Native to Europe and North America, this deciduous shrub or small tree was traditionally used to treat viral and bacterial infections, coughs and colds, tonsillitis and nerve disorders.
The berries are high in vitamin C and have curative and protective qualities for most winter ills. They are used to make tea, wine, juice and syrup. The berries must always be cooked before use.
The flowers are used to make tea and syrup. The flowers can also be used in salads, muffins and jellies or added to cordial and champagne.
Elderflower has been used to help lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels and improve eyesight. It has also been used as an immune system / heart tonic.
It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-oxidant and anti-viral qualities as well as diuretic, diaphoretic and laxative properties.
Elderflower enjoys a full sun position in dry, well drained soil. It should grow to about 3m high by 3m wide.