Elder flower have been used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It can also be used for treating colds and sinus infections. In his Complete Herbal (1653) Culpeper describes elder flowers as as being "of much use to free the skin from sunburning, freckles ... or the like; and taketh away the headache [and] it taketh away ulcers."
We have a large elder tree in the back garden that is just beginning to flower. I'll be making some of this toner with fresh flowers; plus I'll be drying more flowers to use later.
This toner is very gentle, making it particularly suitable for sensitive or delicate skin.
Elder Flower Toner
Place 1 tablespoon of fresh elder flowers (or 1/2 tablespoon if using dried flowers) into a heatproof bowl or jug. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the flowers. Cover and leave to cool and steep for about an hour.
Pour the cooled infusion into a glass bottle. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerine and 5 drops of lavender essential oil (if using). Cap the bottle and shake well to combine.
Makes approximately one cup. The toner will keep for one week stored in the fridge.
To use: Shake before using. Apply with a cotton pad avoiding your eyes. Follow with your usual moisturiser.
You may also like to try:
Almond Milk Toner for combination skin
Apple Toner for oily, blemished skin
Black Tea Toner for oily skin
Lavender Toner for teenage skin
Rosewater Toner for dry skin
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Nicholas Culpeper, Complete Herbal, first published 1653 (I have a 1992 reprint)
Available online: https://archive.org/details/cu31924001353279