Why are we telling you about elderflowers?  Because when we were in England a couple of months ago their popularity was difficult to miss.  They are cropping up in many recipes, drinks, lotions and potions.  The chicest of restaurants are featuring them in sauces, desserts and baked goods. Their herbal medicinal use is gaining ground and everyone is taking one nutritional supplement or another containing elderflower.  As always, we want our readers to be ahead of the trend!

Elderflower, also known as Sambucus, is the flower of the Elderberry tree, a shrub- like tree that grows all over Britain, (primarily in the south) and most parts of central and southern Europe.  One species is native to the eastern United States and another to the western United States, primarily Oregon. The white flowers have a lovely scent.   They bloom in June until late July then turn into berry clusters in late summer.

Elderflowers have been used for hundreds of years for various medicinal purposes as well as additives to food and drink. They are used in traditional Chinese medicine for rheumatism and wounds.  They are an effective herbal allergy treatment and are also used to boost immune systems and possibly aid in weight loss.  Tea made from elderflowers is said to reduce hay fever symptoms, upper respiratory infections and sinus issues.  You can drink the tea hot or make iced tea. Elderflower extracts are used to flavor syrups and wines and are the key ingredient of the elderflower cordial, a popular British drink in the summer.

The elderberries, which have more flavor, are often used to produce elderberry wine and jam.  They are also used as food flavorings.  Elderberry can be found as a syrup, tincture or liquid.

Try some organic elderflower tea.

Alvita-elderflower-tea-bags

Try Nature’s Way Elderberry to battle colds and respiratory issues.  $5.99 for 100 capsules.

Elderflower