Home Remedies - The Elder - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

The Elder is the Old Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess, and powerful indeed is her protection and blessing.

The elder grows rapidly from any part, and so speaks to us of regeneration and thetheelder power of the life force. It makes a fast growing hedge, which can be clipped to thicken it. Like willow, it can be planted easily by pushing the small young branches into the ground. It is a useful small tree for a garden, but best a back corner as not much will grow beneath it. There are so many things to use it for that it is a valuable tree to have near.

Elderberry wine has curative powers of established repute. Taken hot at night it will help in the early stages of a cold or 'flu, and is excellent for a sore throat and catarrh. This is due to the viburnic acid contained in the berries which induces perspiration and helps to "bring the cold out". It also had a reputation in the past as an excellent remedy for asthma.

The flowers, which are at their best at midsummer, also have many uses from eye bath to skin tonic, for colds and 'flu and catarrhal inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, such as hay fever and sinusitis. Gather the flowers on a dry day and dry them fast. They do discolour but are perfectly OK. I have found the best method is to hand the clusters upside down in paper bags in the sunshine. The bags catch the flowers as they dry and drop off. When completely dry, store them in dark screw-top jars. A tea made of the fresh flowers makes an excellent spring/summer tonic, take fresh each morning to purify the blood. They can also be added to salads, cakes and made into wonderful summer drinks such as elderflower cordial and elderflower champagne.

Cold and Flu Mix

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McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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