Elder Flowers

Elder Flowers

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Elderflower is used for swollen sinuses (sinusitis), coldsinfluenza (flu), swine flubronchitisdiabetes, and constipation. It is also used to increase urine production (as a diuretic), to increase sweating (as a diaphoretic), and to stop bleeding.

Elderflower is also used as a gargle and mouthwash for coughscolds, hoarseness (laryngitis), flu, and shortness of breath. It is used on the skin for joint pain (rheumatism), and pain and swelling (inflammation).

Some people put elderflower in the eyes for red eyes.

In combination with gentian root, verbena, cowslip flower, and sorrel, elderflower is used for maintaining healthy sinuses and treating sinusitis.

In foods and beverages, elderflower is used as a flavoring component.

In manufacturing, elderflower extracts are used in perfumes. Elderflower water is used in eye and skin lotions.

Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Effective for

  • Constipation. Drinking a tea containing elderflower, senna flower, fennel fruit, and green anise fruit seems to improve symptoms and increase the chance of having a bowel movement in people who are constipated.

  • Nasal swelling (sinusitis). Taking a specific combination product containing elderflower, gentian root, verbena, cowslip flower, and sorrel (SinuComp, Sinupret) seems to help treat inflamed nasal passages.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Bronchitis.

  • Cold.

  • Flu.

  • Cough.

  • Hoarseness (laryngitis).

  • Diabetes.

  • Arthritis-like pain.

  • Swelling (inflammation).

  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of elderflower for these uses.