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Elderberries are a rich source of vitamins A, B & C, potassium & antioxidants. They are also mildly laxative, a diuretic & diaphoretic.
Elderberries soothe sore inflamed nerves & help to improve poor circulation.
Elderberries are very useful for yeast infectionsnasal & chest congestion & hay fever.
Elderberries may also be beneficial to those suffering from HIV & the herpes virus.
Elderberries reduce the excess secretion of sinus mucus & it may bring down the swelling of inflamed mucous membranes as well.
Elderberries improve the drainage of your sinus cavities & help in decreasing nasal congestion caused by bacterial sinusitis.
Elder has anti-inflammatory, antiviral & anticancer properties.
Elderberry also strengthen the immune system & reduces the severity & duration of colds & flu while reducing congestion &  possibly making you sweat more. 
Also for cancer,asthma bronchitis.
Infusions of the fruit are said to be beneficial for nerve disorders, back pain & have been used to reduce inflammation of the urinary tract & bladder.


The fresh leaves when picked & warmed can be laid on the temples for relief of nervous headaches.
An ointment made with fresh green leaves can be used for the treatment of chilblains, sprains, bruises & wounds & was also once valued as an emollient.Leaves boiled with linseed oil makes a soothing application for haemorrhoids.
Internally an infusion of the leaves served as a treatment for dropsy,due to their diuretic properties.


Elderflower contains essential fatty acids, calcium & vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-3 & C & its healing properties have for centuries been used as a herbal remedy for coughscolds, hay fever & even rheumatism.
Elder flowers are the mildest & safest part of the plant, even mild enough for small children.

Elder also has anti-inflammatoryantiviral, anticancerdiureticlaxative insect-repellent properties.

Elderflower tea helps to eliminate the metabolic wastes & toxins from the body. This makes it useful as a detoxification aid.
It is also used to help enhance liver function & treat allergiesarthritisedema, fungal infectionsgoutheadachesliver disordersurinary disorders & toothaches.

Elderflower can be used for swine flu, bronchitis, mucus,diabetes & constipation.
It is also used to increase urine production as a diuretic, to increase sweating & to stop bleeding.

Elder tightens, tones & stops secretions in body tissue.

Elder flower tea reduces inflammation of rheumatismgout & arthritis especially when made worse by damp, cold weather.

Elder is stimulant which increases activity or efficiency of a body system or organ & acts fairly quickly.

Flowers are used for the onset of upper respiratory infection,tonsillitissinusitis,laryngitisfluaching & chills.Elderflower can be used in the beginning of eruptive diseases like measles & chickenpox as the sweating brings out the rash quickly so healing can begin.
Elderflower is also good for is scrofulapalsysyphilis, cholerasciatica & epilepsy.
It is an excellent remedy for children's disease such as liver derangement erysipelas.

The relaxant qualities of the flower is helpful to relieve bronchial spasms & catarrh, at the same time, for the asthma sufferer.

Elder flowers have a long history of use as a relaxant to soothe nerves, allay anxiety & lift depression.

The flowers make an excellent spring tonic & blood purifier. Take every morning before breakfast for a few weeks & you will feel more energetic & full of life.

Elder can be used as a natural medicine in obesity because of its laxative properties & its properties of eliminating water from the tissues.

Elderflower can help your digestive system & promote regularity.
It also corrects kidney function.

Elder tea is used for furuncleabcesseseczemasextrications, burnsswellings & urticaria.

Elderflower is also used as a gargle & mouthwash for coughscoldshoarseness (laryngitis)flumouth ulcers inflamed gums & shortness of breath.

It is used on the skin for joint painspain & swelling.

Flower infusions can be used as an eye wash for conjunctivitistwitching eyelids & tired, sore eyes.


Elderflower can lower blood sugar levels. If taken with diabetes medications, it might make blood sugar levels go too low. If you have diabetes & use elderflower, be sure to monitor your blood sugar levels carefully.
It might also interfere with blood sugar control during & after surgery. Stop using elderflower at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Elder may interact with certain medications such as chemotherapy drugs.
Pregnant & nursing women should not consume elder.

Most species of Sambcucus berries are edible when picked ripe & then cooked. However, it is important to note that most uncooked berries & other parts of plants from this genus are poisonous. Sambucus nigra is the variety of Elderberry that is most often used for health benefits as it is the only variety considered to be non-toxic even when not cooked, but it is still recommended to cook the berries at least a little to enhance their taste & digestibility.

Too high a dose of elderberries can result in vomiting, diarrhoea or other stomach upsets.
Raw & unripe berries contain cyanide, so ensure the elderberries come from a trusted source & are only consumed in recommended dosage levels.


Tea for Cold:

1 part elder flower
1 part peppermint leaf
1 part yarrow flower & leaf
Take 1 tsp of herb mixture,
pour over 1 cup of boiling water,
let herbs steep for 45 minutes, to make a very strong brew,
Sip throughout the day as needed.
This tea will help the body perspire, which will help lower a fever.
The tea can also be used to treat allergies, hay fever & sinus congestion.

Urinary Tonic Tea:

2 parts elder flower
1 part chickweed top
1 part dandelion leaf
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the 1 tsp of herb mix,leave for 10-15 min.
Drink ½-1 cup once or twice daily to tone & nourish the urinary system.
This tea can be helpful for those who are prone to urinary & bladder infections.

Elderflower syrup:

100 elderflower heads
5 kg sugar
8-10 lemons,washed
5 l water
2-3 tbsp citric acid
Place the elderflower heads,sliced lemons & citric acid in a bowl & mix.
Boil the water & sugar until sugar is completely dissolved.
Take the syrup off the heat & pour over the flowers.
Cover the bowl & let it stand in cool place for 5 days.
Wash & sterilize the bottles.
Strain it through a fine-meshed sieve lined with cheesecloth & bottle the elderflower syrup.
Stores in the cool place for months.
To serve, add a small quantity to a jug with some fresh lemon juice. Serve chilled with ice cubes & slices of lemon. Very refreshing in summer.

Strawberry & Elderflower Jelly With Strawberry Sauce & Vanilla Ice Cream:

200 ml elderflower syrup
200 ml water
250 g strawberries,sliced
1 lemon,juice
12 g gelatin + 100 ml water
Mix together syrup,strawberries,lemon juice & water.
Pour into the cup 100 ml of boiling water & scatter gelatin over,stir until completely melted.
Stir the gelatin mixture into the strawberry mixture.
Spoon it all into the serving glasses & put into the fridge to set for few hours.

Strawberry sauce:
150-200 g strawberries
50-100 g sugar
Using a fork, mash strawberries & sugar into a pulp.
Serve the jellies with strawberry sauce & vanilla ice cream.

Elderflower Liqueur recipe from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Elderflower Tea :

Take a handful of Elder flowers & pour over a cup of hot water.
Steep for 30 minutes & drink slowly as you relax in a cool, shady place.
It will make you feel better & give you more energy.

For headache & sick stomach from over exertion in the hot sun:
Pour 3½ cups of boiling water over the 2 handfuls of flowers.
Allow to steep for 30 minutes, then sweeten to taste.
Drink hot, right before bed.

To fight off the early stages of flu, use the same method but use equal parts elderflower & peppermint.

In combination with gentian root, verbena, cowslip flower & sorrel, elderflower is used for maintaining healthy sinuses & treating sinusitis.

Elderberry Liqueur from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Elderberry Syrup:

1 kg elderberry berries,wooden bits removed
1 l water
500 g sugar
juice of 1 lemon
Place berries into the big pan with water,boil on low heat for 15-20 min or until berries are cooked.
Press it through the sieve.
Pour the juice into the clean pan,add sugar,bring it to the boil on low heat for some 15 min,or it starts to thicken.
Add lemon juice.
Boil for couple of minutes,then take it off the heat.
Pour the syrup into the sterilized bottles or jars,close airtight.
Store in cool place for up to 1 year.
Makes 1 l syrup..
Syrup contains in big amounts of vitamin A & C that helps to strengthen the immune system, coughs, colds, flu, bacterial infections, viral infections, tonsilitis, lower cholesterol, improved vision & heart health.
Can be used for desserts & drinks.
Take syrup 1 tbsp 2 x a day.

Canned Elderberries:

4 cups elderberries
1/2 cup sugar
Heat the berries over a low fire until the juice begins to run.
Add the sugar & cook until the liquid boils & all the sugar is dissolved.
Pour the mixture at once into hot, sterilized jars & seal.

Elderberry Jelly:

1.8 kg elderberries
140 ml water
2 lemons, juiced
500 g sugar
Gently wash the fruit with cold water. 
Pull the berries off their stems & put in a saucepan. 
Crush well to release plenty of juice, then add the water. 
Bring to the boil, cover & simmer for about 15 minutes or until tender.
Strain the berries & measure the liquid. 
Take 400 g sugar to every 500 ml of juice.
Heat the elderberry juice, lemon juice & sugar gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat & quickly bring to the boil. 
Boil vigorously, stirring regularly, until it reaches setting point.
Remove the jelly from the heat. 
Skim off any scum & pour the hot jam into the warm, sterilized jam jars. 
Close airtight.
Store in a dark, cool place.


Elderflower helps fade freckles & skin blemishes.
It can also been used as facial toner due to its ability to soothe dry skin & lessen irritation.

Adding elder flowers to your bath is said to soften & lighten skin.

Elderflower water has been used to lessen the appearance of eczema, psoriasis & freckles.
Take 5 cups of fully open elder flowers, remove stalks & pour 1 ¼ cups boiling water over top.
Cover & let steep for a few hours, then strain.

To make a face cleanser, combine
5 tbsp of elder flower heads, washed & dried &
16 tbsp natural yogurt in a pot.
Simmer for a half hour over very low heat, then remove & let sit for 5 hours.
Reheat, strain & add 1 ½ tbsp melted clear honey, whipping for a few minutes until combined.
Apply to face & remove with cotton balls or a soft cloth, then store remainder in the refrigerator.

Elderflower Cleanser:

150 ml natural yogurt
6 elderflower heads
1 tbsp runny honey

Wash the elderflower heads & cut off as much of the green stem as possible.
Place them with the yogurt in a pan & simmer over a very low heat for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat & leave for 4 hours.
Reheat the mixture, then strain & add the honey, whipping as the mixture cools.
Apply to the face with cotton wool & rinse off with warm water.
Keep in airtight jars in the fridge for up to 7 days.


The most auspicious time to encounter fairies in medieval times was held to be on Midsummer's Eve under an elderflower bush, where it was believed that the Fairy King & Queen, together with their retinue, could be seen passing.

Elder was commonly used to make wands & flutes made of wood from an elder tree were used to summon spirits.

Elder twigs were also woven into head-dresses to enable the wearer to see spirits & undo evil spells.

To this day, on the Isle of Man, every cottage has an elder growing outside its front door to ward off witches.

Some believed, however, that witches liked to turn themselves into elder trees, perhaps because of the knobbly & gnarled bark.
In Shropshire, it was said that someone in the family would die if you burnt elder wood on the fire.

And in Scotland, it was said the elder grew only where blood had been spilled - which, given that country's history, explains why it grows almost everywhere.

No furniture should ever be made of elder,especially no cradle,for some harm will certainly befall the child sleeping in it.

In Sweden,expectant mothers kiss the elder tree for good fortune in the coming issue.

To tamper with an elder tree after dark is bad luck,because witches love to lurk under it.

Some people believe that to have an elder tree near the house is a sign of prosperity.
It is unlucky to burn the elderwood.

Chew an elder twig & then stick it in the wall,saying:"Depart,thou evil spirit," & it will cure your toothache.

A bit of green wood of elder,carried in the pocket,will cure rheumatism.

It is said that when the elder is cut,it bleeds,weeps & begins to speak.Therefore it is thought that within it is imprisoned a living soul.

According to legend, the Elder tree was the home of tutelary household gods & it was therefore planted near houses or stables. It was probably respect for the gods dwelling in the tree that led to the belief that certain death awaited anyone who felled an Elder.
Before picking leaves or flowers people would ask the shrub's permission to as not to anger it & make it lose its healing powers.
In Sweden people say that on Midsummer Night the King of Fairyland with his entire retinue can be seen under the Elder tree, which is also said to be the gate to the underworld.

As Hel was revered, amongst other things, as goddess of death, the Elder also played an important role in death cults. Thus, Elder wood was used to make crosses for graves, the dead were laid out on Elder branches & Elder tea was drunk during the wake.
In the Tyrol, Elder branches are still put on graves today. If the branches sprout this is considered a sign that the dead person has been welcomed into the realm of the dead.

It is hardly surprising that a tree which is home to so many good spirits is said to have healing powers. People would bury objects such as items of clothing or milk teeth in its shade to protect the owner from evil spells & disease & spells were used to try to divert an illness from a sick person into the Elder bush.
Or people would wear a piece of Elder wood close to the body to ward off illness.

Take an elder twig & knot it thrice. Enchant it by visualization & spoken spell & then carry it in your pocket.

A favorite remedy against rheumatism came in the form of a charm or amulet, which was made by tying several knots into a young Elder-twig that had to be carried close to the body.
Elder twigs were also believed to cure warts. For this purpose the wart was rubbed with a freshly cut twig, which thereafter had to be buried in mud & left to rot.

A typical practice noted for the Elder tree was to take a measure of 3 spoons from a sick person's bath-water & to pour this liquid onto the roots of the tree. Many illnesses, from epilepsy to pneumonia could be cured in similar ways.

To cure epilepsy the sufferer had to go & lie down under an Elder tree upon the first attack, whilst for pneumonia it was recommended that the person should lie face down under an Elder-tree, with out stretched arms. Another person should measure him from one hand to the other & from head to toe with a piece of string. The string was then to be hung from the tree & when it had rotted away the pneumonia was supposed to be cured.

Elder Tree is guarded by a female spirit & it is unlucky to bring the wood into the house.
If you want to use the wood you have to ask permission from the supposed spirit living in the tree.
In Germany & England it is thought to be unlucky to bring the wood into a house as this would bring ghosts or devils into the home & the wood is rarely used for practical applications.
In Scotland the wood was hung above doors & windows to guard against evil spirits. 

The wood was said to reveal sorcerers & witches in an area if burned on a particular date. 
Christmas Eve in North America & St John’s Eve in other locations.

Dream of Elder was deemed to be an omen of sickness.

This post first appeared on HERBAL PICNIC, please read the originial post: here

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