Elder flower extract

Sambucus nigra flower

The Elder (Sambucus nigra) is known as a tree of evil. It can reach a height of up to 20feet. It has big leaves, white umbellate flowers, and black fruits. The Elder's scientific (Latin) name is Sambucus, perhaps from the Greek sambuce, an ancient musical instrument, because of the readily removed tubes of bark once used for flutes and whistles.

The pithy centers of the branches are easily pushed out with a thin metal rod, and, years ago, these hollow tubes were also used for tapping sugar maple trees to collect the sap in spring. Though the German name of the tree, Holdre, signifying hollow, it is also said to be mythologically connected with Hulda, the goddess of love; and, like love, the Elder drives away evil spirits and defeats the arts of the sorcerer, being an antidote to all his machinations.

Traditional uses

In traditional medicine, Sambucus nigra was used to treating coughs, colds, and flu. The infusion of flowering tops is relaxing and produces mild perspiration that helps reduce fever. The flowers also have the capacity to tone the mucous linings of the nose and throat, increasing their resistance to infection. The tops are prescribed for chronic catarrh, ear infections, allergies, and candidiasis.

Cosmetic effects

Elder (Sambucus nigra) flower extract is extracted from organically grown flowers. The elder has been called "the cosmetic tree" by some herbalists since nearly all its parts can benefit the skin. The flowers are used for various skin problems, especially for inflammation or broken skin.

Sambucus nigra flower extract is also used as an anti-pruritic (to stop itching), a gentle astringent, a skin softener, and to help eliminate minor skin blemishes. For example, several references claim it will help fade freckles.

Thanks to its excellent vein tonic effect, this mighty ingredient is perfect for formulas aiming to treat blotches and heavy legs. In addition, it decreases vascular permeability and inflammation, fighting against edema and puffiness and improving blood circulation.

Rich in phenolic acids, Sambucus nigra flower extract inhibits the hyaluronic acid destructing enzyme, increasing skin hydration and moisture-binding ability. Natural antiseptics shield skin from infections and acne while enhancing the shelf-life of the formulation. Finally, the flavonoids scavenge free radicals and protect the skin from oxidative stress and photoaging.

It's a perfect multifunctional ingredient for natural formulations that preserves the beauty, youthfulness, and health of the skin.