Last Updated on 11/04/2020 by Desmond
You may hear about elderflowers. These lovely flowers typically appear beside the roads and in the gardens, looks like the stars in the sky. They got a lot of usages, such as making eye gel or charming liqueur wine. In Europe, it is well-known by people, almost every child ever drink some elderflower tea in the past, which from their grandma’s recipe, for curing cold.
What Is Elderflower
Elderflower belongs to the Adoxaceae family(past is to Caprifoliaceae,) also known as Sambucus nigra, a common type of Europe small tree. The tiny creamy-white flowers with Moscatel fragrance typically bloom from May to July, and the berry will ripening at the end of summer. European love to use these berry to make jams, syrup, and wine.
These are various stories about elderflower in different countries. In some regions, people took it as the habitat of soul, and thought burning it or take it home may bring bad luck. But in Scotland, people thought elderflower could exorcise evil spirits. They will collect the elderflower leaves on May 1st and hung it on the door, for expelling the bad luck. If you ever read the Harry Poter, you may know one of the Deathly Hallows- the Elder Wand was made by the Sambucus nigra.
Of course, in the folk remedy, the elderflower is famous as a colds-treating beverage. The Gypsy thought to drink elderflower tea can help to prevent cold, flu, and bronchial discomfort, and use this prescription for several centuries. Till today, some European families still make some elderflower tea with refined sugar, which called cordial, for kids to prevent colds.
What Is Elderflower Tea Good For
Elderflower ever got a “Cure-All” reputation, and it has been widely used in folk remedies for a very long time. Having elderflower tea can get lots of benefits, some of them had been supported by science.
The effect on curing a cold is the most well-known benefit of elderflower tea, as same as the chamomile tea. In the folk, once people show a cold symptom, they will immediately drink the elderflower tea, 3-4 cups per day. The hot tea can improve blood circulation, sweating, which helps the body detox. In the early stages of a cold, it also helps relieve the symptom such as sneeze, rhinorrhea, and fever.
Researches found that the flavonoid contains in elderflower have an excellent inhibiting effect on the influenza A and B virus. In one related study in 1993, nearly 90% of influenza B patients were utterly cured in 2-3 days, within taking elderflower extract.
Most of the herbal beverage contains natural antioxidants, elderflower tea is no exception. It is rich in common phenols such as chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, anthocyanin, and quercetin. All these antioxidants can help against the excess radical in the body, thereby preventing many diseases like cardiovascular aging and inflammation. They also provide great anti-aging and liver protection effects.
Studies suggested that the elderflower infusion contains more phenols than the berry ones. You can take this herbal tea as a natural health drink. Worth to know, the chlorogenic acid of it seems to have a potential effect on preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Besides, the elderflower is full of vitamin C, which helps boost immunity.
The phenols that elderflower contain also got an anti-inflammation effect. If you got a respiratory tract inflammation, having some elderflower tea may help relieve the discomfort. To some oral health problems, like gingivitis and ozostomia, wash your mouth with the tea infusion that may help with it. A study suggested the elderflower water extract is good for curing periodontitis.
Diabetes is a major disease perplexing human beings, and hyperglycemia prevention are of great importance for the treatment. In Europe, having elderflower tea is regarded as effective therapy by traditional.
A related study showed elderflower tea could stimulate insulin secretion and increase glucose metabolism, thereby take a manage diabetes effect. But the theory still not clear, perhaps work by the synergistic of several active ingredients. As a natural diet, having elderflower tea after the meal is a good way to avoid high blood sugar.
There was a study on the potential of elderflower to anti-cancer. The result showed that elderflower ethanol extract could reduce the activity of breast cancer cells by inhibiting female hormone secretion. Of course, that result came under an experimental situation; having elderflower tea can’t able to treat cancer. But thanks to the antioxidant benefits, long-term consumption may have some help with cancer prevention.
Other Possible Benefits
- Improve bone
Elderflower Tea Side Effects
The elderflower tea products sold on the market are safe for most people. What should pay attention is the homemade drinks, which pick from the field or garden. The fruit, seeds, and any other green parts of the elderflower plant are poisonous in the native state; both of them contain Cyanogenic Glycosides(A toxic substance). It will cause nausea, emesis, and diarrhea after mistaking. Fortunately, the poisonous ingredients can be removed by cuisine.
Due to the hypoglycemic agents’ effect of elderflower tea, the person with diabetes should not take it with the medicine simultaneously, lest lead to too-low blood sugar. And the patient should ask the doctor about the safety questions, whether suitable to drink the tea, and the exact dosage.
For the same reason that reducing blood sugar problems, pregnant should avoid having elderflower tea.
How To Make Elderflower Tea Yourself
The first is to collect the elderflower flowers. Bring up your little scissor, cut and pick the tiny creamy-white flowers, with the stems, bring them home with a basket.
Many little bugs live in the flowers. Shake the bouquet and drive them away. Not recommend washing them with water; it may wash the petals away and cause them to lose the scent.
The next task is a little complex. Pick the tiny flowers off the stem with your fingers, because the green stems are poisonous and not edible. Sift out the leaves and other green parts and remove them, only leave the flower buds and petals behind. At the same time, you can check out whether any bugs are left; some obviously larger buds may have some bugs living in.
Placing the flowers in a ventilated, dry, and dark place for airing till they are dry, then collect them; it may cost several days. But I think the flavor it will better than which drying by an electronic dryer.
When you are going to make tea, put moderate dry elderflower into a cup, add boil water, and steep for about 3 mins—it tastes light, a soft plant flavor, and a little sweet. You can add some honey or maple syrup to make it more delicious.
Several Elderflower Tea Recipes
Blended Other Herbs
Blend the dry elderflower, peppermint, and thyme in a 3:2:1 ratio, adding boil water and steeping for about 3 mins. This herbal tea can help wake up your brain and relieves the nose upset. If you got a cold, it can also help increase sweating, alleviate symptoms.
Make Into A Cold Beverage
Put the dry elderflower, lemon slices, and ice sugar into a pot, adding water and boiling for about 8 mins. Then filter the solid ingredients out with a strainer, pour the infusion into a glass bottle. Put it into a refrigerator after it cools down, it will become a cold beverage with an excellent taste.
Elderflower Sparkling Water
- Take a clean glass jar, spread the dried elderflower over the bottom;
- Put a lemon slice in to pin them;
- Top some elderflower on the lemon slice;
- Add moderate syrup just spill over the ingredients;
- Cover it and put it into a refrigerator for one night;
- Take it out the next day, add the sparkling water, and some apple juice for flavoring.;
- What an awesome sparkling beverage!