This year I have made a little promise to try some of the medicinal wild weeds that grow around our homes, in parks, along roads, in parking lots and pretty much anywhere there i grass.
When I bought this property I started trying to identify plants and determine if they should stay or should they go. I spend time in WV with my family and they have become a great resource. If it weren’t for them this plant may have not only never been used it it may have been eradicated from my yard.
After a ton of research. I have tried to do something with berries for years. Every year when they are peek in season before the birds have consumed them I gather the beautiful dark rich berries. I take them to the kitchen and I stare at them. I look at the little bugs and spiders who also enjoy this wonderful plant. As I read I see Poison, the roots, stems and leaves are actually toxic. Great these berries are super tiny and a ton of little stems..
Needless to say, there is a reason I have so many of these plants. I pick all of these berries and end up tossing them off to the edge of the woods and property line for fear that I will die.
This year I decided to try my luck with the flowers. The smell alone beckoned to me to come linger in the strong, sweet aroma.
I wonder around my yard snipping the lovely light flowers and dropping them in a bucket. I get inside and am happy with the lack of bugs. Back to the poison thing. I am afraid. I read and read and read and still am afraid to actually eat the weed… er… berry…. er flower…
But I did it, I made and actually consumed so elder flower..
Elder flower Tincture/Liqueur(pictured below) – seems it is the age and amount of sugar that really makes the difference. It seems you get tincture then continue on the liqueur which from what i understand is the same as St Germain.
Elder flower Tea/Water – again age seems to be the differentiation here. And the amount of flowers. I took fresh flowers that I literally cut all of the stems off and put them in the bottom of a teacup with strainer and the rest in a mason jar (about half full) and poured boiling water over them. I steeped the tea for about 10 minutes and the water I left till it was room temp, and put in the fridge. Now we wait on that one.
I drank the tea.
Beautiful light yellow color, mild aroma and even milder taste. So light and pleasant. Like a lite version of jasmine tea.
I did find you can drop the whole flowering cluster, but I have yet to do that. Maybe for the elder flower water, that eventually will be used topically not ingested. I may still err on the side of caution for teas and snippy snip snip. It is nice, the flowers are pretty and delicate and smell so wonderful, completely filling the house as I work.
The rest of the clusters that I picked are drying nicely for future use..