Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) is abundantly in flower at the moment. It is traditionally used to treat hayfever as it has anti allergenic properties. Elderflower is a useful remedy for colds and is often combined with peppermint and yarrow in a tea. As well as being a potent antiviral it has a diaphoretic action, that is it induces sweating which may produce a less favourable environment for the cold virus to thrive in. It has immune enhancing properties to help the body fight off infection more effectively and reduces inflammation and congestion in the mucous membranes making it a good herb to consider using not only for colds and hayfever but sinusitis also.
Elderflower cordial is a popular method of using the flowers and produces a refreshing drink when combined with sparkling water. Meanwhile, as I currently have both a stonking cold and a bad bout of hayfever I’d better practice what I preach and go get myself some elderflowers right now!