Elderflower (Sambucus Nigra)
Elder, or Sambucus nigra, is a plant native to most of Europe, North America, and southwest Asia. Its flowers and berries have a long history of use in traditional European medicine, homebrewing, and even cosmetics.
Elderflower is used to support the immune system during the early stages of infection due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, to help in managing fever, soothe coughs, clear congestion, or against swollen sinuses (sinusitis), colds, influenza (flu), swine flu, bronchitis, diabetes, and constipation. It is also used to increase urine production (as a diuretic), increase sweating (as a diaphoretic), and stop bleeding.
Elderflower is also used as a gargle and mouthwash for said coughs, colds, hoarseness (laryngitis), flu, and shortness of breath. It is used on the skin for joint pain (rheumatism), is capable of alleviating allergies, and is also known to lower blood sugar levels, very similar to the way insulin works, as well as help reduce cholesterol.
Elderflowers have historically been infused into ales, cordials, vinegar, and water. Cosmetic recipes have also been known to include elderflower as an ingredient. The flowers or berries of elder are employed for their healthful benefits.
These dried elderflowers are ideal for a wide range of homebrewing recipes like beer, cider, kombucha, and herbal wines, as they create more complexity and enhance the flavor. Great for spirits like gin, tinctures, summer ales, sweet syrups, or to flavor jellies and ice creams. Cooked with gooseberries or rhubarb they add a Muscat wine flavor to the finished dish.
◉ 1-3 teaspoons of loose tea (or 3g up to 3 times) daily. If more than one herbal mixture is consumed at the same period of time, reduce the amount of tea accordingly.
◉ When herbs are used for an extended period of time, it is suggested to consume a herbal remedy with a ratio of 3 to 1. For example:
- If you choose to take it for 3 weeks, have a one-week pause.
- If it is taken for a 30-day period, have a 10-day pause.
That does not apply to herbs and fruits that have a laxative effect.
◉ Should be stored in airtight glass containers -in a cool, dark, and dry place- to preserve the flavor, texture, and properties.
◉ Before adding a new herbal remedy or supplement to your daily routine, you should consult with a medical doctor or holistic health practitioner.
Herbal Tea Brewing Instructions
- Heat the water to just the point when it starts to boil.
- Add 1 teaspoon of loose tea, to a tea infuser or tea bag, for every 180ml - 240ml of water.
- Pour the heated water (right off the boil) over the tea, cover your cup, and steep for 7-10 minutes or longer.
- Add honey or stevia for sweetness, if desired.
Follow these additional steps to make the perfect cup of tea!