Elderflower is something I had never heard of prior to my first herbal course. I had seen elderberry wine in old movies like Arsenic and Old Lace. The flowers were a mystery.
Our class was told that combining the flower with peppermint and steeping them as tea could fend off a cold. I tried it. It works!
What is so Special about elderflower?
Some of the health benefits are:
- Relieves allergies
- Lowers blood sugar
For a little more info see my blog here.
According to Pubmed a publication of the NIH (National Institute of Health) Type 2 Diabetes “is caused by a combination of insulin resistance and beta-cell failure…”extracts of elderflowers may be useful “in the prevention and/or treatment of insulin resistance.”
If you decide to try extracts of elderflower you must monitor your blood sugar closely. Talk to your Dr prior to self treatment with any herb if you are on medication.
Allergies and Elderflower
Elderflowers are anti-cattarahl which means they reduce mucus. They reduce inflammation of nasal passages and swelling of mucus membranes. WebMD states:
“Nasal swelling (sinusitis). Taking a specific combination product containing elderflower, gentian root, verbena, cowslip flower, and sorrel (SinuComp, Sinupret) seems to help treat inflamed nasal passages.”
All of the sites I researched elderflower and allergies on said the same thing. Elderflowers clear the mucus and shrink swelling in nasal passages.
Much research has been done on the anti-inflammatory benefits of elderflower for sinus issues, flu and colds. Less has been done on the use of elderflower for reducing inflammation in arthritis.
Elderflower extracts and teas reduce inflammation of nasal passages. Throughout history elderflower teas and cordials have been given as tonics to increase energy and reduce inflammation.
A study on Pubmed states:
Antiseptic Anti-bacterial Benefits
The research paper Antibacterial activity of elder (Sambucus nigra L.) flower or berry against hospital pathogens shows that elderflower extracts had anti-bacterial properties successful against a number of bacteria.
Where the Benefits Come From
The health benefits of elderflowers come from bioflavonoids, chlorogenic acid and triterpenoids.
Bioflavonoids are anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Chlorogenic acid regulates blood glucose and relieves allergies. Triteponoids are anti-inflammatory, anti cancer and pain relievers.
Fending off a Cold
Part of fending off a cold comes from sweating it out. Elderflowers and peppermint are diaphoretic (make you sweat).
The moment you feel yourself coming down with something combine 1 tsp of elderflower and 1 tsp peppermint in a small cup. Add boiling water and steep covered for 5 minutes. It is steeped with a cover to retain the volatile oils in peppermint. Drink 2 or 3 cups per day.
When drinking the tea wrap up warmly so you can sweat it out. I have also recommended soaking feet in hot water and white vinegar. This helps especially when a cold has taken hold. Soak your feet. take a hot shower and go to bed and sweat. It may take a day or so but it does work.