Of all the trees that grow on the boundaries of our garden the Elder is the most prolific and one that in my younger days caused me to suffer from its pollen however, that is a problem I thankfully no longer have - ageing certainly does have its benefits.
The florets of the Elder (Elderflowers)
I did some research early this year to see what herbal benefits might be obtained from the florets of the Elder and found that a essence can be made that will ease or assist in easing the effects of catarrh. So two weeks ago I picked some florets packed them in in a jar and topped it up with brandy, the jar is kept in a dark warm place and turned every day for one month, after which it will be strained put into a dark bottle. Dosage is 20 drops three times a day - low enough to still drive without going over the limit !
Essence of Elderflowers
The elderflower cordial I made from a recipe obtained on line, it said to use 1.8 kg of sugar having followed the instructions, I now find that it is far too sweet for my palate even when diluted
1:5 with water ; for am not a sugar lover at all, next time I will halve the amount for I can always add extra if required.
Elderflower Liqueur for cold winter evenings
made with vodka and sugar.
Heron's Honeysuckle Liqueur
(similar recipe as the elder)
By adapting the elderflower remedy and using far less sugar a bowl of honeysuckle flowers steeped in a sugar solution with slices of oranges, awaits to be pressed, strained and bottled.