The elder tree is known to many herbalists as a sacred tree. While we’re sure it has its own stories to tell, there’s already an abundance of recorded folklore. In Scandinavian and Danish myths, this tree was thought to be guarded by a forest spirit named Hyldemoer, also known as Elder Mother. Before anything was taken from the tree, it was believed that one must say a certain charm for her permission. While we wish we knew these ancient words, we’re sure a “thank you,” a song of appreciation or a token of gratitude would suffice when carefully collecting its medicinal flowers or berries.
Elder tree flowers and berries are often used in teas, tinctures, jams, jellies and syrups. Traditionally the berries are used to support immune system health.* A syrup can easily be made from fresh elderberries (Sambucus nigra) and elder flowers, or you can simply use dried berries like we’ve done here. There are dozens of variations of this traditional syrup recipe, so we urge you to play around with the recipe to see what works best for you. We’ve added in some fresh ginger and cinnamon sticks to give it an extra kick. You could try adding ginger juice if you’d like even more zest!
These small bottles are the perfect size to be given as gifts to friends or used as holiday stocking stuffers. This syrup can be used to promote immune system health,* or it could be added to holiday cocktails or your New Year’s Eve champagne to add a sweet berry flavor.
If you’d like to add more herbal goodness to your home apothecary, check out our At Home section of Plant Power Journal.