Elder flowers are a mild astringent and are used in skin
washes as they are believed to refine the complexion and help relieve eczema, acne and
psoriasis. Elder has a long history of use dating back to the 5th century BC. Hippocrates
wrote about elder. Egyptians discovered that applying elder flowers improved the
complexion and healed burns. Elder flower water makes a soothing gargle and, when
strained, makes an excellent eye wash.
The leaves and flowers are a common ingredient in ointments and poultices used for burns
and scalds, swelling, cuts and scrapes. Infusions and preparations with the blossoms
combined with other herbs have also been used to quicken recovery the common cold and flu.
The effects of elder flowers are: alternative, diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory and
anti-catarrhal (meaning that it prevents inflammation and discharge for mucous membrane).
Elder flowers contain:
Triterpenes, including ursolic acid
Fixed oil containing linoleic, linoleic and palmitic acids
Flavonoids, including rutin, quercetin , kampherol