Elderflower and Elder Leaves

Elder – what a wonderful tree she is.  Can be tempermental (more about that later) but she offers the most amazing gifts in her flowers and her leaves.


 I made Elderflower cordial for the first this year – it was absolutely amazing.  Better than any cordial I’ve tased from the store.

I used a recipe found online as follows:


20-25 elderflower heads.  (remove them very carefully – the pollen is what gives the best flavour so try not to lose that pollen in the harvesting.  Choose flowers that are freshly fully opened and not yet browning.

1 kg sugar

1 litre of water

3 lemons

about 3 teaspoons of citric acid (you can buy this off of Amazon if you can’t find it in stores but make sure you buy food grade citric acid).


  1. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan – bring to the boil and simmer for around 10 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, gently remove any bugs from the flowers (place them on some kitchen paper for a few minutes and you’ll see plenty of teeny insects crawling out) and pull the flowers from the larger stalks and place them into a container.  Be careful not to lose the pollen – it’s important for flavour.
  3. Use a potatoe peeler to take the pith from the lemons and add to the flowers.  Slice the lemons and add to the flowers.
  4. Add the citric acid over the flowers and lemons.
  5. When the syrup (water and sugar) has simmered for 10 minutes remove from the heat and allow to cool to around room temperature.
  6. When the syrup is cool, pour it over the flowers, lemons and citric acid.  Stir gently and then leave to steep for about 48 hours.  in the fridge, stirring once or twice during that time.
  7. After steeping, strain the liquid through a muslin cloth into a bottle, make sure to squeeze all that lovely goodness out into the liquid.
  8. The cordial will last in the fridge for a good 2-3 weeks.
  9. You can also freeze it for later, either in a container or in ice cube trays.
  10. Enjoy with chilled water or better with chilled fizzy water.  Delicious

Elder Leaves

Elderflowers are not the only wonderful gift we get from the Elder tree.  The leaves make a great salve for aching joints and muscles.

  • Brush the leaves clean, chop up and place into a jar.  Fill the jar with olive oil to cover the leaves and place the lid on.  I don’t believe it’s necessary but I put the closed jar with the leaves and oil inside into a saucepan of water and warmed it for maybe 30 minutes.
  • Place the jar in a dark place and allow to infuse for around 4-6 weeks, taking the jar and shaking it gently ever few days.
  • Once the oil has infused, put in a double boiler with a little beeswax (you can buy this on Amazon but try to get it from a local beekeeper).  Heat to melt the beeswax and mix the wax and oil together well over the heat.  Once mixed well, remove from the heat and pour into a container to cool.

I tried this salve on my aching back and it was incredible.  My partner also used it on his aching knees and saw a significant improvement.



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