Elderflower hydrolate

November 13, 2018

Elderflower hydrolate - Sambucus nigra

(Sambucus nigra)

Sambucus nigra is a shrub that grows up to 6m high. Up to 30 cm wide trunk has a deep, crested bark. It grows in warmer parts of Europe and North America, with regional varieties or sub-species, and as a group of individual similar species. The flowers are yellowish white, flattened, with a characteristic aromatic smell and taste; its berries are black or blue. For healing purposes, bark, root, flowers, and fruits are used.

Its healing flowers were already used in antiquity. Ancient Egyptians used them to whiten their skin and treat burns, and ancient Romans even called it “a chest of medicines”. A legend says that Judas Iscariot hung himself on an elder tree, and a crucifix, on which Jesus was crucified, was also made of elder tree wood. This is perhaps the cause why they never used elder tree wood for making cradles, but they were planting elder trees next to houses for protecting them from lightning and evil spirits.

For the production of hydrolate, only fresh, elderflowers are used. It relieves asthma, it is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, diuretic, soothing, acts as a laxative, against cramps, and promotes circulation. It also soothes irritated eyes.


Elderflower hydrolate gently invigorates and cleanses the skin and blood vessels. In the nineteenth century, it was used to whiten skin in the case of freckles and sunburn.


It is a tasty addition to drinks, especially pancakes and confectionery.


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