Another Healthy Option For You
I hope you had a brilliant bank holiday weekend! In the UK we had rain-shine-rain-shine sort of days and got caught in a fun shower canoeing on the River Wye on Saturday! It made for greater adventure and the river water was unusually shallow and warm to trail our hands in. What did you do this weekend?
As we were rowing down the lovely Wye, I observed that all the elderflowers are in full bloom now, making it the perfect time to pick and use them. Elderflowers are found EVERYWHERE now, from city parks to country lanes and riversides, so they’re free and easy to gather.
In the TMD Manifesto, I state:
"Create healthy options: Healthy options mean healthy choices, healthy choices mean sustained energy, sustained energy means living your dream - sustainable energy is green."
Here is a delicious healthy water option for you to make and raise your hydration levels. Remember, the more hydrated you are, the better you’ll feel! I’ve used this recipe for YEARS, having adapted a traditional Elderflower Champagne recipe. It’s very quick to make so just think “cut and soak” and you’re there!
Helena’s Elderflower Pressé
- Pour 5 litres/1 gallon of filtered cold water into a big jar or pot (Granderised water, of course)
- Add 5 of the most sweetest scented Elderflower heads that you can find (each head should be the size of your outspread hand)
- Add 1 sliced lemon
- Cover and leave to stand for 24 hours then strain through a muslin or nutmilk bag (I have some in stock if you need one, £6.50 incl. UK postage)
- Sweeten to taste with either xylitol (which will need to melt in the water for awhile after you add it), maple syrup, honey or best, sparingly use powdered or liquid stevia
- Chill before drinking. May serve on ice with a garnish of mint leaves and cucumber slices.
I’ve frozen this in water bottles and it’s fab to grab out of the freezer on a hot day to take on a picnic, long after the elderflower season has finished!
Elderflower isn’t just another pretty face however. If you take elderflower water with stevia, you can HYDRATE AND PROTECT YOURSELF as elderflower has many antibacterial properties. Most frequently used for it’s flavouring properties in foods and beverages, research in Ireland showed that the elderflower extract was effective in killing many common hospital pathogens including MRSA. Further study of elderflower components showed the potential for antiviral and anti-inflammatory benefits as well! (Here is the reference.)
THE WHY: Active Ingredients in Elderflower
Elderflower is rich in bioflavonoids, mostly flavones and flavonols, most commonly known for their antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. The most abundant flavonols in elderflower are quercetin, isoquercitrin and anthocyanins, which have antiviral properties as well. Elderflower also contains chlorogenic acids, such as cinnamic acid, which may help with allergies, regulate blood glucose levels and have a laxative effect on the body. Triterpenoids, especially β-amyrin, erythrodiol, and oleanolic acid, are also found in elderflower. These triterpenoids offer a variety of health benefits including analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects. While elderflower is typically found to be safe for consumption, the leaves, twigs, and roots are toxic and can lead to the build up of poisonous cyanide in the body.
So, get on with it, friends! Go for a walk, move your lymph around, pick some elderflowers, soak them overnight with lemon, strain them at the end of the next day, sweeten to taste and enjoy! Let me know how you get on with it and as ever, feel free to ask me any questions.