BLACTHORN / SLOE




The fruit & leaves contain Vitamin C, organic acids, tannins & sugars.


The plant is good for nosebleeds, constipation & eye pain.
Tea can be used to treat minor gallbladder problems, skin complaints, catarrh, stone formations.
The flowers & fruit make a good tonic for bowel problems & as a diuretic & laxative .
Blackthorn flower can be used to treat colds, breathing conditions, cough, fluid retention, general exhaustion, upset stomach, kidney & bladder problems & constipation,also to treat & prevent stomach spasms,to cause sweating.
Blackthorn flower can also be used in blood cleansing teas.

Boil the leaves for a mouthwash or to sooth the throat from tonsillitis or laryngitis.
It is also good for circulation, blood strengthening & nutrient absorption.

A decoction prepared from the shrub's bark helps to lower fever.

Sloe berries  are astringent, stimulate the metabolism, clean the blood & are used as a laxative & diuretic.
Dried fruits can treat bladder, kidney & stomach ailments.
They help with indigestion, eczema, herpes, allergies, colds, catarrh, neurosis, weak heart, kidney stones, skin, bladder & prostrate problems.
Sloe syrup has anti-rheumatic properties & can help fight flu.
Blackthorn berry is used as a gargle for mild sore throat & mouth.
Sloe berries can be made into a paste for whitening teeth & removing tartar.

The berries taste better  if harvested after a few frosts.

PRECAUTIONS:

All species of this class enclose amygdalin ,a bitter cyanogenic glucoside extracted from the apricot & plum seeds & prunasin,the crystalline cyanogenetic glucoside found in various plants of the genus Prunus matters that disintegrate into water to produce hydrocyanic acid,also called cyanide or prussic acid.
This is an extremely poisonous substance, but when taken in small dosages, the chemical kindles breathing, enhances digestion & also induces a feeling of health & happiness.



RECIPES:

The syrup & wine of the blackthorn berry are used as a diuretic.
A marmalade made from the berry is used for upset stomach.
Dried blackthorn flowers are also used as herbal teas.

Sloe blossoms tea:

Steep 1 tsp of flowers in a cup of boiling hot water for a 10 min.
Take the tea daily for 3-4 days
Safe, harmless, laxative medicine will act gently, painlessly & thoroughly.
Take in the morning or night to cure inflammation of the mouth & throat.

Sloe Syrup:

Take an equal quantities of sugar, sloes & water.
Place all the ingredients into a saucepan & gently simmer for about 40 minutes until the sloes have burst & you have a beautiful deep purple syrup.
Pass through a sieve & then strain again through a cheese cloth.
Bring to boil again briefly & bottle airtight.
Keep in the fridge & use within a week, or freeze.

Blackthorn blossom syrup:

275 ml cold water
220 g Blackthorn blossoms
200 g sugar
Place the blossoms in a saucepan with the water & bring to the boil, then drain the liquid through a sieve into a large bowl or jug.
Return the water to the pot add the sugar & bring to the boil.
Pour into a jar or bottle & seal.

Sloe Berry & Crab Apple Jelly:

2 kg sloe berries
1 kg crab apples
Take sugar 500 g to each 500 ml of the strained fruit juice.
Wash & cut the crab apples into half.
Put into pan.
Rinse sloes & add to the pot.
Cover with water & cook over a gentle heat until the sloes have burst & the crab apples are mushy.
Strain though a jelly bag over night. Do not squeeze.
Measure the juice & add the correct amount of sugar.
Boil for few minutes. Test to see if it has reached setting point. A little on a cold plate should wrinkle after a minute.
Pour into warm sterilized jars.
Cool before covering tightly.

Sloe Schnapps:

Use fresh & fully ripe sloes,even 1-2 unripe sloes will ruin the taste.
Pick them right after the first frost.
Put them in the freezer for a couple of days.
Or pick them when they are fully ripe but before the frost & freeze them for a week or more.
Frost makes sloes sweeter & milder.

Rinse the sloes carefully & remove all stems.
Leave them to dry.
Freeze them for a week or more.
Use a clean glass jar with tight-fitting lid.
Fill the jar with frozen sloes.
Fill up with 40% (80 proof) vodka.
Steep for 3-8 weeks in a dark place at room temperature.
Shake lightly & taste it from time to time.
Strain & filter your infusion into a clean glass bottle or jar with tight-fitting lid.
Age for 2 -3 weeks in a dark place at room temperature before serving.
You may need to filter once more.
Keep your schnapps bottle tightly closed & in a dark place.

Sloe Gin:

500 l of good Gin
225 g of sugar
450 g of Sloes
The Sloes should be picked after the first frosts for a better taste.
Alternatively keep the sloes in a freezer for a few days.
Prick the sloes.
Place everything into the jar,seal,shake well & store in a dark place.
Shake well each day for the first 2 weeks & then every 4-5 days ensuring the sugar is mixed.
Gin will be ready for the Christmas festivities.


MAGIC:

The Blackthorn has such a power for magick, that in Irish folklore it has its own faery tribe to guard it. They are called Lunantisidhe or Lunantishee, spiky, angry creatures who will curse you should you be foolish enough to try to cut wood from the trees at the day of old new year- Samhain (Nov 11th) & the old May Day, Beltane (May 11th ).

Blackthorn in bloom is considered an emblem of life & death together as the flowers appear when the tree has no leaves, just black bark & thorns.

Blackthorn can be used against evil outsiders & demons in the same way garlic can be used to repel vampires.
They can be grown as hedges or simply gathered & strewn about an area.

It is extremely unlucky to bring blackthorn blossoms into the house.
A blossoming branch from this plant is believed to precipitate an illness or death in the family when brought indoors.
It was also bad luck to wear the flowers in your buttonhole.

Wand can be used for protection from fire & for general protection.
The wood makes a good divining rod.

Use the dried wood, thorns & berries in a herbal incense to banish negativity & for purification.
If the malicious influences are very strong, burn the incense for 7 days at noon & midnight.

Pop a thorn or dried berry into your charm bag for added protection from negative spirits & to attract positive powers.

Returns evil to sender.
The thorns are used for sticking into black figure candles or poppets of enemies that will not leave you alone,to punish.
Blackthorn was often used for binding & blasting.
Blackthorn wand with fixed thorns on the end, used to cause harm to others.
Another belief was that a carved rod carried by Devonshire witches was thought to cause miscarriage.

Hung over doorways or carried, the sloe wards off evil  & calamity, banishes demons & negative vibrations.

In England, a wreath or globe of Blackthorn twigs would be scorched on a fire on New Year’s morning & then burned in a wheat field in the furrows & its ashes scattered over the wheat.
Then a new globe or wreath would be made & hung in the farmhouse kitchen ready for next year.
It was believed that this ritual would rid the field of the devil.
In a similar vein, Blackthorn would be scorched & hung up with mistletoe for good luck.

On the Isle of Man it is believed that if the Blackthorn & the Hawthorn have many berries then the winter will be severe.

Protection Spell:

Carefully gather a few thorns from the tree.
On a piece of paper,write the name of the person or situation from which you seek protection & wrap it around the thorns.
Bury this in the ground,if possible near the tree from which the thorns were collected.



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