Facts About Elderflowers and their Amazing Health Benefits.
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The elder plant’s name comes from the Norse tree spirit known as ‘Hyldemoer’. In British and Scandinavian folklore, the Hyldemoer was thought to be the guardian of the elder tree and elder wood was thought to have magical properties.
Elderflowers have been used for years in medicines around the world. They were used in Chinese medicine for treating joint pain and inflammation.
There are recipes for elderflower-based medications from Ancient Egypt from approximately 3500 BCE.
The Greek physician, Hippocrates, described the elderflower plant as his “medicine chest” due to its success in treating so many illnesses.
Elderflowers, from the elder plant, have white or cream coloured flowers. There are over 25 species of the elder plant, with berries that vary in colour. They flower in May to July and produce black-purple berries, later in the year.
In the UK in the 19th century, elderflower water was often used as a skin cleansing lotion. It was believed to keep the skin young and free of blemishes.
Finally, elderflowers were used in the royal wedding cake for Prince Harry and Megan.
Health Benefits of Elderflowers.
Sadly, there isn’t a lot of research on the effects of elderflowers on our health. However, what there is, is impressive.
1. Reducing the effects of ageing.
2. Preventing cancer.
3. Reducing your risk of heart disease.
Also, elderflowers may:
4. Help to soothe nerves and anxiety.
5. Lower blood sugar levels.
Research from Ireland showed that elderflowers were extremely effective in fighting various hospital pathogens such as MRSA.
6. However, elderflowers are known more for their formidable effects in treating colds and flu symptoms.
A study in 2006, revealed that elderflower extract was proven to be effective against the HSNI strain of Avian Flu.
Also, a study in 2009 found that elderflower extract was very effective in treating flu symptoms. Participants experiencing three or more flu symptoms were given 4 daily doses of elderflower at 175mg, while others were given a placebo.
After just 2 days, 28% of the elderflower group were no longer experiencing symptoms and a whopping 60% had significantly less severe symptoms. The placebo group showed no improvements with their symptoms.
Uses of Elderflowers.
You can have them as tea, create elderflower cordial, cocktails and tonics, as well as gin, wine and cakes! Also, they can be used in vinegar, syrups, dressings and sauces.
I’ve always enjoyed the cordial and of course, elderflower flavouring used in cakes! However, I’ve recently discovered elderflower tea and I love it and would recommend it if you are a lover of herbal teas.
Sources: sainsburysmagazine.co.uk, entitymag.com, herbfacts facts.co.uk, livestrong.com, teapro.co.uk, rxlist.com, gardnerspath.com