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Kneel before elder. The herbalist advises how not to make mistakes when collecting and drying elderflowers

Bow before the chamomile, kneel before the elder. This old Czech proverb says it all. Bez black has a number of medicinal effects proven by studies. Experienced herbalist Karolína Josková explains to Deník what the black elder flower cures and what elderberry juice is good for. He will also reveal how to properly prepare elderberry tea so as not to overdose.

“Our ancestors already attributed great power to elderberry. Nothing has changed even today. And it’s no wonder, after all, black pepper has been growing in Central Europe since time immemorial,” says the owner of the herb farm Herba Roja Karolina Josková.

What does black elder contain, what makes it healthy and what to make from it:

Source: Youtube

According to Karolína Josková, people should value this beautiful bush mainly for its healing potential. “The effects of elderberry on human health are numerous. And besides, they beautifully decorate not only the wild Czech nature, but also our gardens. White flowers in the spring and black elderberries in the fall,” continues the herbalist.

Choose the right one without

And why is black without so popular? Perhaps precisely because he gives us his gifts several times a year. Even if the black balls are not flowering or fruiting, buds, twigs, leaves or roots can offer human health. In short, this bush is healthy from the roots to the fruits.

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Dandelions are very medicinal, but they only bloom for a short time. Learn how to dry them

Elder flowers and fruits are used both in folk medicine and herbal medicine, as well as in modern pharmacy and the food industry.

“But be careful, don’t confuse the black elderberry with its other species. Specifically with red elderberry or elderberry. They wouldn’t do you any good, they contain a lot of poisonous substances,” adds Karolína Josková.

Elderberry buds

First of all, let’s look at the elder buds. They begin to appear on the bush at the end of winter and at the beginning of spring. While walking in nature, pluck a few buds from a bush and eat them straight away. They will help you cleanse your body.

Karolína Josková, owner of the herb farm Herba Roja.Karolína Josková, owner of the herb farm Herba RojaSource: Courtesy of Herb Roja

Or pick more of them and add them to homemade schnapps. “After a few weeks you will have an excellent tincture. This will help you with rheumatic problems, fight eczema or psoriasis and support the vascular system,” he says Karolina Josková.


Bez black begins to bloom in spring, mostly in May. Depending on the climatic conditions, we can see its flowers in nature until the beginning of July.

The best time to collect white elder flowers is when the flowers have not yet developed in the center of the flowering crown. We can then use them fresh or dry them for storage.

Great as an elderberry syrup and a gastronomic treat

We can use fresh elderberry flowers to make our favorite elderberry syrup. As the herbalist advises, it is sufficient to cover the flowers with boiled and cooled water and then leave them to soak for 12 to 24 hours.

Then strain the juice from the flowers. Add lemon and sugar to the liquid and stir until the sugar dissolves. Then all that remains is to preserve the juice in washed glasses.

Elderberry can also be used to make fermented lemonades:

We can also make a gastronomic delicacy from fresh flowers. Just wrap fresh flowers in batter and fry. It is an excellent and wholesome delicacy; so if we don’t use a ton of oil. Detailed instructions on how to prepare the so-called elderberry schnitzel alias you will find fried kosmatica HERE.

How to properly dry elderflowers

To make delicious elderberry tea, we can use both fresh flowers and dried ones (which will certainly last longer for storage).

“We dry the flowers on sieves, crowns down, in the shade. For example, soil is suitable. When the flowers are almost dry, let them dry in the sun. You can tell that they are perfectly dry by the small twigs in the crown cracking with dryness,” explains the herbalist.

All parts of the underbelly contain amounts of mucilage, a substance that soothes inflamed tissues in the mouth, throat and airways

Yellow flowers have effectively treated people since ancient times. However, they can also be dangerous

Elderberry pollen can also be used

Those who don’t want to lose even a speck of healthy elderberry put a rag under the drying sieve and thus catch the elderberry pollen.

Yellow powder can be used in the same way as flowers because it contains the same substances. We can use it, for example, in food – mix it into honey, apple cider vinegar, powdered sugar or yogurt. There are no limits to imagination.

Elderberry ointment for burnt skin

The dried flowers are not only made into a delicious tea, but are also used in inhalation mixtures. “You can also try to make an ointment by putting the dried flowers in your favorite fat, we like lard the most. You then let them macerate for several weeks with occasional heating,” explains Karolína Josková.

After a few weeks, you just strain the mixture, add beeswax and you have a ready ointment for burns, sprains and frostbite.

Fragrant without fights colds

And why are elderflowers so popular? Tea made from them helps with colds and flu, induces sweating, so it cleanses the body of harmful viruses and bacteria. She proved that, for example study that investigated elderberry as an alternative treatment for colds and flu.

The flowers can be used fresh or dried.  Courtesy of Herb Rojo.The flowers can be used fresh or driedSource: Courtesy of Herb Rojo

Bez also helps with weight loss, has a positive effect on the bronchi and thins mucus. In cosmetics, it is great as a rinse for mixed, oily, maturing and acne-prone skin.

How to use elderflower correctly

The best health effects will be ensured if a person takes the right amount of active ingredients. How to ensure this when preparing tea or elderflower decoctions? Although there is no standardized dosage for elderflower, according to the Health website research suggests certain dosage range.

Strawberry leaves are collected until the plant blooms

Don’t wait for the strawberries. Strawberry trees also offer another treasure, right now

For example, adults can generally consume 3.9 grams of dried elderflower per day for up to eight days. Here are some common doses of elderflower in folk medicine:

  • Constipation: When preparing the tea, 500 mg of elderflower is combined with senna flower (600 mg), fennel (200 mg) and anise fruit (200 mg). This tea can be drunk three times a day for up to five days.
  • Sinus infection: Medicines used to treat sinus infections and colds often contain 36 mg of elderflower. These medications can be taken three times a day for up to 14 days.
  • Skin condition: To make a face cream, take a few handfuls of fresh elderflowers, mix them with liquefied petroleum jelly and boil for 40 minutes. Filter the mixture and let it solidify. Some people use this cream to treat arthritis.

A shrub revered by our ancestors

  • Bez is black in the Czech regions native plantwhich grew naturally in our nature centuries ago.
  • The bush grows up to seven meters. Above all, he is doing well in sunny and semi-shady placeswith moist soil.
  • In the past, people planted black currant near their buildings to make it a shrub protected from evil spirits or also rinderpest.
  • Every get married as a wedding gift gave seedlings of black elderjust so she could drop him off at her house.
  • Even today, elderberries can be found around roads, in clearings or along streams and rivers, as well as in moist forest clearings or on the edges of forest stands. AND more and more people are cultivating it in their gardens and grounds.

There are other interesting and beneficial plants growing all around us. Below you will find more articles focused on the topic of how to strengthen your health thanks to the gifts of nature.

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