The elder is a tree or bush (or even wood) for which humanity has found a use for each and every part: the leaf, the bark, the wood or branch, the flower and finally, the berry or fruit. Some of these functions, or associations, are both mythic and grounded in superstition: that the elder encourages the fertility of cattle for instance; or its relation to witchcraft; or its place in Celtic folklore. Others are most nearly medicinal: it is essential to classical and medieval physician. And, of course, it may be eaten and drunk. The flowers lend their fragrance to gooseberries, or are sensational as a sprint fritter. The berries are wonderful as ice cream, or as wine. Ria Loohuizen has pursued the elder into every corner of history, literature and kitchen usefulness. She claims this is only the second book on the tree. In an evocative text, she explores its meaning to early physicians, its place in mythology and folklore, its occurrence in literature and gives maximum exposure to recipes for medicaments as well as delicious sweet dishes and drinks. Here you may find how to make elder ointments or lotions to ward off rheumatism as well as chilblains. And you will read detailed instructions for elderflower champagne, or elderflower syrup, or elderberry wine. Then there are recipes for tarts, fools, jams, jellies, fritters, glazes, and vinegars as well as some details about the Jew's Ear mushroom which grows only on the elder.