If elderflower and elderberry sound pretty similar, that’s because they are both from the same pant species. The shrub itself is called elderberry. Also known as sambucus nigra, the shrub can grow between 10 and 30 feet tall. Medicinal parts of the elderberry plant include the flowers and berries. Red elderberry seeds and bark are toxic and should never be consumed.
The flower and berries on the shrub are both used in food and natural health remedies. Elderflower has a light and delicate flavor. These white flower bloom in June and July, before developing into black berry clusters. It is primarily used to flavor different syrups, wines and cordials. The berries, which have a deeper, more robust flavor, are also used in the production of Elderberry Wine.
Is elderflower an effective herbal allergy remedy?
Yes, elderflower is an effective herbal allergy remedies. According to researchers at the Maryland Medical Center, both elderflower and elderberry contain powerful phytonutrients, including antioxidants that reduce inflammation. Research suggests that inflammation is one trigger that can cause the body’s immune system to go into “overdrive” – exacerbating the body’s overreaction to allergens and worsening the allergy cycle. By reducing inflammation, elderflower helps to stop the body’s immune response before it gets out of control. Elderflower benefits also as a detoxification aid, enhancing liver function and causing the body to sweat out toxins.
How can I use elderflower to relieve my allergy symptoms?
Tea made from elderflowers can relieve hay fever symptoms, upper respiratory infections, and excess mucous production. Combining the tea with peppermint or yarrow helps to strengthen the tea’s allergy-fighting properties. An elderflower tincture is a concentrated herbal extract that may also help reduce hay fever symptoms. Herbalists recommend taking the tincture for several weeks before the start of allergy season.
Can elderflower help my allergy symptoms during the summer?
Absolutely! On a scorching summer day, drinking a hot cup of elderflower tea may be the last thing you want to do. Fortunately, elderflower is easily incorporated into many chilled drinks, including iced teas. You can also heat fresh elderflower on the stove along with lemon juice and honey. Once this concentrated elderflower cordial has cooled, diffuse into chilled water for a refreshing glass of elderflower iced tea.
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