Scientific: Sambucus nigra [WikiPedia]
Appearance: Elderberries are
the fruit of the Sambucus tree. The most common type is the Sambucus
nigra. The tree has clusters of small white or cream elderflowers and
bunches of small blue or black elderberries.
Parts Used: The flowers and
berries are most commonly used. The dried fruits are less bitter than
fresh. The branches and leaves are poisonous. The small stem which is
sometimes left on the berry is safe.
Common Uses: European elder
is a plant native to Europe, southwest Asia, and North America. Its
flowers and berries have a long history of use in traditional European
medicine. Elder berries have also been used for making preserves, wines,
winter cordials, and for adding flavour and colour to other wines.
Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol,
to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health
and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and
tonsillitis. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the
ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. Elderberries contain
organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar,
rutin, viburnic acid, vitaman A and B and a large amount of vitamin C.
They are also mildly laxative, a diuretic, and diaphoretic. Flavonoids,
including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic actions
of the elderberry flowers and berries. According to test tube studies
these flavonoids include anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants and
protect cells against damage.
contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids,
sugar, rutin, viburnic acid, vitaman A and B and a large amount of
Alternatives and Adjuncts:
Topic Specific Research:
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and
other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe
and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any
other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.
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