As I said in my last post, late summer is associated with the element of Earth. The organs associated with Earth are the Stomach and Spleen, very appropriate considering that this is also harvest time. Another of my favorite times for foraging.
Normally, around now, I would be encouraging my acupuncture patients to be out collecting elderberries for their excellent anti-viral qualities. (To learn more, see this previous post, inducing recipes). However, this year, for some reason the elder trees around us the least, don’t seem very happy. There has been a poor crop and much of the fruit that has form has already been gobbled up by the birds.
As birds can access resources on the internet, I have decided to forgo elderberries this year and turn my attention to something there is always an abundance of – blackberries.
Since I started foraging in earnest, I’ve been a bit sniffy about the humble blackberry. I mean, they’re just so ordinary and as a gardener it is hard not to resent them somewhat, for all the painful hours removing splinters.
However, I recently read in How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger that blackberries actually contain 20 times the antioxidant load of blueberries. Yes blueberries. It’s all in the pigment, see, and blackberries really are black. And free. And everywhere. And easy to identify.
Anti oxidants are important because they scoop up and remove damaging free radicals from the body. Free radicals have an unpaired electron in their outer shell – think of them like the hooked bit of Velcro – left to their own devises they tend to damage the things they come in contact with, but anti oxidants are like the soft side of the Velcro, their chemical structure allows them to attach to the free radicals and safely clear them away. All in an ordinary blackberry…
So grab yourself a basket and take the kids out for a walk…