Elderflower  - Sambucus nigra


Sambucus nigra

Elderflower is rich in Vitamin C and will help with respiratory infections as well as a cold/flu.

  • Plant Family: Asteraceae
  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Elder, Common Elder
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: No
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Flowers
  • Side Effects: Raw berries & flowers can cause nausea, vomiting & diarrhea.
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About Elderflower

Elderflowers are the reason of happiness all year round as their bloom and droop mark beginning and end of the summer. They make the summer mood bubblier just by their mere presence.

Elderflowers wave from the family Adoxaceae with an enticing aroma and floral flavor that reminds us of the warmth of vanilla and shades of spice. It sits in the form of large creamy-white clusters among the oppositely arranged serrated leaves.

No matter how people have ceased to even think of (let alone the thought of use) elderflowers, it was of great importance in ancient times. They were regarded as some sacred entity, within the trunk of which resided Elder Mother. A whole froth of superstitious sagas revolved around elderflowers where they were thought to protect the humans from evil entities and even lightening.

Quite apart from the spirituality of elderflowers, their extracts are employed fervently in making medicines. They help reduce the severity of sinusitis, influenza, cold, diabetes mellitus, constipation, and bronchitis. It also aids in reducing fever by acting as diaphoretic. Besides, elderflower is a potent diuretic that may help relieve various kidney disorders by flushing the toxins through urine.

Elderflowers are bagged with bioflavonoids that give them the impression of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and even anti-cancer agents.


Elderflower plant, surrounded by legends and myths, likes to be started in March. Its seeds are sown in spring, after the dissipation of all the chances of frost. An elder plant can happily settle in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Elderflower plant withers in drought conditions so it is better to have a backup plan of water during dry spells. A well-drained but soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5 encourages healthy growth. Elderflower plant seeks partial shade with a cool and moist environment. It does not like to reside in places where there is standing water as this can subject our legendary elderflower plant to root rot.

Elderflower plant requires a lot of space to grow and need air for proper germination so its seeds are sown no more than 60 feet apart.

 The over-expressed containerized plant is pruned frequently to keep it within the limits of the pot. For outdoor elderflower plant, the gardeners are strict when it comes to pulling out weeds as they are pro at holding the competition for nutrients.

Elderflower seeds are stratified to break their dormancy in the first place and kick-start the process of germination. Some moist soil, optimum temperature, and a good amount of sunlight are enough to bring the seeds into action.

With late spring, comes the spell of blooming elderflowers that are either cross-pollinated or self-pollinated by insects to bring about pollination. This pollination is followed by fertilization that paves the grounds for the forthcoming juicy and fleshy bluish-black berries that are no less than the flowers.

The birds perform a stellar job at seed dispersal of elderflower plants to keep the tradition of its lifecycle going.


Late spring seems to be a perfect time to grab those tiny and creamy-white elderflowers.

Elderflowers can be plucked by hands or clipped by making use of pruning shears.

Elderflowers are dried in a shady spot, away from the direct sunlight, on a paper towel. The crispy elderflowers are subjected to an airtight container to enjoy their essence all year round.



Elderflowers are no less than the elderberries and are extensively used for medicinal preparations.

  • Tincture - Infuse freshly chopped elder flowers in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - 1 tablespoon of dried elderflowers is steeped in hot boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes to make elderflower tea.
  • Salve - Elderflower infused oil is used in combination with beeswax and shea butter to formulate a salve.
  • Syrup - Dried elderflowers, white sugar, citric acid, and water are combined on medium flame to form a syrup.
  • Infused oil - Dried elderflowers are infused with olive oil or sunflower on low flame for two to three hours to form elderflower infused oil.