Elderberry flowers are medicinal. I dried some last year for the first time. I never did make tea out of it. It ended up being chicken food. ..... I should have used it when I had that nasty cold. Elderberry flower is suppose to get rid of all that upper respiratory phlegm just like mullein does. It also helps with fevers, making it a great flu remedy. I know that's what was in the back of my head for keeping it and then I never did get the flu...yea! I'm drying more this year, specifically in case of flu. If I had small children I would use elderberry flowers. Probably using the tea in some jello....any way I could convince them to eat it. (That's what I would do, you have to decide for yourself.)
Once you get used to identifying elderberry flowers, you won't make any mistakes gathering the wrong thing. However, if this is your first year checking this all out, you might want to make your mental notes and make sure it is elderberries that grow on that bush later. Then next year harvest the flowers. Here's my same advice......you need to get a good field guide.
|This is NOT Elderberry Flower (not the kind we eat)|
This is the red elderberry that bloomed about 3-4- weeks ago.
It's not a "flat" enough flower head.
|.....again, NOT elderberry flower.|
Red elderberry will give you a tummy ache.
This is the elderberry flower you want to pick.
Notice how much more "flat" the flower head is.
|Elderberry Flower just starting to bloom.|
Dry the whole flower head on some paper towel. When dry, just crumble the flowers off of the stem. Store in a glass jar, out of the light. A handful of dried flowers to 3 quarts of water. Bring it to just before a boil, take it off the burner and let it steep. I would drink 3-4 cups over the day.