Lush use elderflowers in various forms to soothe and soften the skin but also for the lores and legend that surround it. Mabinogion, the book of stories based on Welsh mythology and folk tales, mentions a bathing ritual using elder leaves, or cowslip flowers and a few sweet scabious flowers.
Sambucus nigra is a variety of the Elder tree native to the UK, Europe, North Africa and Western Asia and has naturalised in many forested and temperate parts of the world. They are popular ornamental shrubs, valued for their flowers and berries, both of which are popular in drinks, food and traditional medicines and have been used in cosmetic preparations since ancient Egypt. It is best to collect the flowers when the clusters are wide open, fresh and full of pollen.
The herb is astringent and contains a substance called Eldrin, a Bioflavonoid also known as Rutin or vitamin P.