water for every 10 grams of fruit). Mix very well, cover, and leave for an hour and a half to soak. Fold a clean cheesecloth in four or five layers and pass the entire content through to separate the juice from the pulp. Squeeze well to the last drop. Combine the obtained sloe juice with the same amount of raw honey, and mix with a wooden spoon until the honey is fully dissolved. Pour the sloe berries syrup into amber glass jars and store in a cool place. Here is how to use it.
- Chemotherapy. Sloe syrup is recommended during chemotherapy. In this case, combine it with equal parts of rowan berries juice (Sorbus aucuparia) and St. John’s wort infusion (a tbsp of St. John’s wort to 200 ml of boiling water). You can have five to six spoons of the preparation in the morning on an empty stomach, over the course of three to four weeks.
- Diarrhea, colitis, food poisoning. Add a spoonful of sloe syrup in 50 ml of water and drink one shot three to four times a day, on an empty stomach.
- Allergies. During the first three days, mix one spoonful of sloe syrup in a cup of boiled and cooled water. Divide into three portions, and drink each portion half an hour before the main meals. For the next three days, increase the dose to two tablespoons of syrup, in the same amount of water. After the six days, pause for 10 days, and resume if needed.
2. How to Make Sloe Juice
Slow juice 1 kg of fresh sloe berries. If the sloe berries have large pits, remove them before passing the fruits through the juices. Simmer the juice for 5 minutes, leave it to cool down a bit, and add 200 g of raw honey to it. Through boiling, you get an astringent juice, that helps fights fatigue and physical exhaustion, and has a detoxifying and diuretic action. Mix well and pour the hot juice into heated bottles. Seal the bottles and store them in the pantry.
3. How to Make Sloe Jam
To make the sloe jam you need 500 g of sloe berries, 15 g of apple pectin, and 1-5 tablespoons of honey. Wash the sloe berries, strain them and put them in a pan, and simmer. Add the pectin, mixing gently with a wooden spoon. Add the honey, and continue to simmer for another 30 seconds, until the fruits soften. Pour the hot jam into pre-washed and sterile jars. Seal the jars, and place them upside down for a minute. Store the sloe jam in a cold spot, in the normal position. After opening a jar, keep it in the refrigerator, and consume it within a maximum of two weeks. Otherwise, the jam can turn moldy.
Read Also: Make Your Own Elderberry Tincture for Flu
If you’ve enjoyed learning the three simple ways how to use sloes for the winter, please share this article so more people can learn about these fantastic berries. Stay healthy, naturally!
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