Making elder ointment with herbalist Melissa Ronaldson.
We started by smelling oil that the elder leaves had been in for a week, to see if we could detect the smell of bitter almonds. Elder leaf, bark and root a cyanide forming glycoside – that is a compound that may release free cyanide as it breaks down. However, all these parts of the plant have useful medicinal properties if used correctly.
Hackney Elder Ointment contains:
Olive oil infused with elder leaves
Olive oil infused with comfrey leaves
Essential oils of lavender and wintergreen
The ointment is useful for pain relief and sprains, but should only be used externally.