Star Child Herbs | Elderflowers
Elder indeed has truly amazing medicinal powers, so much so that some people have termed them 'a poor person's medicine chest', as a little book published in 1644 testifies, which was entirely dedicated to the virtues of Elder. The author praises the Elder-tree in no less than 230 pages.
Although still considered a valuable item in the herbal medicine chest, Elder does not quite enjoy the eminent status it once held. In the past not only the flowers, but leaves and inner bark were used extensively. Today the flowers are the only part that is still commonly used in contemporary herbal medicine. They have a long-standing reputation as a treatment for all kinds of inflammatory and congestive conditions of the respiratory system, especially when these are accompanied by fever.
A cool infusion can be used as an eye-wash for sore or inflamed eyes. Earache may be relieved by means of a poultice made from the flowers. For this purpose a small linen bag is filled with flowers, briefly dipped in hot water and squeezed to press out any excess liquid before it is applied to the aching ear.
Check with your health practioner before using if pregnant.
It is a tree of protection, and twigs of it were often pinned over the doors to ward off evil spirits. It was grown near the house to benefit from its healing and protective powers and to protect the farm against lightening flashes. But above all, Elder trees are linked to the realm of the fairies.