Ever since the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan, the search for elderflowers greatly increased on the internet. When it was announced that the wedding cake will be lemon elderflower flavored, people began using them more. In this article, we are going to look at what elderflower is, its uses, benefits to the body, and side effects.
Elderflower has got very many benefits such as treating flu, relieving constipation, fighting joint inflammation, freshening the breath, and many more in this article.
What is the elderflower?
Elderflower comes from the elder plant known by its scientific name Sambucus from the family of Adoxaceae. Therefore, the elderflower is simply the flower part of the plant.
The flowers are white in color, small in size, grow in clusters and bloom in late May and June. They grow on elderberry bushes and are mostly found throughout Europe and North America.
The flowers are mostly known for flavoring but people have started using them for home remedies when they learn about their health benefits.
They are used in flavoring foods, wines, teas, pastry, and others. They are not quite strong compared to other flowers like roses or lavender.
There are different types of the elder plant and are normally identified from their regions of growth. The most common types are; Black elder or European elder, Mexican elder Sambucus racemosa, European red elder Sambucus australasica, yellow elder Sambucus adnata, Asian dwarf elder, and many others.
Different species of an elder may have berries that vary in color some being blackish, bluish, reddish and others being yellow. The flowers though are white or pale cream in color.
What are the health benefits of elderflowers?
Elderflower can help fight colds and flu.
The antiviral properties in elderflower can help calm the effects of colds and the flu virus. Taking elderflower can help clear congested nasal passage, stop running nose or sinus drip, and allergy effects of sneezing and mucus flow.
Additionally, the use of elderflower can also heal nasal swellings and inflammation. It also gives relief to pains in the nasal passage that are caused by flu.
Here are herbs to treat respiratory infections.
It can relieve constipation and other digestive conditions.
Constipation refers to tough and difficult bowel movements. The use of elderflower can help loosen and ease bowel movements. If you take elderflower more often, chances of constipation are also reduced.
Elderflower can also help relieve other digestive disorders such as indigestion, gas, and bloating. The use of the flowers can calm an upset stomach, give you relief, and ease digestion.
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Elderflower has diuretic properties.
Diuretic properties in elderflower can increase the amount of water and salt expelled out of the body through urine. This helps to clean the kidneys, reduce fluids in the blood vessels, and help to lower blood pressure.
Boosts the immune system.
Elderflower is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties that can make your immune system stronger against bacterial and viral infections. The antioxidants include; flavonoids and vitamin C. The anti-inflammatory properties fight off infections such as the flu virus, respiratory infections, colds, and others.
Elderflowers can cause relaxation.
Elderflowers most especially when taken in tea can help you to stay calm and relaxed. This can help to reduce stress, relax nerves, and overcome depression.
The calming effects of elderflowers can also help insomnia by relaxing the body so that you fall asleep much faster.
Freshen the breath.
The sweet aroma in elderflowers can help in getting rid of bad breath. It replaces the bad odor with its sweet smell. This is why you will find elderflower in many mouthwash brands.
The antiviral and antibacterial properties in elderflowers can also fight bacteria that cause tooth decay which in most cases are responsible for bad breath.
By gaggling, chewing, or taking elderflower tea, you can fight bad breath and promote healthy teeth and digestive system.
Elderflower is packed with anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight off inflammation responses by the body. It can fight inflammation of the joints (rheumatism), swellings, and pains.
How do you use elderflowers?
Elderflower can be used in various ways and they include;
Elderflowers can be brewed into an herbal tea that has a lot of health benefits.
To make this tea, you will need one tablespoon of dried elderflowers and boiling water. Put the flowers in a strainer and pour hot water over them into a mug. Steep for about 10 minutes and add sweeteners if desired. A freshened breath is one of the immediate health benefits you will get from elderflower tea.
Elderflowers can be chewed if you are tolerant to bitter tastes. Chewing them is usually aimed at freshening the breath.
Elderflowers can be used in baking.
While baking, elderflowers can be used to add a sweet aroma and taste to cakes, bread, and other products.
Elderflower alcoholic drinks.
Elderflowers can add flavor to alcoholic drinks such as vodka and other alcohol types. It can also be used in making alcoholic cocktails.
Cooking with elderflowers.
Dried elderflowers can be used in cooking to give flavor to the food. Foods that deserve sweet flavors such as pies, tarts, or pancakes go well with elderflower to give you a sweet-smelling dish.
Elderflower herbal vinegar.
Elderflower can also be used in what you might call flavoring vinegar. The flowers are crushed and mixed with vinegar, the mixture is kept for a month to produce sweet-smelling salad dressing for salads and sauces.
Elderflowers can also be made into a syrup which is long-lasting and can be used in any application of elderflower, be it tea, baking, cooking, or cocktail, the syrup can do.
Side effects of elderflower.
Elderflowers are safe in amounts commonly used in food. Most people will consume or use elderflowers without getting complications.
However, there is no enough research has been done on elderflower to determine it’s safety when used as medicine
Some of the side effects that can happen with excessive use of elderflowers are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Elderflower can also cause side effects to certain groups of people such as
Pregnant and breast-feeding mothers: Although there is not enough information to back it, elderflowers can pose a threat to pregnant and breast-feeding mothers as it may be toxic to the mother and baby.
People with diabetes: since elderflowers can lower blood sugar levels, people on diabetic medication can be under risk. Elderflowers cause blood sugar levels to drop so low. It is therefore important to ask advice from the doctor if you have diabetes before using elderflower.
Is elderflower the same as elderberry?
Elderberry refers to the varieties of the Sambucus tree, a flowering plant that belongs to the Adoxaceae family. The plant develops berries that are red, bluish, or yellow in color. They are usually hard and need to be cooked in order to be eaten.
The most common type of elderberry is European elderberry. There are some other varieties such as the American elder, blue elderberry, red-fruited elder, and many others.
On the other hand, the elderflowers are what this article is all about. Simply, elderflowers are the flowers found on the elder plant.
Elderflowers are packed with many health benefits and this means that you will enjoy the flavor as well as getting your body healthy. The information in this article is correct but it shouldn’t be substituted with your medicine.
To embark on the use of elderflowers for medicinal purposes, first, seek advice from your doctor.
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