Elderflower – From Stone Age to Modern Day
Since antiquity, humans have valued the elderflower. Remnants have appeared in Stone Age sites, ancient herbalists, such as Hippocrates, Dioscorides espoused its medicinal uses, and the Druids used the flowers – and every other part of the elder tree – in healing and blessing rituals. In England, summer was thought to begin when the elder was in full bloom and end= when the berries were ripe. Native Americans used the elderflower for healing purposes for hundreds of years. Among its many qualities, the elderflower has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which helps ease colds, flu, and respiratory difficulties and is thought to relieve allergies and boost the immune system. To make elderflower tea, steep two teaspoons in hot water for five-to-10 minutes.
A Bit of History
The licorice plant arrived in North America with the British in the 1600s. Native Americans quickly adopted the licorice plant as did the enslaved African Americans. Roots and barks have always been used as toothbrushes, remedies, tea, and spice, and the licorice root was one of them. In the mid-1800s, at the start of today’s candy industry, the licorice root became a penny candy, and the extract was used to flavor sweets. Licorice eventually played a leading role in one of the nation’s top soda flavors: root beer.