El­der­flower toner Makes around 200ml

The Simple Things - - LIVING -

The scented cream blooms of elder­flow­ers have been used by women since time im­memo­rial – in in­fu­sions to soften the skin and even out tone. The ad­di­tion of glyc­er­ine gives a mois­tur­is­ing ef­fect, leav­ing the skin silky smooth. 1 head of fresh elder­flow­ers (or 2 tsp dried) 200ml boil­ing wa­ter 5ml glyc­er­ine (op­tional)

1 Re­move the stalks from the elder­flow­ers (if us­ing fresh) and put the tiny flow­ers in a mug or heat­proof bowl.

2 Pour over boil­ing wa­ter, then cover with a plate and leave to in­fuse un­til cool.

3 Strain out the elder­flow­ers, then add the glyc­er­ine (if us­ing) to the liq­uid and mix well.

4 To use, soak cot­ton pads or a muslin cloth in the liq­uid and use as a toner or sim­ple cleanser, once make-up has been re­moved. Use twice a day. The liq­uid will keep in the fridge for up to three days. con­sump­tion, as long as you take small amounts from dif­fer­ent plants and don’t strip them bare. Pick­ing for sale in the UK is con­sid­ered theft by the Theft Act 1968 (Sec­tion 4.3). On pri­vate land, it’s best to ob­tain the landowner’s per­mis­sion be­fore for­ag­ing. Gain­ing per­mis­sion also al­lows you to gather vi­tal in­for­ma­tion, for in­stance, whether or not pes­ti­cides or chem­i­cals have been used on the land. It is il­le­gal in the UK to up­root plants on pri­vate land with­out the landowner’s per­mis­sion. And, of course, it is im­moral to pick plants that are vul­ner­a­ble or rare. l Har­vest herbs that are clean, safe and free from chem­i­cals, such as pes­ti­cides and weed killers, an­i­mal or hu­man urine and any­thing else un­pleas­ant that may have been left on them. Don’t har­vest close to road­sides, where plants will be pol­luted by car fumes, fuel, oil or rub­ber that washes off the road.

l Think sus­tain­ably, es­pe­cially in cities where sheer num­bers can soon de­plete a species lo­cally. Friends’ gar­dens, and al­lot­ments and com­mu­nity gar­dens should be your first port of call.

l Pick in mod­er­a­tion. When har­vest­ing plants in the wild, never pick ev­ery­thing you see. Leave plants, fruits and seeds for wildlife and for other for­agers who may fol­low. Tak­ing the root will kill a plant, so think care­fully first.

l And fi­nally, give some­thing

back: when you see seeds, take some and scat­ter them in other ap­pro­pri­ate ar­eas. Join a com­mu­nity group to lit­ter-pick a park. Share your pas­sion – and inspire oth­ers to love their lo­cal plants, too.

El­der is found in many a gar­den and park; its preva­lence and rich fok­lore in­di­cate its use­ful­ness

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