Here are two versatile summer blooming herbs that can be enjoyed year round just using dried herb, water and a pot. Easy home remedies for health and beauty, the best kind!
As someone who’s used elder and lavender to help with acne, digestive issues, nervousness and insomnia, these two plants are near and dear to my heart!
Depending on where you live in the U.S., elder flowers may just be blooming or have already come and gone and the berries are beginning to form. Lavender will be in bloom for the rest of summer.
You can gather these fresh and dry them for year-round use, or you can purchase them dried from a high quality online supplier, such as Mountain Rose Herbs, Pacifica Botanicals, Starwest Botanicals or your local apothecary.
Since there are countless ways to use these herbs, I’m going to keep it simple and share the 2 easiest, yet highly effective and versatile ways to prepare and use both elder and lavender flowers: as herbal teas and as a cosmetic / topical wash. All you need are the herbs, water, and a pot to simmer them in.
Elderflowers (Sambucus nigra) as a tea: mild and sweet in flavor
Diaphoretic Tea - Elderflowers are diaphoretic, which means this herb induces sweating to help cool you down naturally, excrete toxins / infections, and / or reduce fevers. Add 4 tbsp of dried elderflowers to a quart mason jar. Fill to the top with just boiled water and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain and sip throughout the day. Elderflowers are a traditional remedy, first taken at the onset of any cold or respiratory illness.
Uplifting Tea - They’re also used as a relaxant, soothing nerves and lifting mild depression. Great to drink hot before bedtime to aid in restful sleep, also great for children.
Urinary Tonic Tea - elderflowers enhance the action of kidneys, helping rid fluid retention in the body, eliminating toxins and clearing excess heat in the system through the urinary tract.
Skin Wash / Topical Use: Elderflowers are astringent, meaning the help tighten and tone tissues, contain healing essential oils, and some mucilage, making them soothing to skin. Brew as a tea, then apply as a skin wash for cuts, wounds, acne and other skin eruptions and sunburn.
Elderflowers have long been used in cosmetic recipes as they’re beneficial to oily, combination and mature skin.
I love adding them to facial herbal steams
Making a cosmetic tea with Elder flowers: store in the fridge overnight, then use it as a skin toner over the next couple days, either splashing some on my face, saturating a washcloth then laying down and covering my face with it for 5 minutes, or adding some to a clay powder mask instead of plain water. The uses are endless!
Lavender (Lavendula officinalis, Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula x intermedia) tea:
Nervous system Tea - Lavender has long been used as an antidepressant, balancing emotional disharmony, and a relaxing nervous system support tonic. Tension headaches, insomnia or heart palpitations? This tea is for you!
Digestive Tea - Lavender is an antispasmodic, meaning it relieves stomach / digestive cramping related to nervous tension and anxiety, minimizing gas, nausea, and improves appetite. Its antiseptic properties can also help relieve diarrhea and vomiting caused by bowel infections.
To brew: Add 1 tsp of dried blossoms to a mug. Pour to the top with just boiled water, cover with a plate so that the medicinal volatile oils stay within the cup and don’t evaporate with the steam, steep for 5 - 10 minutes, strain and enjoy!
There are fewer better tasting teas than lavender, mixed with a splash of milk and honey. A true before-bedtime treat!
Lavender Skin Wash - Lavender is antiseptic (inhibits / prevents infections) analgesic (pain relieving), rubefacient (brings blood flow to an area which promotes healing), disinfectant for wounds and acne, stimulates tissue repair and minimizes scar formation. Great for sunburns and burns from cooking!
Apply the same above suggestions for elderflowers to enjoy the benefits of lavender skin wash as well!
Pelvic steam - I use both Elder and Lavender flowers in my Organic Herbs for Pelvic Steam Signature Blend. Both herbs contain countless medicinal properties in their volatile oils which are released through steam, and quickly absorbed into the delicate, highly permeable skin of your reproductive region. Curious about pelvic steams? Read my blog post here and check out my other herbal pelvic steam blends in my shop!
Reach out to me with any questions! ~Veronica