What is Elderflower Tea?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Elderflower tea is a tea that is often used for its medicinal purposes. It is believed to be a good tea to help stave off and counteract colds and influenza. For this reason, many people drink it during the winter months when colds and influenza are most common. Although elderflower tea is not common, it can often be found in health food stores. It can also be ordered online by a number of tea and health food suppliers.

Elderflower tea.
Elderflower tea.

Some people even choose to harvest their own elderflowers for the purposes of making tea. It is usually best to harvest elderflowers in May and June. They should be left to dry in a warm, dry place. Once they have dried, the flowers should be removed from their stems and stored in a cool, dry place until they are used to brew tea.

Elderflower tea may be used to treat sore throats.
Elderflower tea may be used to treat sore throats.

In order to brew elderflower tea, one heaping teaspoon of the dried flowers should be added for each cup of hot water. For those using tea bags, two bags should be used for every cup of water. The tea should steep for five to ten minutes before straining the tea or removing the tea bags. If the tea is being consumed to help treat a cold or the flu, it should be consumed while it is still hot.

Elderflower tea used for medicinal purposes should be steeped in a teapot with a lid.
Elderflower tea used for medicinal purposes should be steeped in a teapot with a lid.

If the tea is being consumed for medicinal purposes, it is important to cover it while it is steeping. An easy way to do this is to use a teapot. If the tea is being brewed in a single cup, simply place a saucer over the mouth of the cup while the flowers or bags are steeping.

Some herbalists prescribe elderflower tea for its fever-reducing qualities.
Some herbalists prescribe elderflower tea for its fever-reducing qualities.

One of the reasons that elderflower tea is favored by herbalists for colds and influenza is that it can help to break fevers by bringing on sweating. The tea is especially useful for people who feel chilled due to their fevers. Another use of the tea is the treatment of sore throats, which often accompanies colds and influenza. While the tea should be consumed while hot to help break a fever, the cooled liquid can be used as a gargle to treat sore throats.

Elderflower tea is purported to stave off and fight colds and influenza.
Elderflower tea is purported to stave off and fight colds and influenza.

Herbalists also believe that elderflower tea is a powerful blood purifier. It is also sometimes used as a mild diuretic or laxative. As the tea has many medicinal uses, most herbalists keep it on hand at all times.

Elderberry tea is brewed by infusing the dried leaves in boiling hot water for several minutes.
Elderberry tea is brewed by infusing the dried leaves in boiling hot water for several minutes.
Elderflower tea can be used as a laxative.
Elderflower tea can be used as a laxative.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments

anon978217

I would recommend this to people with COPD or others with weak lung function. I feel good after I drink it.

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