I accidentally stumbled upon the virtues of the Elder flower while reading about an American woman’s visit to the Swiss Alps. Someone had offered her a refreshing drink on top of the mountain in a charming Swiss village, that tasted like perfumed flowers, which she could only describe as the “Nectar of the Gods!” Well, upon reading that, who wouldn’t be intrigued?
It turns out that Elderflower Cordial is absolutely refreshing and delicious, after having tried a couple of different types of syrups. It also considered as very healthful in Europe, especially in England, where it is quite popular as a squash or cocktail mix.
In the United States, Elderflower cordial or syrup hasn’t taken on like it has in other parts of the world, including Canada. In Canada they enjoy Belvoir’s Elderflower Pressé. Here it can be purchased from online specialty shops, who will also ship it to you with volume discounts – buy three or more, and they’ll cut you a deal! Monin and D’Arbo make excellent cordials, but I’ve yet to try the one Ikea supposedly makes, called Saft Fläder.
It can also be taken as a tea and there are herbalists who will sell you the dried Elderflowers in bulk, offering suggestions for usage. Elderberries are also wonderful, especially if you’re looking for a berry pancake syrup.
Some of the health benefits and nutrients found in Elderflower include Bioflavonoids, Choline, Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids, Pectin and Tannins.
Elderflower’s medicinal value includes the treating of allergies, colds, feverish illnesses, hay fever, influenza, mucus, sinusitis, and other upper respiratory tract problems, as well as. Further claims are that Elderflower encourages removal of toxins from the blood and leaves you with fewer health problems such as arthritis. Elderflower can work as an expectorant, thinning out mucous that’s causing your problem and allowing coughs to be more productive.
Elder flowers can actually help your digestive system and promote regularity. Aiding in a whole host of intestinal problems one may have, including diarrhea or constipation, in that it helps to stabilize or normalize bowel function. It also corrects kidney function!
It has also been used for making cosmetics such as facial toners due to its ability to soothe dry skin and lessen irritation.
If you’re going to make your own Elderflower brew, make sure to use only the flowers, and leave off the stems and leaves, as your particular plant (there are some 30 different varieties!) may have some toxicity. A simple recipe if you can get dried or fresh flowers is:
24 Elderflower heads
4 ½ cups white sugar
1 ½ quarts boiling water
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 ounces citric acid powder
Take the boiling water and pour over the rest of the ingredients; steep for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain the liquid through muslin into a large bowl, ladle into bottles and refrigerate, or pour into freezer containers and freeze to be used as ice cubes.
So, not only is Elderflower delicious and refreshing, it apparently is a healthful elixir. I’ll drink to your health!