Elderflower is part of the Elder plant that is a flowering plant of the Adoxaceae family. The elderflower comes into season in the Northern Hemisphere end of May to early June. Numerous growing conditions accommodate this plant, including dry and wet soils; however, they are more inclined to grow in sunny environments.
The flowers are white in color, with five small petals. These flowers are juicy, highly aromatic and fragranced. Often used as a flavoring ingredient in many foods and drinks, its medicinal properties and benefits sometimes go overlooked.
Health Benefits of Elderflower
The extract of the elderflower is used to make medicine. This medicine helps stop bleeding, relieve symptoms associated with the common cold and the flu, and is used to alleviate swollen sinuses. It is also used to help with diabetes and constipation. Used as a diuretic, it increases urine production; used as a diaphoretic, it increases sweat production.
Used as a mouthwash to gargle, elderflower relieves sore throats, coughs, laryngitis and shortness of breath. Applying it on the skin helps ease joint pain, swelling and pain, in general. Some use elderflower in the eye to soothe dry, red eyes.
Elderflower is used as a flavoring agent in foods and beverages. Because of its aroma and fragrance, it is added into perfumes and lotions.
How to Use Elderflower
To incorporate elderflower into foods and beverages, the flowerheads can easily be collected and plucked from the plant. To make tea, boil hot water over a tablespoon of the elderflower, cover it and wait approximately five minutes. Add raw honey for a calming effect and it’s ready to drink. This tea is great for detoxing and speeding up the healing process during a cold or flu.
To make oil that fights swelling and inflammations, fill a jar half full with dried elderflower and then add olive oil. Let sit in dark area and shake jar every few days. After a few weeks, strain the flowers out and store the oil in a dark place, until needed for use.
Alternatively, you can buy pre-blended teas, tinctures, dried whole herb, and syrups at health food stores.