NA­TURE’S MEDICINE CABI­NET

Country Living (UK) - - Food & Drink -

El­der­flower The frothy white blooms in coun­try lanes are one of the de­lights of early sum­mer – and they can ben­e­fit your health, too. With the ther­a­peu­tic qual­i­ties of both its flow­ers and berries, it’s easy to see why the el­der tree has long been revered for its pro­tec­tive pow­ers. Har­vest the flower heads, tak­ing care not to in­clude leaves, bark or twigs, which are toxic. The plant’s anti-in­flam­ma­tory qual­i­ties mean an in­fu­sion can make an ex­cel­lent gar­gle for sore throats or a cool com­press for ir­ri­tated eyes. Drunk as a tea, el­der­flower may ease a stuffy nose. Of course, it’s most de­li­cious when made into a cor­dial and served with sparkling water.*

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