The elder flowers are beautiful just now.
'Both the berries and flowers make excellent wines, jams and jellies and can be added to the cooking of meat, vegetable and sweet dishes. In addition, elderflower water makes an excellent facial rinse, which cleanses and brightens and if cotton pads soaked in it are placed over the eyes, they will feel brighter and refreshed.
Elderflower tea can be taken as a painkiller and is useful in the treatment of colds. Elderflower tea cleanses the blood and is slightly diuretic so it can also speed recovery the morning after the night before!
Elder leaves can be made into an infusion and rubbed onto the skin to deter flies and other insects. Elder leaves boiled until soft are useful for dressing bruises, strains etc. However, I would not recommend using them on an open wound as, under some circumstances, they can be toxic.'
From: 'The Real Witches' Garden' by Kate West