Elderflower and Peppermint Tea

I was just up near Erie, Pennsylvania and the elder flowers were in full bloom. They were beautiful. If we hadn’t been in a state park, I would have picked a basket full and laid them out to dry in our hotel room, but we also weren’t there long enough, so I had to settle for photos.Elder in bloom 7-2013 ErieElder (sambucus) is the “Herb of the Year” this year. Another friend and I were working on a presentation to give for the local herb society and another presentation for another herb group in town. The surgery in January had us cancelling our presentation and rescheduled it for March. Unfortunately, I ended up in the hospital a few days before both presentation, so my friend carried don without me.

One of the recipes that we talked about was for Elderflower and Peppermint Tea. The last thing I needed was to come down with a cold or the flu, so this was the tea I drank all through the winter to keep healthy. Either I was lucky and didn’t come down with any winter sniffles or the tea did the trick.

Elder in Bloom 7-2013 Erie 1Elderflower and Peppermint Tea:

  • 1 tsp dried elderflowers
  • 1 tsp dried peppermint

There are two types of Elder that grow in our area (out of 25). Sambucus canadensis, which is the elder in the above photos. This elder is herbaceous and requires more water. You will usually find it neat river or creek beds where it can get the moisture that it needs. The other is Sambucus nigra (or mexicana) – this variety is found in drier, more desert-like areas.

I have planted both in our back yard. The deer LOVE both of them, so there have been some major set-backs in growing them. The Sambucas canadensis is doing well, now that I have a fence around it. It had one beautiful bloom on it, and those darn deer found a way to get their noses through the fence and get at it…. I am hoping for more blooms, but so far there are none.

The Sambucus nigra that I have planted, is only 9″ high and still in need of a fence. I also realize that I need to move it to a sunnier location, so this winter I will do that. I hope then, it will thrive and grow (with a fence around it!)

Do you have elder growing in your area?

Sincerely, Emily

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8 Responses to Elderflower and Peppermint Tea

  1. xwaysseries says:

    Beautiful post…thank you!

  2. There are some specimens of Sambucus canadensis in our neighbourhood – they’re beautiful. I’m not sure that too many people use the flowers for anything, though, which is a shame. I will have to ask for some flowers and make your tea! 🙂

    • Hi Sheryl, the dried flowers, by themselves, don’t have a lot of flavor, so the peppermint helps. I know many people make cordial and wine with the fresh flowers. I just don’t know what kind of flavor they have.

  3. There is so much elderberry bushes here all around me. And I even have several on my property now! I have already made elderflower lemonade. and I am going to be gaurding my berries from all the ravenous birds so I can have berries for winter. I have been drinking elerberry syrup for several years now and have not been sick in that many. It IS the elderberries. I love them.

    • Hi Kris – thanks for stopping by. I hope to get a post together talking about the syrup and its benefits. I know I will link to your recipe!!! The flower clusters are so beautiful!! Enjoy them.

  4. Nancy Davis says:

    Hi Emily, As you know I do have a couple elderberry bushes and have cut some flowers to dry to try your tea. Will look forward to your post on the syrup and its benefits. How are you surviving this heat? It has been super hot here and I can’t be outdoors in it too long. Nancy

    • Hi Nancy – I hope you will enjoy the tea. The rain we had brought some lower temps, but it is still pretty humid. Anything below 100F is nice. Right now I would love 70F! I have taken a big step backwards in my recovery so it is a lot harder right now, especially with the heat.

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