Text and photos: Mariola Weindich-Mašek
23 March 2023
Often we pass them by emotionlessly, although their smell usually attracts our gaze. Elderberry flowers are not only beautiful, but also beneficial. It is worth giving them a day in the life and autumn and winter to enjoy their medicinal properties.
Elderberry flowers are rich in flavonoids: rutoside, derivatives of quercetin and kaempferol. They are a reliable means in case of fever, cold, cough or generally- in the states of colds. They have diuretic and relaxant properties and they seal the capillaries, increasing their flexibility. Usually they bloom in late May and early June. Then it is worth to look around in the area of your residence and find several elderberry shrubs. Of course, those that are located away from the busy streets.
When the flowers are already in full bloom - we can harvest. Be sure to do it in sunny weather before the flowers begin to fall. We cut whole umbels, which then must be placed in a shady, well-ventilated place, not in the very high temperature, to prevent from getting yellow.
While picking flowers, remember about leaving some parts on the shrub. Thanks to that, we can again make use of the following gifts of elderberry - fruits.Depending on the needs and the amount of collected umbels the tea, juice or tincture can be prepared from flowers.Cup of tea with elderberry flowers can be prepared from both fresh and dried flowers. If you have a lot of them - its worth drying them! Certainly they will be useful during the autumn and winter season.
Tea with elderberry flowers
2-3 teaspoons of dried or fresh flowers, pour boiling water and brew for a few minutes. You can sweeten it with honey. Elderberry tea has warming and diaphoretic properties.
Syrup with elderberry flowers
• Flowers - about 30 pieces
• 1 kg of sugar
• 1-2 lemons
• 1 litre of water
Flowers are poured with boiled water (1l), sugar (1 kg) and the juice from one small lemon. It is important that all flowers were submerged in the fluid. We leave the vessel with syrup, once a day gently mix the contents. After 3-4 days we decant it. If you want to store the syrup longer, we have to pasteurize juice bottles.