Elderflower Excitement

Ferg Posts: 285 ✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Herbal Medicine-Making

I am just so excited. I'm really fortunate in that there are a couple Elder plants on the property I'm staying at; my mom covers the plants when they start to make berries so that she can get enough for making an amazing elderberry syrup for winter time. However, people seem to forget that elderflower is also a pretty wonderful tonic.

One thing I became seriously hooked on in Germany was a beverage that contained elderflower infusion, apple cider vinegar, lemon rind, green tea, and cane sugar. It's consumed cold and has carbonated water in it. I've managed to duplicate it using honey, as well as using still water. It's delicious on a hot summer day, chilled.

So the other day, mom asked me if I wanted elderberries this year, since we have a lot in the freezer. I realized that for the first time, i was in time to actually harvest the flowers! So I cut a boxfull, racked them, dried them, and ended up with a honey jar full. They are tiny and they dry tinier, but I'm happy with what I have. The birds can have some berries from the branches I was too late to get to before they started making fruit, and the bigger tree might yet give us berries to share.

Elderflower tea, made with elderflowers, lemon rind, and sweetened with raw honey, is a really comforting thing when the cold and flu season arrives. It's an astringent, meaning that it will dry you out, so if a person is retaining water elderflower can be useful when used carefully.


  • stephanie447
    stephanie447 Posts: 404 ✭✭✭

    That sounds like a delicious tea! And the infusion sounds good as well!

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    Ooh I hope I remember this when my elders are grown up! They are about 3-4’ now and one has two umbels on it. Lol

  • fivelawrences
    fivelawrences Posts: 33 ✭✭✭

    I planted some elders last fall & one of them has flowers now. Maybe next year I will have lots and can try this!

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    Just started our elderberry bushes this year - this sounds amazing though! I will need to remember to try this once we start getting a harvest :)

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,517 admin

    A very well known remedy for colds and flus. Elderflower and peppermint tea. Some recipes add yarrow.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,413 admin

    I love elderflower in my herbal teas, especially in winter. And... I wanted to share what we sometimes do - we make elderflower pancakes. I prepare the usual pancake dough, dip an elderflower into it and fry it in hot oil. Before eating one shout cut of the green stems.

  • Ferg
    Ferg Posts: 285 ✭✭✭

    @jolanta.wittib I was just thinking about those ! a friend in Germany made something like this, only it was a really light batter, so it was more like an elderflower tempura with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 995 ✭✭✭✭

    Just wanted to add I found from experience dried elderflower is a lot stronger than fresh when using in recipes/infusions

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    This is the first year I am using elderflower. I moved or will move quite a few plants from under an electric line that will be mowed this year so I plan to cut all the flowers off to help the plants move to their new home better. So I will have a lot of elderflower to use.

    I found two good links with ideas to use and preserve:


    Along with the ideas above there are many uses.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie Good links, Thanks.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,020 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ferg I have to ask what your mother covers her plants with? I was recently gives 3 elderberry bushes by a dear sweet friend who started some and shipped me three bare root bushes. So far all are doing well. I have to transplant soon and will pray they can survive our winter. They came from SD so maybe they can handle an Alaskan winter if I am careful to mulch them good for insulation.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I have only used Elderberries. Sounds like I need to start using the flowers too.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    I trimmed my bushes back in early spring so I could have some cuttings to take with me when we move. And some friends and relatives wanted some as well. Well they shot up like crazy and are well over15ft tall I'd say. But they had flowers everywhere. So my 7yr old daughter and I cut many of the first flowers that came out. I dried them and have a gallon size ziploc bag full. I'm so excited because I never got to the bushes in time before to get any flowers.

    I also put some flowers in a couple different oils so I can use it for salves and such later on.😊

    And I'm hoping that the birds will share the berries seeing as they too are everywhere. Last year I tried to cover them but was only marginally successful.@Ferg I too, would love to know what your mom uses to protect her bushes with.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭

    That sounds delicious! What are the proportions of the ingredients? If you don't mind me asking :).