Elderflowers are delicate, cream-colored flowers that bloom from elder trees. This botanical is native to the United Kingdom and parts of Northern Europe and is steeped in superstition and mythology dating back to ancient times.
Elderberries and elder bark are also harvested from the elder tree and have been used alongside elderflowers for centuries as an herbal cold remedy. During the medieval era, healers and herbalists used elderflower and elderberry to ease sinus congestion and coughs.*
Best Elderflower & Elderberry Teas
Soothe your senses with elderflower tea, a healthful elixir dating back to antiquity. Organic Elderflower SuperHerb® Tea is made from 100% organic elderflower blossoms plucked from a small family farm in Albania, within a four-to-six week harvest window in late spring. This uplifting blend pays homage to the healing traditions of our ancient ancestors.
Delight in the rich, bright flavor of elderberry with Organic Elderberry Red Tea, which complements a delicious red rooibos base. Looking for more immunity-boosting* teas with elderberries and elderflowers? We recommend Organic Immunity SuperGreen Tea and get wellness® – No.11 Herb Tea for Immunity, which both feature echinacea and other healthful botanical ingredients.
Elderflower History and Folklore
Across Europe, the elder tree has been considered sacred for hundreds of years. A number of supernatural powers and healing properties have been attributed to the elder tree, particularly by the Druids. These Celtic spiritual leaders collected every part of the tree (bark, wood, roots, flowers, and berries) for use in healing and blessing rituals.
According to Northern European folklore, the Elder Mother was the guardian of all elder trees. It was believed that taking wood from an elder tree without asking permission from the Elder Mother would bring bad luck. Across Europe, farmers used elder wood to make crosses for their sheds and barns, to protect their animals from evil spirits. They also planted elder trees outside their homes as a form of protection against negative entities.
In Denmark, standing under an elder tree on Midsummer’s Eve was said to enable you to see fairies, or even the Elf King himself. The Scottish believed the same to be true for anyone who stood under an elder tree on All Hallows Eve. Elderflowers, berries, bark and leaves were considered sacred gifts and blessings from Mother Earth.
Christian lore also references the elder tree. According to some schools of thought, it may have been elder wood that was used to construct the Holy Cross. Shakespeare and other great authors from history have written about the mysterious elder tree and its iconic flowers.
Traditional Uses of Elderflower
Elderflowers and elderberries have been harvested for centuries, and have many culinary and medicinal applications. Elderberries are small, dark, shiny and rich in antioxidants. They have a tart, bright flavor with a hint of earthiness that lends itself to jams, juices and wines.
Elderflowers are sweet and honey-scented, with a pleasant floral flavor. These hand-plucked blossoms are most commonly used to make cordials and liqueurs such as St Germain’s. In the United Kingdom, elderflowers can also be found in desserts like cakes and tarts. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle featured a lemon elderflower cake at their royal wedding.
The elder tree also has a long history of medicinal use. Medieval herbalists prepared elderberry and elderflower tea to treat winter colds, coughs, sinus congestion, and sore throats.* Elderflower was hailed as the “medicine chest of the people” by European botanists and healers during the Middle Ages—a reputation that has lived on to modern times.*
Today, elderflower and elderberry continue to serve as a popular holistic remedy for colds.* According to one NCBI study, elderberry may have a “significant effect” on “cold duration and cold associated symptoms.”* This may be attributed to the elder plant’s high concentration of antioxidants and vitamin C.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.