Delights of the Elder

With the elder you can go all ways. Especially in mid-May, the blossoms are perfect for getting started.
But did you know that your elder’s leaves also keep mosquitoes at bay? That’s why you can hang bunches in front of your open window.

Flower Sheets
You can use the screens fresh or dried. When you dry floral displays, do not rinse them. The pollen is very healthy. Dry the flower heads in a paper bag so you collect the pollen. During the drying process, the flower heads start to smell. This smell disappears after a few days. Of course, don’t pick the tree bare or you won’t be able to snack on the berries later.

Fancy a nice cup of tea?
Use two to three flower heads to a pint of water. Allow boiled water to cool to about 85 degrees before pouring it over the flower heads. After about 10 minutes you can strain it and drink it.

Or maybe you prefer to make lemonade and jelly with it.

The berries should always be cooked first; they should not be eaten raw.

Elderberry tea is made by boiling a tablespoon of berries in a liter of water. If necessary, add a cinnamon stick or piece of ginger. Let it simmer gently for ten minutes. You can let the leftover tea cool and store it in the refrigerator.

Elderberry lemonade or lemonade, jam or juice is also delicious but ideali in combination with apples and blackberries.

Thanks to these sites for helpful tips and links

Please note there are two types.

Sambucus nigra

There are several types. The elder from which our grandparents brewed a drink for the cough is the Sambucus nigra. This is the common or black elder and it thrives along roads, forest edges and in parks. The shrub grows to about five feet tall. In May/June, it stands out with its white, fragrant umbels. In July the color slowly changes from white to red and from August dark berries adorn the bush.

The elder also has a more unpleasant brother that is poisonous. The herbaceous elder or Sambucus ebulus, you may rarely encounter but you can easily recognize it. Click here for a detailed description and video. The smell is stronger and more unpleasant than that of the common elder. The blossoms and berries stand upright like a screen. In a common elder, the inflorescences hang down.
There are also other shrubs that somewhat resemble the elder. Obviously, you can’t use those without knowing more about them.

Here you will find some useful links with recipes, medicinal applications or to use as a face lotion to give your skin a boost.

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