Elderflower Health Benefits (The Good, The Bad and Harry Potter link)

The Good; Potent anti-inflammatory anti-bacterial properties, Rich in Antioxidants, Elderflower Tea Benefits, The Bad; May cause digestive problems. Harry Potter link; connected to the Elder Wand
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The Good;

The Bad;

Link to Harry Potter;

  • Known as the Elder Wand or other names such as the Deathstick or the Wand Of Destiny, is made of elder wood that comes from the elder tree that produces elder flowers.

Benefits of Elderflower: Uses and Side Effects

Elderflower and the Elder Wand
What does the elderflower have in common with the Elder Wand, the most powerful wand in the Harry Potter franchise? Photo credit: Elderflower in hand

Since the 90s as this study has shown, alternative medicine has gained a lot more interest among Americans who have felt dissatisfied with conventional medicine for either being ineffective, impersonal or simply just too expensive. Because of this a lot of people look for remedies in alternative medicine. If you are drawn by the idea of using natural remedies, you will enjoy reading about elderflower health benefits.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, then there is no chance that you don’t know what an Elder Wand is, right? However, what you probably don’t know is that the tree used to make the most powerful wand in the world is the same tree, we talk about today!  The difference is that Elder Wand is made of wood, and we are talking about elderflower. However, when you look at all qualities and health benefits of elderflower, it is not surprising that J.K. Rowling chose Elderberry wood as a material for the wand that everybody wants. We were curious to learn more about this magic flower so we consulted experts from gym–expert.com.

Types of Elderberry Tree

There are different types of elderberry trees, but the most common species of elder are American (Sambucus Canadensis) and those from Europe (Sambucus Negra).  There is also red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa). In appearance, this tree is similar to the American type. However, the big difference is that the beautiful red berries are poisonous. 

What is Elderflower? 

As it happens, a lot of times, when we talk about elderflower, people look at us like they have no idea what we are talking about.  Many of you have seen the elderberry tree, and you know what flowers look like, but you have no clue that we can use them in many ways.  In the U.K, for example, people use elderflower to make cordial, medicines, etc. In the U.S, this flower doesn’t get the attention it deserves. 

So what is elderflower?  It is an edible blossom of the elderberry tree. These flowers are small but come in large dense clusters. The color goes from creamy white to pink in some cases. Talking about elderflower health benefits and flavor, we would like to say that it is very different from other flowers. That is the reason why even people who don’t particularly enjoy floral- flavored food don’t mind dishes or drinks made with elderflower. Tree blossoms in late spring. By late summer, flowers will turn into berries.  Berries can also come in different colors, such as yellowish-white, red, bluish, and black. Most often, we see the black ones.  Elderflowers are most known for their medicinal properties in tea, cordials, ointments, and spring tonics. However, people use the extract also for floral champagne and floral water. Now, we are going to talk more about elderflower’s healthy properties, benefits, and detriments.

Properties of Elderflower

Elderberries have more vitamin C than blueberries
The elderflower develops into elderberries that have almost 3 times more vitamin C than blueberries. Photo credit: Bug on Elderflower

Perhaps the first thing that we need to say here is that the medicinal use of elderflower is not new. People from ancient Asian cultures as well as many Native American tribes used it to treat various ailments and injuries. When you learn about the different effects and health benefits of elderflower, you are under the impression that Dumbledore himself made it. That is because it comes with almost magical properties. Elderflowers are packed with potassium, vitamin C, calcium, beta carotene, and phosphorus. The elderflower will develop into elderberries that have almost 3 times more vitamin C than blueberries. The berries of Black Elder (Sambucus Negra) are used in many remedies that we take against cold and flu. When talking about elderflower benefits and uses for health, it is necessary to point out that flowers are not as nutritious as berries. They don’t have all these minerals and vitamins. Nonetheless, the health benefits of elderflower are undoubtedly present. 

Elderflower Benefits

As we mentioned, people from various countries use this flower in traditional medicine. The main reason is that it features potent anti-inflammatory anti-bacterial properties. We commonly use it to treat sinus infections and respiratory disturbances, cold, and flu.  Elderflower supplements work as laxatives and diuretics. Thus they can be pretty beneficial for alleviating the symptoms of constipation. It can also be useful for treating the symptoms of some allergies such as allergic rhinitis.  People use it also to ease the pain caused by some forms of arthritis.

It is rich in Antioxidants

In respect of the health benefits of elderflower heads, it is necessary to say that the flower is packed with antioxidants, specifically flavonoids.  Despite what people think, flowers don’t have vitamin C. The antioxidants in elderflowers can enhance the effects of vitamin C that you consume from other sources. Besides, the anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects, the antioxidants are effective in reducing free radicals. Because of that, we can say that elderflower positively affects cardiovascular health and decreases risks of certain types of cancer. A study has also mentioned that the elder flower’s unique properties can help as an oral rinse for mouthwash and gargle to combat periodontitis also known as severe gum infection.

Elderflower Tea Benefits

Are you curious to read about the health benefits of elderflower tea? Firstly, because of its high antioxidant content, it is very efficient in fighting respiratory infections. Besides, it contains tannins that can stop symptoms of seasonal allergies such as runny nose and runny eyes. The tea brewed from fresh flowers is also an excellent option when you are looking for something to help you after a hard day in the office as it helps to protect the skin, reduce pain and swelling in joints. How relaxing…

Just steep the flowers in boiling hot water, covered for 10 minutes, if using from fresh flower or dried ones.

Effective Against MRSA

Research shows that this plant is very effective in treating illnesses caused by plenty of hospital born pathogens. Amazingly good news is that it is effective in killing Methicillin Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA. The study proves the effectiveness of elderflower against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria.  It also comes with antiviral properties. 

It is a Good Diuretic 

Speaking about elderflower water health benefits,  it is essential to mention that it is incredibly efficient for reducing the amount of water accumulated in the body.  Because it comes with diuretic properties, elderflower produces more urine and thus flushes kidneys.  We can take this as health benefits of elderflower for kidneys but in certain situations, such as infections. Since it has anti-inflammatory properties, elderflower also facilitates urination, which can be painful and uncomfortable when you have UTI. 

Elderflower in Pregnancy

As we mentioned elderflower cordials are incredibly refreshing. That said, there is a chance that you will have a craving for a glass or two during summer. Lots of women have asked us about elderflower health benefits when pregnant. It is necessary to say that although we have evidence of the health benefits of the plant, we don’t know so much whether or not it causes some problems during pregnancy.  For example, we still don’t have research on how it affects lactation, according to the doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital. A study indicated that some women experienced digestive problems after taking supplements with elderberry in pregnancy. 

Health Benefits in Nutrition

Elderflower has a very delicate taste. In case you are wondering it is essential to say that it doesn’t come with the fragrance of usual flowers. Those who don’t like that their cakes and meals taste like flowers, usually enjoy food prepared with it. As far as elderflower health benefits in nutrition go, we can say that they depend on the type of food you prepare. Using it as topping for pancakes, will not enable you to profit from elderflower health benefits for the body.  We also doubt that you will notice any health benefits of elderflower extract if you use it to infuse cocktails. 

How to Use Elderflower

You can dry the flowers and store them for later use. It is the best way if you want to make elderflower tea. Some may find the elderflower to taste fruity like a pear or lychee, however the plants grown in different conditions and will likely produce different flavors. If you want to make cordials, you can soak the flowers and cook them. After cooking, you can put them in the fridge to get cold.  Elderflower cordials are incredibly refreshing, and people enjoy drinking them during hot summer months.  Besides, you can also find supplements that contain elderflower.  They can also be combined with other herbs. They are commonly found as tinctures, pills, and capsules, etc. You can often find it in lotions and skin creams combined with other antioxidants.

Related pages:

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Are There Any Side Effects?

Elder flowers can make you sick if consumed raw and excessively.
Excessive use of elderflower can make you sick if consumed raw. Cooking can help negate its toxicity levels. Photo credit: Elderflower shrub and tower

Based on the information we have, we can say that elderflower is safe when you use it moderately. Whether you want to use it as a tea, cordial, or as a supplement combined with other ingredients, it should be okay for most people. However, the excessive use of elder flower can make you sick if consumed raw as some parts of it still contain poisonous cyanide and may cause digestive problems such as stomach upset and nausea. Some people can experience a skin rash as an allergic reaction. It would be prudent to cook the flowers to help nullify its toxicity levels.

Although elderflower might be useful for blood sugar control, you need to be careful.  If you have diabetes and are using anti-diabetic drugs, taking elderflower in any form might cause your blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor the blood sugar levels regularly and talk with your healthcare provider before using elderflower.  For the same reason, doctors recommend you inform the surgeon if you are using elderflower before the surgery. Perhaps it will be best if you stop using it at least two weeks before the procedure. 

Final Words

That’s all about elderflower health benefits for today, folks!  In the end, we would like to remind you that only it is safe to consume only elderflowers and elderberries. However, even with berries, you have to be careful. The only elderberries you can eat raw are black ones. The others need to be cooked. Otherwise, they can be toxic. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t eat uncooked black elderberries in high quantities as they can cause digestive problems. Have you heard about elderflower before? Have you tried anything with it? 

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