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Su B wine

Hippocras: the clue is in the name. It’s basically mulled wine, but the quantities of spices that go into it are enough to give it real medicinal qualities.

Hippocrates didn’t actually invent it, but I’m sure he wouldn’t have felt his name was being used in vain.

There are lots of recipes, but this is a (slightly adapted) genuine mediaeval one, to be drunk in winter to ward off colds and chills, or with meals as a digestive at any time.


1 bottle red wine

A tablespoon each of: grated Nutmeg, whole black Peppercorns, whole Cardamom, whole Cloves, whole Caraway

A stick of Cinnamon

A chunk of fresh root Ginger

Honey and sugar to taste


Bring the wine, honey and sugar to a low simmer. Put the spices in a muslin bag and add this. Simmer very gently for 15 minutes, then cover and leave it to steep for 24 hours. Can be drunk hot or cold.
As time went on, hippocras came to be a feast drink for the better-off. It still goes down very well at parties, and it won’t leave you feeling hung over.

Happy Christmas! The herb blog will be back in early January.

Meet The Author...
Su Bristow
Who Am I?
I studied at the School of Herbal Medicine for four years, and qualified in 1989, becoming a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists ( The road to herbal medicine led from my early interest in organic gardening and healthy eating, through the study of social and physical anthropology at Cambridge, where I specialised in medical anthropology. What fascinated me was how people deal with their health problems when they have only the natural resources around them, and their own ingenuity. I went on to learn massage and reflexology, and worked at a residential naturopathic clinic, where I learned about the use of diet and other natural ways of healing. After qualifying as a herbalist, I set up practice in mid-Devon. Since then I have continued to expand my expertise, with counselling skills, first aid, and knowledge of the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of herbal medicine. Besides one-to-one consultation, I have also taught evening classes, students of the Westcountry Massage Association, and various private courses.
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