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Botanical Highlight: Elderflower

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

The first post in our new series “botanical highlight” features the under appreciated of the elders: “elderflower”. The beautiful white to pale cream-colored, dainty flowers of the elder tree, which helps power the nutrients available to grow the infamous “elderberry”.

You might have heard of Elderflower as a botanical gin, or syrup added to cocktails, and when marinated even as a substitute for capers (huh!), but it has also been used for thousands of years as medicine. And the other night, I used our Elderflower Kombucha with Anejo Tequila and mango chunks as ice (so good).

Its medicinal uses are for respiratory diseases, sinusitis, influenza, swine flu, bronchitis, inflammation, constipation, and it’s also used as a diuretic and for relieving symptoms and conditions related to diabetes. (Ho GT, Kase ET, Wangensteen H, Barsett H.)

It encourages water to leave the body in sweat as well, helping you release all the toxins when fighting flus and viruses and cough and cold. And as the tannins in elderflower create astringent action, it helps to dry up runny eyes and runny noses, aiding in allergies, and also reduces inflammation and irritation in the sinuses. (Bowden)

Research conducted in Ireland showed that elderflower also was impressively effective in combatting various hospital pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)1, or “staph infection”.

This and other studies such as a 1995 study in Hadassah, its showed how Elderflower can be effective against human, swine and avian flu strains. (Bowden)

And as for the elderberry— touted for its amazing immune boosting capabilities and power against the flu, It was interesting to find in research, that elderflower transcends the power of elderberry in some ways. The applications of elderflower can be attributed to its characteristic chemical composition, which includes essential oils, free fatty acids, flavonoids and their glycosides, phenolic acids, carotenoids, vitamins and minerals. (Viapiana, A., Wesolowski, M.)

Versus elderberry this is what was found:

Herbal Infusions (basically tea) prepared from elderflowers contained more abundant phenolic compounds than the elderberry infusions.

Phenolic acids are a group of secondary metabolites that are widely distributed in plants, and several studies have reported their inhibitory effect on the growth of pathogens and cancer cells. Phenolic compounds provide anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antiallergic, vasoprotective and anti- carcinogenic activities. Therefore, elder beverages could be important dietary sources of natural antioxidants that contribute to the prevention of diseases caused by oxidative stress. (Viapiana, A., Wesolowski, M.)

Affirming the respo