When I was a child growing up in the rural south of the U.S., there were abundant vines of wild blackberries growing all over the countryside near our home. We would pick almost every day during the height of the season, and would have enough for my mother to prepare them in various ways.

She would make a blackberry pie or cobbler more often than not. But what we really appreciated in the middle of the next winter, at which point many of my siblings and I experienced stomach upset, was the fact that she had made blackberry juice–quarts of it during the summer months and put away just for this purpose. For whatever reason, blackberry juice helps sooth an upset stomach better than anything else I have ever tried. And, sorry folks, those commercially available berries on the market just don’t have the same effect.

So, if you have an opportunity to find some wild blackberries along the side of the road, please take advantage of their superior flavor…and if you can find enough, make a jar of juice for the winter flu season.