The Amazing Elderflower

Elder/Elderflowers/Elderberries/Elder bark/leaves

Feminine energy

Governed by Venus

Water element

Elderflower possesses a magical undertone with their soft, delicate blooms. They are rooted in folklore, linked to the Celtic faerie lands and wondrous elements.

Elderflowers are gathered from the Sambucus nigra shrub, native to Europe, belonging to the Adoxaceae family. The plant holds deep traditional roots. It was oftentimes considered to be the “Grandmother” of herbs, by European Native Americans.

Elder has some associations with the underworld. A panpipe, associated with the Greek God of the wild, Pan, is created from the hollow stems of the Elder plant, and known to produce a haunting sound. Some even say that these pipes produce the music that the Fay and those in the Spirit love the most, allowing the bearer to connect to energies from other realms. Also sacred to many goddess traditions, the Elder plant is associated with Holle and Venus.

Elder can induce vivid dreams, especially of Fay realms, she can heal, and chase away negative influences and spirits.

As a protection plant/herb, it is believed that the leaves, wood, berries, and flowers of the Elder plant can protect one from attack. Elderberry oil has long been included in blessing rituals. The branches and leaves have traditionally hung above windows and doorways to protect inhabitants, and when planted near the kitchen or in the backyard, Elder provides protection from disease and negative influences. When added in a facial wash, elderflowers can lighten dark spots and care for even the most sensitive skin. If you happen to fall asleep under an Elder plant, you just might travel to the faerie lands!

Energetically, Elderflowers can help bridge a connection to the fairy and angelic realm, serve as a gateway and connection to the natural kingdom, serve as a representative of death and rebirth (helpful when things are coming to an end and a new beginning is needed), helps to open the psyche so that one can see things in a new and positive light, help one move through issues quickly, helping to speed emotional and psychic healing, helps to cool anger and ground the spirit, assists in opening the heart in a protective way after a traumatic or abusive event, and is very supportive in times of transition and renowned for mental and emotional stress.

Medicinally, Elder is just as magical. Currently, I am just going to tell you about Elderflowers. Elderflowers are traditionally used to support healthy and effective immune responses, particularly regarding regulating body temperature. The flowers help to open the pores, encourages sweating, “releasing the exterior”, helping those that struggle with an inefficient immune response. This attribute of Elderflowers is also beneficial for the skin. The flowers can also be used as a diuretic. They are also rich in polyphenols, serving as an antioxidant. Having antioxidants stored in the body is beneficial in maintaining the integrity and health of tissue against oxidative stress, which naturally occurs during an immune response.  Elderflower extracts have also been shown in-vitro to modulate cellular nitric oxide production and immune cells such as macrophages and their release of eicosanoids. The flowers are rich in bioflavonoids, specifically flavanols and flavones, renowned for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antibacterial properties. Other compounds include chlorogenic acids, triterpenoids, erythrodiol, and oleanolic acid.

Therapeutically, depending on the preparation of the chosen formulation, Elderflowers serve as a gentle circulatory stimulant to tone the venous system, are specific to assist the kidneys, helps to reduce pain associated with arthritis, rheumatism, swollen joints, and acid deposits in tissues, and are known to have distinctive immune-boosting properties.

Elderflower preparations are used to aid with swollen sinuses, seasonal flu, colds, swine fly, diabetes, bronchitis, and constipation. When used as a diuretic, they can also help to increase urine output. The flowers also help to alleviate allergies. Elderflowers contain anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. When used in topical applications, elderflower helps reduce swelling and pain. Elderflowers can also reduce blood sugar levels, much in the same way that insulin does.

Research in Ireland showed that elderflower extract was effective in killing many common hospital pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (HEARST, CAROLINE, ET. AL. ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF ELDER (SAMBUCUS NIGRA L.) FLOWER OR BERRY AGAINST HOSPITAL PATHOGENS. JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL PLANTS RESEARCH 2010; 4(17): 1805–1809)



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